6 February 2009, 5:25 pm
Scotland v Wales
Scotland head coach Frank Hadden went into this year's RBS 6 Nations proclaiming he had the strongest squad of his near four-year tenure.
As if to demonstrate his point, he has left out his country’s record points-scorer and arguably his biggest try-scoring threat for Sunday’s opening game against Wales.
The decision to omit full-back Chris Paterson and wing Thom Evans has been the main talking point since the team was announced, and should the move backfire, Hadden can expect to take plenty of flak.
He will also be hoping his experimental pack holds its own after being robbed of star tighthead Euan Murray and lock Nathan Hines.
Geoff Cross makes his debut at prop, while Jason White plays in the second row despite having spent almost his entire career as a flanker.
Wales suffered a late blow to their plans when Gavin Henson was ruled out of the trip to Murrayfield after succumbing to a calf strain suffered during training.
Henson will be replaced in the starting line-up by Tom Shanklin, who forges an all-Cardiff Blues midfield partnership alongside Jamie Roberts, with Roberts moving from outside to inside centre.
Scrum-half Mike Phillips is back in the fold after missing the summer tour of South Africa and the autumn internationals.
Leigh Halfpenny, meanwhile, makes his RNS 6 Nations debut on the wing.
The starting XV features five survivors from Wales’ last Murrayfield trip two years ago which resulted in a 21-9 defeat - captain Ryan Jones, fly-half Stephen Jones, prop Adam Jones, lock Alun-Wyn Jones and flanker Martyn Williams.