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)
Despite drawing with Ireland in the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations, Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards believes the championship 'is still in our hands' as he prepares his side to face Scotland at Principality Stadium tomorrow.
Meet the members of the WRU's inaugural Youth Board - after an online selection process which saw a host of high calibre candidates submit video applications the WRU has made its first 15 appointments.The board is made up of individuals aged between 16 and 21, and will meet for the first time at Principality Stadium on Monday 15th February.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose