SCOTLAND follow the Lions' example by going into the first game of

their tour on Saturday without their captain. Andy Nicol has been rested

because of a knee injury on the flight out to Fiji.

During the first international leg of the journey, between London and

Los Angeles, a trolley was accidentally rammed into Nicol's left knee as

it protruded into the aisle while he was asleep.

The knock aggravated an injury for which the Dundee High School FP

scrum half had been having treatment since the Alloa Brewery Cup final a

week past Saturday.

It is only a precaution that the tour captain misses the first match.

Allan Hosie, the tour manager, explained: ''We don't want to give the

impression back home that we have a serious injury problem. Andy is


Nicol has been having ultrasound treatment from David McLean, the

Glasgow Caledonian University senior lecturer who is here as both

physiotherapist and fitness adviser, and Hosie emphasised that the scrum

half would be taking a full part in the two training runs today.

The player himself is confident that, if necessary, he could stand in

for Bryan Redpath at any time in Saturday's match, though he is equally

happy to be resting the knee from match-play after the injury.

In Nicol's absence his fellow cap, Ian Smith, the Gloucester flanker,

will lead the Scots against Fiji B at the A D Patel Stadium in Nadi's

Prince Charles Park. It will be the second time that Smith has captained

Scotland on tour, though he has unhappy memories of the first occasion,

a heavy defeat by New South Wales in Sydney last year.

Less then 24 hours after their arrival in Nadi the Scots found

yesterday how different life is here in Fiji. The Prime Minister,

Lieutentant General Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka, was just another hotel

guest in the restaurant while the Scottish rugby team were having

breakfast yesterday.

There he was, reading a newspaper at a table in the middle of the

canopied open-air room surrounded by Scots and other diners. Not a hint

was to be seen that he was anyone of importance apart from the car with

a Fijian flag parked outside his motel room.

Yet imagine what the scene would have been if Major and, say, Glasgow

had been substituted for Rabuka and Nadi. The place would have been

crawling with security men.

Fiji's weather, too, is different, a change from the snow on the hills

that the Scots left behind on Sunday. Throughout yesterday the sun

blazed down, though later, before the sudden tropical sunset, the

Nausori Range peaks across the valley from the Scots' hotel had drawn a

clock of cloud.

It was 31 degrees in the shade by the time the Scots had finished

their first serious work of the tour. The relative humidity was 65%,

though less then the seasonal average, and the hope is that that factor

will not increase before Saturday's match.

Richie Dixon, as the forwards' coach, even had time to fit in

scrummage practice with his two full packs. The absence of a scrum

machine was no handicap. ''There's no substitute for live scrummaging,''

he explained.

As yet, the Scots do not know if they will have a machine available

for such practice when they move on to Tonga at the end of the month.

The only machine there is owned by King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, and Hosie

is waiting to hear whether his majesty has granted permission for the

Scots to use it.

Scotland's XV for Saturday:

K M Logan; K R Milligan, I C Jardine, R C MacNaughton, J A Kerr; A

Donaldson, B W Redpath; G R Isaac, J A Hay, G D Wilson, C A Gray, R

Scott, D J McIvor, G W Weir, I R Smith (captain). Replacements -- N J

Grecian, D S Wyllie, A D Nicol, C D Hogg, P M Jones, M W Scott.