Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson insists Euan Murray deserves his recall after standing aside for faith reasons.
But Johnson has warned Murray that he now faces a challenge for his place in the team.
The Worcester tighthead missed last month's RBS 6 Nations triumph over Ireland as his devout Christian belief, which means he refuses to play on Sundays, saw him hand the number three jersey to Geoff Cross.
Murray's Edinburgh rival put in a strong display against Declan Kidney's team, but it was not enough to keep his place.
Johnson today confirmed he has chosen to restore Murray to his starting XV for this Saturday's fixture against Wales at Murrayfield.
Johnson, though, insists Murray's form in the team's previous 34-10 success against Italy merits another opportunity.
The Australian coach said: "Euan coming back was a difficult decision for us in the fact that Geoff played so well.
"But Euan is a quality player and the previous (game against Italy) he was exceptional for us. However, that's great for Scotland as it now shows we have got competition for spaces that we probably didn't think we had.
"This gives Euan the first right of reply. We are expecting him to stand up."
Johnson made one other tweak to his starting line-up as he dropped Ruaridh Jackson to the bench, promoting Glasgow team-mate Duncan Weir to stand-off instead.
The head coach admitted that the swap came after another long discussion with his back-room staff, but he believes a spirited substitute display by Weir in the 12-8 Ireland success proves he is now ready for his first start.
Johnson said: "With regards to number 10, we thought long and hard about it. We said the last time that a victory doesn't automatically mean that you don't change the side.
"Duncan provides a different skill set that Jacko doesn't. So when we looked at the opposition we are playing and what we probably need to do to win the game, we thought it was an opportune time to change.
"He [Weir] got himself involved when he came on against Ireland but so he should. Comparing coming on from the bench to starting the game is not apples for apples. It's different. They are two different games.
"Yes he showed great qualities. And it's not that we are unhappy with Jacko, it's just that the skill set of one applies to this game more than the other.
"So it gives us an opportune time to have a look at Duncan. It's his first run-out and let's see how we go. It's great for the depth of the squad."
The only other change to Johnson's match-day 23 is the introduction of Scotland A skipper Ryan Wilson as replacement number eight, with the 23-year-old coming in for the injured David Denton.
And again the coach insists the Glasgow forward has earned his promotion to the full squad.
"We are pleased with Ryan's progress," Johnson said. "This is his reward for good regional form. That's what we want to stand for. We want to reward good performances each and every week.
"I think he fits into that category. He's been there or thereabouts in the squad. The form of the two in front of him we have been quite happy with, so he's had to bide his time. But it's an opportunity for him. Now he's got to transform the form from regional rugby into Test match rugby.
"We think he is one for the future, but unfortunately for him, the future starts on Saturday."
Saturday's match will see Johnson reacquaint himself with a Wales team that in 2006 he coached on a similar temporary basis to the role he now has with Scotland.
He led the Red Dragons for three games in the Six Nations, ending with a record of one draw and two defeats.
However, the 50-year-old insists his presence at this weekend's reunion should mean little to the outcome of the game.
He said: "I know them and I have coached them and I was fortunate to live in a country that was so good to me.
"But we are not at a stage where we can bog down on the opposition. We have got to focus on us.
"Our last performance showed great endeavour and there was great qualities from a human side. It's hard not to get attached to fellas when they do what they did. It was wonderful.
"But from a rugby point of view we have got to work on some things. To be caught up in the opposition is secondary.
"This is not about me, it's about Scotland v Wales and I'm coaching a 23 now that are wearing blue."
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