Hogg among four Scottish changes
January 29, 2014
Hogg's return will be a welcome boost for Scott Johnson © Getty Images
British & Irish Lions full back Stuart Hogg is one of four changes from Scotland's autumn defeat to Australia ahead of the trip to Ireland for the Six Nations opener.
His fellow Lion Sean Maitland moves across to the wing to accommodate Hogg at 15, while Alex Dunbar is preferred to Nick de Luca at centre. Other changes from the Australia defeat include Tim Swinson coming in for Grant Gilchrist in the second row to link up with Jim Hamilton in the engine room, while Ryan Wilson replaces Johnnie Beattie at flanker.
Kelly Brown will captain the side, earning his 61st cap in the process. Scott Johnson admits selection was tricky with a number of players in form.
"The forwards especially were a hard pick but we're happy. We believe we've got a good combination to go in against formidable opposition," Johnson said.
"We can go the length with that back three. For a seasoned campaigner Sean Lamont has some leg still. His form over the last 24 months for us has been outstanding, especially his work off the ball. Like something in my wine cabinet he's certainly getting better with age."
Scotland: Hogg; Maitland, Dunbar, Taylor Lamont; Weir, Laidlaw; Denton, Brown, Wilson, Hamilton, Swinson, Low, Ford, Grant
Replacements: MacArthur, Dickinson, Cross, Gray, Beattie, Cusiter, Scott, Evans
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak has been charged with violent conduct for elbowing West Ham's Diafra Sakho, the Football Association has announced
Liverpool have recorded an annual profit for the first time in seven years
Wales captain Sam Warburton is expected to be fit for the vital Six Nations clash with Ireland on March 14
Sunderland have suspended midfielder Adam Johnson pending the outcome of a police investigation, the club announced on Monday
Padraig Harrington won his first PGA Tour event since the 2008 US PGA Championship with a play-off victory over Daniel Berger at the Honda Classic
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
John Terry was visibly emotional during the national anthem in Sunday's League Cup final, but don't get your hopes up - he's not coming back to the England team
The winter is always a time of speculation, but this year the F1 circus will pack its bags for Melbourne with more uncertainty than usual
How many golfers have shot an albatross at the British Open?
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Tyson Fury moved closer to a shot at Wladimir Klitschko's WBO title with Christian Hammer's corner throwing in the towel after the eighth round at the O2 Arena
Sir Bobby Charlton thinks Louis van Gaal was "surprised by the enormity" of Manchester United when he took over as manager last summer
Chris Eubank Jr has called for a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders after stopping Dmitry Chudinov to claim the WBA 'interim' middleweight title at the O2 Arena in London
Brendan Rodgers hailed Philippe Coutinho as "a joy to watch" after the midfielder scored a spectacular winner against Manchester City and claimed it is "frightening" to think what the Brazilian could be worth
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge's fitness must be managed properly so that the striker "doesn't break"
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher marked his return to football punditry by coining a new name for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
We rewind to 2003 when Real Madrid brought a park attitude to their Champions League clash with Manchester United and played out a 4-3 thriller
The tale of the Jamaica bobsled team who triumphed against the odds at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics is embedded in pop culture more than 25 years on, writes Nick Atkin
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Olivier Giroud gets emotional, Dimitar Berbatov is a bit smug, Arsene Wenger is hurting and Rory McIlroy is "p***** off"