Duncan Weir, the 21-year-old Glasgow Warriors stand-off, 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 clubmate Ruaridh Jackson in the pivotal position. Weir told www.scottishrugby.org: “It’s a moment I’ll cherish and hopefully I can do the coaches justice for giving me the start.” The other change to the initial line-up from the team that defeated Ireland last month sees the 2009 British and Irish Lion, Euan Murray, return to the tighthead berth with Geoff Cross moving to the bench.
Ryan Wilson, the 23-year-old Glasgow Warriors No 8 who has led his club on three occasions this season and who was captain and man of the match in Scotland A’s victory over England Saxons last month, is 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 Rugby against Scarlets in the RaboDirect PRO12 at the weekend.
Scotland interim head coach Scott 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.
“Wales will be going for their fifth successive away victory in the championship and that would be a record for them but our focus is on ensuring we win the contact zone, continue to improve and make it three wins on the bounce.”
Scotland team (sponsor RBS) to play Wales in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Murrayfield on Saturday 9 March (kick-off 2.30pm)
15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) 13 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
14 Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps, 1 try, 5 points
13 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 74 caps, 9 tries, 45 points
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 10 caps, 1 try, 5 points
11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby) 8 caps, 5 tries, 25 points
10 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps, 1 conversion, 2 points
9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) vice-captain, 16 caps, 2 tries, 16 conversions and 30 penalties, 132 points
1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) vice-captain, 8 caps
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 66 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) 51 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
4 Richie Gray (Sale Sharks) 30 caps, 1 try, 5 points
5 Jim Hamilton (Gloucester) 44 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Robert Harley (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps, 1 try, 5 points
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) captain, 55 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
8 Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier) 19 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
16 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors) 41 caps, 1 try, 5 points
17 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 17 caps
18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 19 caps, 1 try, 5points
19 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) 50 caps, 1 try, 5 points
20 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps, 1 try, 5 points
22 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 18 caps, 2 conversions, 2 penalties, 2 drop-goals, 16 points
23 Max Evans (Castres) 34 caps, 3 tries, 15 points
Unavailable through injury: Chris Cusiter and Chris Fusaro (both Glasgow Warriors), David Denton, Grant Gilchrist and Ross Rennie (all Edinburgh Rugby).
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa). Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand) and Lourens Van Der Merwe (South Africa). TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy).
Weir’s reaction on selection to the starting team