Hook to start at No 10

James Hook will wear Wales’ fabled number 10 shirt for the first time in almost two years on Saturday - and he does not intend to disappoint.

Wales coach Warren Gatland admits he has made “a brave call” in handing Hook the playmaker’s role against RBS 6 Nations opponents Scotland at Murrayfield.

Hook’s first fly-half start at any level of rugby this season comes with 96 times-capped Stephen Jones still shaking off the effects of a bang to his neck received in an attempted tackle on England full-back Ben Foden four days ago.

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Jones, who missed training yesterday and today, will be on the bench in Edinburgh, with two other changes following the defeat against England seeing Lee Byrne restored at full-back instead of Hook and Ryan Jones replacing injured number eight Andy Powell.

Hook, 25, is viewed in the mould of gifted Wales fly-half predecessors like Barry John, Phil Bennett and Jonathan Davies, a genial game-breaker whose selection will see glasses raised in rugby clubhouses from Anglesey to Abergavenny.

But the pressure is now on to perform, steering Wales through a testing Murrayfield mission against a Scotland side making giant strides under Andy Robinson’s coaching direction.

“The most important thing is we perform as a team in Scotland,” said Ospreys star Hook, who will win his 49th cap.

“I believe in my own ability. I know what I can do, and if I have that belief and confidence in the players around me as well, there is no reason why we can’t do well.”