Cross, who scored a try against New Zealand in his last start for Scotland, is the only change from the team that began the 34-10 victory over Italy earlier this month.
Cross replaces Euan Murray, the Worcester tight-head, who is unavailable for this weekend as a result of his Christian faith.
Meanwhile on the bench, Dougie Hall has recovered from the knee injury he sustained against England and is restored as replacement hooker.
His Glasgow Warriors team-mate, prop Jon Welsh, also wins a place on the bench, his first involvement in a matchday 23 since he returned home early from last summer's tour to the South Pacific to undergo shoulder surgery.
Alastair Kellock will become the 34th Scot to reach the landmark of 50 caps for his country if he is introduced to the action from the bench.
Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson said: "We have to improve on our last game and that's been our theme at training all week.
"I make no apology for saying again that we have to step up our work in the contact area.
"Yes, we've some talented athletes in the squad , but we have to give them the opportunities.
"It's good to see players challenging for selection - and there are a number consistently putting their hands up, which is exactly what we want to see."