Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Weir in from the start for Scotland

Duncan Weir, pictured, replaces Ruaridh Jackson as he makes his first start for Scotland on Saturday

Glasgow stand-off Duncan Weir will make his first start for Scotland in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Wales at Murrayfield.

Weir, whose three previous caps have been won from the bench, replaces his club-mate Ruaridh Jackson in the pivotal position, while Euan Murray returns to the side after missing last month's 12-8 win over Ireland on religious grounds.

Weir said: "It's a moment I'll cherish and hopefully I can do the coaches justice for giving me the start."

Former British and Irish Lion and devout Christian Murray sat out the triumph over Declan Kidney's men for religious reasons, but Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson has restored him to his starting line-up at the tighthead berth with Geoff Cross moving to the bench.

Meanwhile, Ryan Wilson, the 23-year-old Glasgow Warriors number eight who was man of the match in Scotland A's victory over England Saxons last month, is also introduced to a match-day 23 for the first time. Wilson is named instead of David Denton who sustained a knee injury when playing for Edinburgh against Scarlets at the weekend.

Johnson said: "Selection is tough just now but that's a good thing as we increase competition for places. Duncan did well when he came on against Ireland and he got some decent game time for Glasgow at the weekend. He's a talent with a really good work ethic and a thirst to improve, which I like a lot.

"Ruaridh remains a key part of our squad but he knows with Tom Heathcote proving a match-winner for Bath and kicking goals from here, there and everywhere, that he needs to up his game too. Geoff Cross was a standout against Ireland and it's up to Euan, who fronted up big time against Italy, to raise the bar again."

Scotland team: S Hogg (Glasgow); S Maitland (Glasgow), S Lamont (Glasgow), M Scott (Edinburgh), T Visser (Edinburgh); D Weir (Glasgow), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh); R Grant (Glasgow), R Ford (Edinburgh), E Murray (Worcester), R Gray (Sale), J Hamilton (Gloucester), R Harley (Glasgow), K Brown (Saracens), J Beattie (Montpellier).

Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow), M Low (Glasgow), G Cross (Edinburgh), A Kellock (Glasgow), R Wilson (Glasgow), H Pyrgos (Glasgow), R Jackson (Glasgow), M Evans (Castres).

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