Major changes for Scotland against Samoa

Vern Cotter has rung the changes in his Scotland team with eight changes for Saturday's crucial clash with Samoa in Newcastle.

Finn Russell is fit and comes straight back into the side at fly-half, where he will link up with captain Greig Laidlaw.

Elsewhere in the backline Sean Maitland is preferred to Tim Visser on the wing, with Mark Bennett and Matt Scott forming a new centre partnership.

There are two changes in the back row, with starts for John Hardie and Ryan Wilson on the flanks, while in the front row Ross Ford and Alasdair Dickinson come in.

Scotland know that a win would secure their place in the quarter-finals, but any slip-up and they could be overtaken by Japan, who play the USA on Sunday.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 David Denton, 7 John Hardie, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Sean Lamont

Date: Saturday, October 10
Venue: St James' Park, Newcastle
Kick-off: 14:30 local
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)