Brown and Cross start for Scots
March 16, 2011
Kelly Brown is fit to start for Scotland © Getty Images
Kelly Brown has been passed fit to start Scotland's vital Six Nations clash with Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday.
The Saracens No.8 was carried from the field in last weekend's loss to England after a heavy collision with centre Matt Banahan and while he will continue to be monitored under concussion protocols, he has been named at the base of the scrum.
The team shows only one change from that 22-16 loss, with Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross recalled at tight-head in a bid to shore up a Scottish scrum that has creaked so far in the Championship.
Cross replaces Moray Low, who drops out of the 22, while Newcastle's Euan Murray returns on the bench as Scotland seek to avoid the wooden spoon.
"We have chosen Geoff at tight-head prop as he made a good impact when he was introduced on Sunday in both set-piece and open play," head coach Andy Robinson said.
"We have been watching Geoff's performances very closely since the 'A' international win against the Irish at Netherdale back in January and he fully deserves this chance."
Italy defeated France last Saturday and Scotland must win to avoid finishing bottom of the Six Nations table for the first time since 2007.
"We know from our own experience that Italy are formidable opponents, especially at the Stadio Flaminio, and our focus this week is on stepping up our performance on our home soil and producing a hard-nosed, complete 80-minute display that the players are capable of delivering and that will give our supporters something to cheer," Robinson said.
Scotland: C Paterson (Edinburgh); M Evans (Glasgow Warriors), J Ansbro (Northampton), S Lamont (Scarlets), S Danielli (Ulster); R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), R Lawson (Gloucester); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors, captain), N Hines (Leinster), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), K Brown (Saracens)
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), E Murray (Newcastle), R Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), A Strokosch (Gloucester), M Blair (Edinburgh), D Parks (Cardiff Blues), N De Luca (Edinburgh)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup