Greig Laidlaw in for Parks

Scotland have made two changes to their starting line-up and a further three on the bench for Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Wales in Cardiff.

The alterations in the starting team following last weekend’s Calcutta Cup defeat see a first start for Edinburgh Rugby captain Greig Laidlaw in the number ten shirt, replacing Dan Parks, while his club mate Geoff Cross comes in at tight-head prop for the unavailable Euan Murray.

On the bench, three uncapped players have been called-up, all rewarded for recent form in the colours of both Glasgow Warriors and Scotland A – prop Ed Kalman, 20-year-old stand-off Duncan Weir and 19-year-old full-back Stuart Hogg.  Weir and Hogg both scored fine individual tries in Scotland A’s 35-0 win against their English counterparts last week.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said: “Congratulations to Greig on his first start.  He is a gifted footballer who is acclimatising very well to the differing demands of the stand-off position from having spent most of his career at scrum-half.

“Having lost last weekend, I believe the time is right to move on and look to develop our emerging talent at stand-off. I’ve always stressed the importance of the A team and the part that both Duncan Weir and Stuart Hogg played in the game at Netherdale last week is another reason for my continued excitement and belief in Scottish rugby.”

Laidlaw, 26, nephew of another of Jed-Forest’s favourite sons, the former Scotland and Lions scrum-half, Roy Laidlaw,  has also graduated from the ranks of Scotland A and Scotland 7s.

In the pack, Geoff Cross, who made his debut against Wales three years ago, is promoted from the bench and given the opportunity to display the form that has been such a part of Edinburgh’s run to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup.

Starting XV:
15 Rory Lamont
14 Lee Jones
13 Nick De Luca
12 Sean Lamont
11 Max Evans
10 Greig Laidlaw
9 Chris Cusiter
1 Allan Jacobsen
2 Ross Ford CAPTAIN
3 Geoff Cross
4 Richie Gray
5 Jim Hamilton
6 Alasdair Strokosch
7 Ross Rennie
8 David Denton

Replacements:
16 Scott Lawson
17 Ed Kalman
18 Alastair Kellock
19 John Barclay
20 Mike Blair
21 Duncan Weir
22 Stuart Hogg

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