Edinburgh’s Geoff Cross has been brought in to Scotland’s starting XV as they take on Italy in the last round of the Six Nations on Saturday at Murrayfield. The 28-year-old prop is making his first international start for two years and winning his fifth cap, replacing Moray Low, who has been dropped from the 22. Euan Murray, who has been unavailable for selection for the last two rounds as he refuses to play in Sunday matches on religious grounds, is named on the bench in the battle of the wooden spoon.
Kelly Brown is recovering well from his collision with England’s Matt Banahan on Sunday, and is named at No 8 alongside Nathan Hines at 6 and John Barclay at 7 in an unchanged back row.
Head coach Andy Robinson said: “We have chosen Geoff at tight-head prop as he made a good impact when he was introduced on Sunday in both setpiece and open play.
“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.”
Robinson also reiterated his team’s determination to record their first win of the year against an Italian side on a high after their victory over France. He continued: “We know from our own experience that Italy are formidable opponents, 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.”
Scotland team to face Italy:
Chris Paterson; Max Evans, Joe Ansbro, Sean Lamont, Simon Danielli; Ruaridh Jackson, Rory Lawson; Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, Al Kellock (captain), Nathan Hines, John Barclay, Kelly Brown.
Scott Lawson, Euan Murray, Richie Vernon, Alasdair Strokosch, Mike Blair, Dan Parks, Nick De Luca
Tickets for Scotland v Italy are still on sale! They start at £15 (students/under-18s) and £30 (adults). You can buy online at www.scottishrugby.org or on the 24-hour hotline 0844 335 3933 until 12 midnight on Friday. Tickets can also be bought in person from the Ticket Centre at Murrayfield, open 9am-8pm til Friday. There are no ticket sales on match days.