February 24, 2017 / 2:30 PM / 9 months ago

Scotland bench will be key in Welsh struggle, says coach

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Players coming off the bench and delivering powerful performances will be vital for Scotland if they are to beat Wales for the first time in a decade in the Six Nations on Saturday, said coach Vern Cotter.

Rugby Union - Italy v Scotland - RBS Six Nations Championship 2016 - Olympic Stadium, Rome, Italy - 27/2/16. Scotland's coach Vern Cotter attends during a Six Nations tournament match. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Scotland host the match at Murrayfield where they have already beaten Ireland in the Six Nations this season but Cotter is aware of the strength of the Wales squad.

“Wales are a bigger team than us. They are very experienced, powerful and have the most test caps out of any team in the tournament,” he said.

“Looking at Wales’ profile they are probably a better second-half team than first half team. So having people with different profiles on the bench is very important to us,” he told the Scottish Rugby Union’s website (thescotlandteam.com) on Friday.

Scotland beat Ireland 27-22 in their opening game before a narrow 22-16 loss to France. Captain Greg Laidlaw suffered an ankle ligament injury in Paris and will miss the rest of the tournament.

“It’s a home game, it’s Wales – we pushed them close the last couple of times but we want to tip them over this time,” added Cotter. Wales have had the upper hand since Scotland beat them at Murrayfield in 2007.

Cotter has made five changes to the team that lost to France a fortnight ago with John Barclay taking over as skipper.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Keith Weir

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