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)
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.