Team News: Geoff Cross returns for Scotland

Euan Murray
© PA Photos
Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross replaces Euan Murray for Scotland's Six Nations clash against Ireland at the weekend.

Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross will make his first start of the Six Nations when Scotland face Ireland on Sunday.

Cross has replaced Euan Murray, who misses the match due to religious reasons, but that is the only change to the side that beat Italy at Murrayfield on February 9.

Interim head coach Scott Johnson told BBC Sport: "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'.

"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."

Cross impressed for Scotland in their World Cup warm-up win over Ireland in 2011.

Scotland team: Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Sean Lamont, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw, Ryan Grant, Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Robert Harley, Kelly Brown, Johnnie Beattie

Replacements: Dougie Hall, Jon Welsh, Moray Low, Alastair Kellock, David Denton, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Max Evans

Scotland's Johnnie Beattie during a training session in Glasgow on January 22, 2013
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