Six Nations 2015: Sean Lamont and Geoff Cross return for Scotland
Head coach Vern Cotter makes two changes to his starting XV to take on Wales in their first home match of the championship
Sean Lamont and Geoff Cross have been recalled for Scotland’s first home match of the Six Nations against Wales on Sunday.
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has made two enforced changes to the starting XV that lined up against France in Paris last Saturday.
There’s a huge amount of determination in this group to improve, with the challenge now to go one step further and deliver a winning performance for our home fans at a full BT Murrayfield.
Lamont has recovered from a calf problem to replace injured Glasgow Warriors team-mate Tommy Seymour on the right wing, while London Irish tighthead prop Cross replaces Euan Murray, who sits out on account of his religious beliefs.
Warriors tighthead prop Jon Welsh is promoted to the bench to take Cross’s place, while Edinburgh centre Matt Scott is preferred to Dougie Fife, despite the Edinburgh winger coming off the bench in the first half to replace Seymour and score the only try in the 15-8 defeat.
Edinburgh stand-off Greig Tonks is also promoted to the bench in place of Glasgow Warriors stand-off Peter Horne, who has returned to his club to start at 10 for their Guinness PRO12 match against at Zebre on Sunday.
“Last weekend’s performance, in terms of line-breaks and heart, was encouraging,” Cotter said.
“We defended well and our lineout, scrum and defence stood up to a very stern French assessment.
“I’m pleased we were in a situation to contest the match throughout, but we left the paddock very frustrated and disappointed that we didn’t get more from the game – and I think that’s a good measure of this squad.
“There’s a huge amount of determination in this group to improve, with the challenge now to go one step further and deliver a winning performance for our home fans at a full BT Murrayfield.
“The boys love playing at home. The fans were outstanding throughout the autumn and we’re looking forward to getting back out there, pulling on the jersey, rolling up our sleeves and having a good crack at a powerful Welsh side.”
Wales were forced to make a late change to their starting XV on Friday after tighthead prop Samson Lee failed to come through his return to play protocols.
His place is taken by Ospreys’ prop Aaron Jarvis, who is promoted from the bench, with Cardiff Blues’ Scott Andrews coming on to the bench.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby); Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Gloucester Rugby, captain); Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Geoff Cross (London Irish), Richie Gray (Castres), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Cowan (London Irish), Johnnie Beattie (Castres).
Replacements: Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors), Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Saracens), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan); Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby), Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby).
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon); Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Liam Williams (Scarlets); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys); Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets).