Friday 24 November 2017

Cross to start for Scotland

Scotland have made one change to their starting line-up for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon decider with Italy.

Geoff Cross was named to start at tighthead prop with Kelly Brown retained at number eight despite suffering concussion against England.

Scotland enter the final match of the tournament seeking a first win after defeats to France, Wales, Ireland and last Sunday's 22-16 defeat to England.

Cross impressed off the bench at Twickenham and has been included for his fifth cap, but his first start for two years, completing an all-Edinburgh front row alongside Allan Jacobsen and hooker Ross Ford, who has retained his place despite a misfiring lineout performance against England.

Moray Low has dropped out of the matchday 22 altogether, with British and Irish Lions prop Euan Murray named on the bench after being unavailable for the Sunday matches against Ireland and England.

Brown, who was carried off on a stretcher at Twickenham, has been named at number eight and will continue to be monitored under concussion protocols.

Head coach Andy Robinson said: "We have chosen Geoff at tighthead prop as he made a good impact when he was introduced on Sunday in both set-piece and open play.

"We have been watching Geoff's performances very closely since the A international win against the Irish at Netherdale back in January and he fully deserves this chance."

Italy defeated France last Saturday and Scotland must win to avoid finishing bottom of the Six Nations table for the first time since 2007.

Robinson added: "We know from our own experience that Italy are formidable opponents, especially at the Stadio Flaminio, and our focus this week is on stepping up our performance on our home soil and producing a hard-nosed, complete 80-minute display that the players are capable of delivering and that will give our supporters something to cheer."

Press Association

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