Scotland have awarded a first cap to 26-year-old Edinburgh tight-head prop Geoff Cross as they begin their 2009 RBS 6 Nations Championship campaign against Wales at Murrayfield on Sunday.
Cross, a qualified doctor, who becomes Scotland's 1012th internationalist, is one of six changes from the team that started Scotland's last match, the 41-0 victory over Canada, with Hugo Southwell, Graeme Morrison, Sean Lamont, Jason White and Allister Hogg - who have 207 caps between them - all returning.
White, who will be winning his 70th cap, was introduced at lock during the Calcutta Cup win against England last year and has impressed in the boiler-house for his club Sale.
Ben Cairns, who made his debut on the tour of Argentina last summer, will make his first Six Nations appearance.
Scotland 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."
On the selection of Geoff Cross, Hadden reflected: "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."
Neither Euan Murray (rib) nor Nathan Hines (knee) could be considered for Sunday's match. Scotland 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 for next week."
Scotland team (sponsor Murray) to play Wales in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Murrayfield on Sunday 8 February, kick-off 3pm
15 Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh) 14 Simon Webster (Edinburgh) 13 Ben Cairns (Edinburgh) 12 Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors) 11 Sean Lamont (Northampton Saints) 10 Phil Godman (Edinburgh) 9 Mike Blair (Edinburgh) CAPTAIN
1 Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh) 2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh) 3 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh)* 4 Jason White (Sale Sharks) 5 Jim Hamilton (Edinburgh) 6 Allister Hogg (Edinburgh) 7 John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors) 8 Simon Taylor (Stade Francais)
16 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors) 17 Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester) 18 Kelly Brown (Glasgow Warriors) 19 Scott Gray (Northampton Saints) 20 Chris Cusiter (Perpignan) 21 Chris Paterson (Edinburgh) 22 Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors)
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams looks back on the Rio Sevens success where he helped GB win silver. He believes the successful campaign is a huge boost to his Welsh squad as they prepare for another World Series, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will be heading back home to take on the All Blacks next year where for him, success for 2017 is all about going to New Zealand and winning a Test Series.
Last week all roads led to Eugene Cross Park where defending champions Ebbw Vale hosted this season's launch of the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie was there to capture the thoughts of Damien Hudd, captain of Ebbw Vale, and WRU Head of Performance, Geraint John.
Llandovery made it three in a row when they defeated Aberavon in the final of the National Foster's 7s at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday. On another eventful day of sevens, Newport claimed the Plate and the Dragons won the women's crown
Last week saw Cardiff welcome players from around the world for the 21st Golden Oldies Festival. The tournament features players over 35 years of age, and this year's event saw a select few represent the WRU in a 'friendly' against the Wooden Spoon.
Wales Under 18 captain Callum Bradbury is delighted to have seen his side claim a narrow 18-17 victory against a strong SA Schools 'A' side to end the three-match Under 19 International Series in South Africa on a high note.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.