Geoff Cross replaces Euan Murray in Scotland team to face Ireland

Last Updated: 21/02/13 11:08am

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Geoff Cross: Returns to Scotland side against Ireland

Geoff Cross: Returns to Scotland side against Ireland

Sky Bet

Prop Geoff Cross is the only change to the Scotland side for the Six Nations clash with Ireland on Sunday.

The Edinburgh front-rower comes in for Euan Murray, who is unavailable for the Murrayfield clash because of his Christian faith.

There are further changes on the replacements' bench where hooker Dougie Hall is recalled after recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the Calcutta Cup defeat against England.

Hall's Glasgow team-mate Jon Welsh wins a place on the bench as prop cover, returning to the 23-man squad for the first time since last summer's tour to the South Pacific.

"I make no apology for saying again that we have to step up our work in the contact area."
Scott Johnson

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

"I make no apology for saying again that we have to step up our work in the contact area. We have 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: Hogg; Maitland, Lamont, Scott, Visser; Jackson, Laidlaw; Grant, Ford, Cross; Gray, Hamilton; Harley, Brown (capt), Beattie.

Replacements: Hall, Welsh, Low, Kellock, Denton, Pyrgos, Weir, Evans.

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