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Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Hamilton wins Scotland lock role

Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 14 March Kick-off: 1700 GMT
Coverage: BBC One, BBC Red Button, BBC Radio Scotland, Radio 5 Live, BBC HD and BBC Sport website , BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website

Jim Hamilton in training this week
Hamilton has returned to training following injury

Jim Hamilton will replace Ally Kellock in Scotland's second row for Saturday's Six Nations meeting with Ireland.

Coach Frank Hadden had delayed selection after Hamilton and fellow lock Nathan Hines returned to training.

And Hines, who had been expected to miss the whole competition through injury, wins a place among the replacements at Murrayfield.

Alasdair Dickinson had already replaced injured prop Allan Jacobsen, while Jason White will be alongside Hamilton.

Hamilton's partnership with White was disrupted by the shoulder injury suffered during the opening exchanges of the defeat by France in Paris last month, while Hines has had a knee injury since January.

But Hadden said: "Both Jim Hamilton and Nathan Hines have emerged unscathed from a tough couple of days' training and Jim will be in the starting line-up with Nathan on the bench.

"We are delighted to have players of this quality available to us but equally delighted that Alastair Kellock made it such a difficult decision for us by the quality of his performance against Italy."

Hadden had previously announced that Scotland's record points scorer, Chris Paterson, will make his first Six Nations start of the season.

To be honest, I never really did much in the Italy game

Scotland full-back Chris Paterson

Paterson returns at full-back to replace Hugo Southwell for the encounter at Murrayfield.

"I've been impressed with Chris Paterson's attitude in this championship.

"As ever, he's been the model professional, getting on with his job and he deserves the opportunity to start on this occasion."

Paterson himself admitted he is not sure what he had done to justify his recall to the side.

"To be honest, I never really did much in the Italy game," he said.

"The second half especially was quite quiet. I think that everyone across the board thought that.

"Two very good tries but, outside that, there wasn't really a flow to the game, and I was really disappointed after that game because I thought, 'Individually, what did you contribute? You never did a huge amount'."

The game appears to have come too soon for Rory Lamont, who like Hines has missed the Six Nations campaign so far through injury, to be considered at full-back and Edinburgh's Nick De Luca is named on the bench.

Defence coach Graham Steadman said: "The fact Rory is training with us this week is a boost. It's massive to have these experienced, quality players available."

Paterson set to make Six Nations start

The Scots are looking to build on the 26-6 victory over the Italians but have not beaten the Irish, the unbeaten championship leaders, in the Six Nations since 2001.

A continued problem for the Scots has been conceding cheap penalties at crucial stages of matches, with only poor kicking from the Welsh and French sparing Frank Hadden's men from heavier defeats.

Steadman believes eradicating this could be key to a positive result with Irish fly-half Ronan O'Gara a regular points scorer against them from the boot.

"It's a stat I'm not too happy with, the fact we have conceded 38 penalties, compared to their 20. Off the back of that, 22 were kickable offences within range," he added.

"Thankfully, Jones and the French guy Beauxis had a bit of an off-day. We were the better team in France and indiscipline cost us.

"It's something we have certainly got to tighten up on.

"Although Ronan O'Gara has not been kicking too well in his previous three games, he was the difference two years back at Murrayfield. He kicked everything and Ireland walked away with the Triple Crown."

Scotland: Chris Paterson (Edinburgh), Simon Danielli (Ulster) Max Evans (Glasgow), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow), Thom Evans (Glasgow), Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Mike Blair (Edinburgh, capt); Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Northampton), Jim Hamilton (Edinburgh), Jason White (Sale), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), John Barclay (Glasgow), Simon Taylor (Stade Francais).
Replacements: Dougie Hall (Glasgow), Moray Low (Glasgow), Nathan Hines (Perpignan), Scott Gray (Northampton), Chris Cusiter (Perpignan), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh).

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see also
Scotland 26-6 Italy
28 Feb 09 |  Scottish
Blair delight at improving Scots
03 Mar 09 |  Scottish
Hines may miss all of Six Nations
12 Feb 09 |  Scottish
France 22-13 Scotland
14 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Scotland 13-26 Wales
08 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union

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