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.
Tom Hamilton pays a visit to Oxford University Women's Rugby Football Club who have recently made headlines across the world, from Tokyo to New York
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points