Four changes for Guinness Six Nations finale

Four changes for Guinness Six Nations finale

Head coach Gregor Townsend has made four changes to the Scotland starting line-up to play Italy in the final round of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations at BT Murrayfield this Saturday 18 March, kick-off 12:30pm – live on BBC One.

Blair Kinghorn is named at stand-off, with Ollie Smith starting at full-back. Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg are ruled out after sustaining injuries in last week’s game against Ireland.

In the pack, Sam Skinner comes into the second row, with Hamish Watson returning at openside flanker.

Kinghorn will partner Ben White (scrum-half) as part of a back division containing the same centre pairing of Sione Tuipulotu – named as a vice-captain – and Huw Jones for the fifth straight game.

Smith completes a back three that features wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Kyle Steyn, both of whom are also ever present in the 2023 championship.

Captain Jamie Ritchie reverts to blindside flanker to join Watson and No 8 Jack Dempsey in the back row, with Jonny Gray, named again as vice-captain, lining up alongside Skinner in the second row.

Scotland’s front row once more has George Turner at hooker, with loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman and Zander Fagerson (tighthead) joining forces as a unit for the third consecutive match.

Of the replacements, stand-off Ben Healy is in line to make his Scotland debut, with Ali Price and Cameron Redpath – who would make a first outing of this year’s championship – also named.

As potential forward substitutes, Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland and WP Nel represent changes to the matchday squad from the last round, alongside Scott Cummings and Matt Fagerson.

Scotland team to face Italy in the Guinness Six Nations on Saturday 18 March at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, kick-off 12:30pm GMT – live on BBC One

15. Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps
14. Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) 9 caps
13. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) 35 caps
12. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) – Vice-Captain – 15 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) 27 caps

10. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) 42 caps
9. Ben White (London Irish) 13 caps

1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) 20 caps
2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) 34 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 57 caps
4. Sam Skinner (Edinburgh Rugby) 24 caps
5. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – Vice-Captain – 76 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh Rugby) – Captain – 40 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) 56 caps
8. Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) 8 caps


16. Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks) 6 caps
17. Rory Sutherland (Ulster Rugby) 22 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) 53 caps
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) 24 caps
20. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) 32 caps
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) 60 caps
22. Ben Healy (Munster) uncapped
23. Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) 4 caps

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