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Scotland forced to make 2 changes for Wales match

Updated: February 08, 2012, 08:59


EDINBURGH, Scotland(AP) Scotland coach Andy Robinson has been forced to make two changes to his team for Sunday's Six Nations match against Wales in Cardiff.

Flyhalf Greig Laidlaw will start a test for the first time in place of Dan Parks, who retired from international rugby three days after Scotland's opening defeat to England. Geoff Cross has been recalled to replace tighthead Euan Murray, who does not play on Sundays because of religious reasons.

Chris Cusiter keeps his place at scrumhalf and former captain Mike Blair remains on the bench.

Laidlaw made his third appearance as a replacement when Parks was replaced an hour into England's 13-6 win at Murrayfield. Parks' charged down kick led to the only try of the game for England.

"Congratulations to Greig on his first start,'' Robinson said. "He is a gifted footballer, who is acclimatizing very well to the differing demands of the stand-off position from having spent most of his career at scrumhalf.

"Having lost last weekend, I believe the time is right to move on and look to develop our emerging talent at stand-off.''

Robinson called three uncapped players into the reserves with prop Ed Kalman, flyhalf Duncan Weir and fullback Stuart Hogg. Weir and Hogg both scored in the Scotland A side's 35-0 win against England's second-tier side last week.

"I've always stressed the importance of the A team and the part that both Duncan Weir and Stuart Hogg played in the game at Netherdale last week is another reason for my continued excitement and belief in Scottish rugby,'' Robinson said.

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Scotland: Rory Lamont, Lee Jones, Nick De Luca, Sean Lamont, Max Evans, Greig Laidlaw, Chris Cusiter; David Denton, Ross Rennie, Alasdair Strokosch, Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray, Geoff Cross, Ross Ford, Allan Jacobsen. Reserves: Scott Lawson, Ed Kalman, Alastair Kellock, John Barclay, Mike Blair, Duncan Weir, Stuart Hogg.

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