Six Nations

Scotland call up prop Cross

2013-02-20 16:42
Geoff Cross (AFP)

Edinburgh - Prop forward Geoff Cross has been called up into the Scotland side for Sunday's Six Nations international against Ireland at Murrayfield in the only change to the side that beat Italy earlier this month.

Euan Murray, following in the footsteps of Scotland rugby and athletics great Eric Liddell and New Zealand's 1987 World Cup-winner Michael Jones, refuses to play on Sundays because of his Christian beliefs.

And that led Scotland's Australian interim head coach, Scott Johnson, to select Edinburgh front-row Cross in Murray's place at tight-head prop on Wednesday in the only change to the side that defeated Italy 34-10 at Murrayfield last time out.

Cross will be looking to follow-on from his try-scoring exploits against world champions New Zealand when he last started for his country.

Meanwhile Dougie Hall has recovered from the knee injury he sustained in Scotland's opening defeat by 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 of the South Pacific to undergo shoulder surgery.

Alastair Kellock will become the 34th Scotland player to reach the landmark of 50 caps if he comes off the bench this weekend.

"We have to improve on our last game and that's been our theme at training all week," said Johnson, who once more stressed the importance of Scotland dominating at the breakdown.

"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 head into the weekend's third round of Six Nations matches second behind unbeaten leaders England.

Ireland, fourth in the standings after a 12-6 loss at home to England, were due to name their side later on Wednesday.

Teams:

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 (captain), 6 Robert Harley; 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray; 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant

Substitutes: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Jon Welsh, 18 Moray Low, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Max Evans

Ireland:

15 Rob Kearney; 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Keith Earls; 10 Paddy Jackson,9 Conor Murray; 8 Jamie Heaslip (captain), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony; 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan; 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ronan O'Gara, 23 Luke Fitzgerald

Read more on:    six nations  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will win the 2016 Six Nations title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.