Scotland change three ahead of Roman rumble

Scotland have made three changes to their forward pack for Saturday’s Six Nations match against Italy in Rome.Teamsheets

The alterations see the 40-times-capped Scott Lawson win the nod over Ross Ford at hooker; Richie Gray brings his considerable presence to the second row instead of Tim Swinson; and Johnnie Beattie lines-up at No.8 with David Denton moving to the bench.

Gray said “I’m delighted to be back. I think I speak for all the players in the fact we’re looking forward to going out and putting in a performance.”

“I was not involved against England but I think the guys were pretty down and they did not manage to show what they can do. So I think this weekend it’s really about showing what we can do,” he added.

Coach Scott Johnson said: “We’ve made the changes to the pack with a view to improving the supply and quality of possession.”

“Italy are formidable opponents, especially in Rome, and Scotland’s matches against them in recent years have been a real arm wrestle.”

“We’re all hurting at the results of the first two games but the players we’ve chosen have the chance to do something that can make our supporters proud this weekend.”

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Moray Low, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 David Denton, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Max Evans.

Date: Saturday, February 22
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome

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