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Coach Sean Lineen weighs merits of tactical selection for clash with hosts

Scotland return to the ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe, tomorrow for their final Pool C match against the hosts, New Zealand, knowing that the odds of victory are massively against them.

The Junior All Blacks require a bonus-point win from the game to secure a place in the semi-finals and Scotland's head coach, Sean Lineen, faces a dilemma - deploy his strongest side or save his best players for what will be a do-or-die effort in the fourth round on Sunday.

Precedent for such a move came at senior level in the 2007 Rugby World Cup match at Murrayfield when Frank Hadden, the Scotland coach, selected a second-string formation against New Zealand.

Lineen will have to do without Newcastle Falcons lock Glen Young, who injured a shoulder against Samoa, and is returning to his club for treatment. His withdrawal has led to a call-up for Shaun MacDonald, the Stirling County back row, who impressed against Ireland and Wales in Scotland's warm-up games last month.

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