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Hogg back for Scotland’s 6 Nations opener

January 29, 2014

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Scotland’s attacking options have been boosted by the return of fullback Stuart Hogg for the country’s opening Six Nations match against Ireland on Sunday.

Hogg, who toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions last year, missed the autumn internationals because of injury but was back in the team Wednesday as part of four personnel changes to Scotland’s starting XV for the match in Dublin.

Fellow Lion Sean Maitland moves from No. 15 to the wing to accommodate Hogg, who was voted as the third best player in last year’s Six Nations — when Scotland surprisingly finished in third place.

Elsewhere, Alex Dunbar was preferred to Nick De Luca at center, Tim Swinson was called up to the second row in place of Grant Gilchrist and Ryan Wilson usurped Johnnie Beattie at blindside flanker.

A strong Scotland bench includes lock Richie Gray, scrumhalf Chris Cusiter and winger Max Evans.

Scotland hasn’t won its opening match in the tournament since 2006.

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Team:

Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Alex Dunbar, Duncan Taylor, Sean Lamont, Duncan Weir, Greig Laidlaw; David Denton, Kelly Brown, Ryan Wilson, Jim Hamilton, Tim Swinson, Moray Low, Ross Ford, Ryan Grant. Reserves: Pat MacArthur, Alasdair Dickinson, Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, Johnnie Beattie, Chris Cusiter, Matt Scott, Max Evans.

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