Scotland make three changes for Italy

Scott Lawson, Richie Gray and Johnnie Beattie all promoted to starting line-up

 Ireland’s Andrew Trimble tackled by Richie Gray of Scotland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland’s Andrew Trimble tackled by Richie Gray of Scotland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 12:40

Scotland have made three changes to their pack for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Italy in Rome.

The alterations see the 40-times-capped Scott Lawson win the nod over Ross Ford at hooker, Richie Gray brings his 6ft 9ins presence to the second-row instead of Tim Swinson and Johnnie Beattie lines-up at number eight with David Denton moving to the bench.

Gray admitted: “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.”

Head 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 (Glasgow Warriors) 17 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

14 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) 6 caps, 2 tries, 10 points

13 Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps, 1 try, 5 points

12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 18 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

11 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 84 caps, 12 tries, 60 points

10 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 10 caps, 1 try, 2 conversions, 9 points

9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) CAPTAIN 26 caps, 3 tries 23 conversions, 56 penalties, 229 points

1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) 15 caps

2 Scott Lawson (Newcastle Falcons) 40 caps, 2 tries, 10 points

3 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 25 caps

4 Richie Gray (Castres) 34 caps, 1 try, 5 points

5 Jim Hamilton (Montpellier) 52 caps, 1 try, 5 points

6 Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) 6 caps

7 Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors) 1 cap

8 Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier) 28 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

Replacements

16 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 73 caps, 2 tries, 10 points

17 Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) 32 caps, 2 tries, 10 points

18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 25 caps, 1 try, 5 points

19 Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) 5 caps

20 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) 19 caps

21 Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors) 66 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

22 Duncan Taylor (Saracens) 8 caps

23 Max Evans (Castres) 39 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

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