Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross was today handed his Scotland debut for the RBS 6 Nations opener against Wales after Euan Murray failed to recover from injury.
Northampton star Murray (rib) has been unable to train all week and did not make the 22 for Sunday’s clash at Murrayfield.
Perpignan lock Nathan Hines (knee) is also injured, meaning Sale’s Jason White - nominally a flanker - will start in the second row.
There is no place in the side for record points-scorer Chris Paterson, who is on the bench.
Edinburgh team-mate Hugo Southwell starts at full-back instead.
Simon Webster keeps his place on the right wing, with Glasgow’s Thom Evans not even making the 22.
Head coach Frank Hadden said: “I have been referring recently to the growing strength in depth of the Scotland squad.
“The quality of the side we’ve chosen to play Wales is an excellent example of that.”
Of Cross’ selection at tight-head in an all-Edinburgh front row, Hadden added: “Geoff first joined the squad during our tour of Argentina last summer, and we have every confidence in him.
“Having waited patiently through five games, it’s great that he now has this opportunity.”
Of Murray and Hines’ unavailability, team doctor James Robson said: “They continue to make slow but steady progress.
“It’s too early at this stage to give an accurate prognosis of whether they will be available for selection next week.”
Scotland team to play Wales in RBS 6 Nations at Murrayfield on Sunday February 8 (kick-off 3pm):
H Southwell (Edinburgh); S Webster (Edinburgh), B Cairns (Edinburgh), G Morrison (Glasgow), S Lamont (Northampton); P Godman, M Blair (capt); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), J White (Sale), J Hamilton (Edinburgh), A Hogg (Edinburgh), S Taylor (Stade Francais), J Barclay (Glasgow).
Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow), A Dickinson (Gloucester), K Brown (Glasgow), S Gray (Northampton), C Cusiter (Perpignan), C Paterson (Edinburgh), M Evans (Glasgow).Reuse content