Ireland v Scotland
Hogg among four Scottish changes
ESPN Staff
January 29, 2014
Lions fly-half Stuart Hogg carves his way through the Combined Country defence, Combined Country XV v British & Irish Lions, Hunter Stadium, Newcastle, June 11, 2013
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

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