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Rugby Union: Romania reserves stand by.

Byline: By GRANT ROBBINS

SCOTLAND'S one-off cap Test against Romania in Bucharest on Sunday has turned into a farce with the hosts set to field a second-string side.

Outside-half Ionut Tofan and back-row Florin Tatu were injured in Super Cup games against Japan and the USA, while forwards Mihai Bageag and Costica Mersoiu are among several players rated doubtful.

Romania's hopes of beating Scotland for the third time after wins in 1984 and 1991 were further undermined by the refusal of French clubs to release Ovidiu Tonita, Marius Tincu, Tiberiu Balan, Augistin Petrichei, Alexandru Manta, Romeo Gontineac and Vasile Maftei.

Spokesman Radu Constantin said the seven have key games in the French championship, raising questions over the validity of awarding caps for a meaningless fixture.

Romania have called up Cezar Popescu, Valentin Ursache and Ionut Dimofte to cover for the absentees.

Scotland's plans suffered a setback when lock Stuart Grimes was ruled out with leg and shoulder injuries.

Glasgow's Craig Hamilton replaces him while Edinburgh's Ally Kellock is recalled to the bench.

Scrum-half Mike Blair is fit, with Graeme Beveridge among the replacements.

ROMANIA SQUAD: Forwards - P Ion, P Toderasc, M Socaciu, B Balan, C Popescu, R Mavrodin, B Zebega, C Petre, V Ursache, G Oprisor, M Tudori, F Corodeanu, C Ratiu. Backs - L Sirbu, A Iulian, I Dimofte, D Curea, C Sauan, G Brezoianu, D Vlad, V Ghioc, S Dumitru, I Teodorescu, B Voicu, D Dumbrava.

CAPTION(S):

RULED OUT: Tofan
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 3, 2005
Words:242
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