Scotland call on Cross for Ireland
February 20, 2013
Ryan Grant (left) will pack down alongside Geoff Cross (right) on Sunday © PA Photos
Scotland have named Geoff Cross at tight-head in the only change from the side that beat Italy ahead of their match with Ireland on Sunday.
Euan Murray has worn the No.3 shirt for Scotland's first two matches of the campaign but due to his Christian beliefs, he does not play on Sundays. That has given Cross the chance to shine and he will line up alongside Edinburgh hooker Ross Ford and Glasgow's Ryan Grant in the front-row.
On the bench, Dougie Hall retakes his place after he missed their win over Italy due to injury while Jon Welsh also gets a spot with his only appearance for the national side coming in last season's Six Nations. And his Glasgow team-mate Alistair Kellock could win his 50th cap for Scotland if he gets the nod from the bench.
Scotland will now hope to secure their second win over the championship on Sunday but they will come up against an Ireland side still smarting from their round two loss to England.
"We have to improve on our last game and that's been our theme at training all week," Scotland boss Scott Johnson said. "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 team: Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Sean Lamont, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw; Ryan Grant, Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Robert Harley, Kelly Brown (captain), Johnnie Beattie
Replacements: Dougie Hall, Jon Welsh, Moray Low, Alastair Kellock, David Denton, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Max Evans
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points