EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scotland made one enforced change to the team that beat Italy two weeks ago for the visit of Ireland in the Six Nations had tighthead prop Euan Murray, who doesn't play on Sundays for religious reasons, replaced by Geoff Cross.
Cross, who scored a try against New Zealand on his last start, was the only change to the side that beat Italy 34-10 at Murrayfield. In the reserves, hooker Dougie Hall was back after recovering from injuring his knee in the opening loss to England, and prop Jon Welsh was called in for his first spot in a matchday 23 since he came home from the June tour of the South Pacific and needed shoulder surgery.
"I make no apology for saying again that we have to step up our work in the contact area," interim coach Scott Johnson said. "Yes, we've some talented athletes in the squad, but we have to give them the opportunities.
"We've kept changes to a minimum and are saying to the players: 'You've won one game. Now go out show us you can win another.'"
Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Sean Lamont, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw; Johnnie Beattie, Kelly Brown (captain), Robert Harley, Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray, Geoff Cross, Ross Ford, Ryan Grant. Reserves: Dougie Hall, Jon Welsh, Moray Low, Alastair Kellock, David Denton, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Max Evans.