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Cross in for Scots

20th February 2013 12:04

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Geoff Cross

Geoff Cross: Starts for Scotland

Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross returns to the Scotland starting line-up for Sunday's Six Nations meeting with Ireland at Murrayfield.

Cross, who scored a try against New Zealand in his last start for Scotland, is the only change from the team that began the 34-10 victory over Italy earlier this month.

Cross replaces Euan Murray, the Worcester tighthead, who is unavailable for this weekend as a result of his Christian faith.

Meanwhile on the bench, Dougie Hall has recovered from the knee injury he sustained against England and is restored as replacement hooker.

His Glasgow Warriors team-mate, prop Jon Welsh, also wins a place on the bench - his first involvement in a matchday 23 since he returned home early from last year's tour to the South Pacific to undergo shoulder surgery.

Alastair Kellock will become the 34th Scot to reach the landmark of 50 caps for his country if he is introduced to the action from the bench.

"We have to improve on our last game and that's been our theme at training all week," said Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson.

"I make no apology for saying again that we have to step up our work in the contact area. Yes, we've some talented athletes in the squad , but we have to give them the opportunities.

"It's good to see players challenging for selection - and there are a number consistently putting their hands up, which is exactly what we want to see.

"But we've kept changes to a minimum and are saying to the players: 'You've won one game. Now go out show us you can win another'."

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelly Brown (c), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Moray Low, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Max Evans.

Date: Sunday, 24 February
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garces (France), Greg Garner (England)
Television match official: Eric Gauzins (France)

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RBS Six Nations Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ireland58
2England58
3Wales56
4France56
5Scotland52
6Italy50