Wing Kyle Steyn will make his first Six Nations start for Scotland as one of five changes to the run-on XV for Saturday’s match against perennial strugglers Italy in Rome.
Matt Fagerson returns from injury to line up at No 8, while Hamish Watson is also named in the starting XV having missed the 36-17 defeat by Grand Slam-chasing France last time out due to a positive test for coronavirus.
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has also restored centre Sam Johnson and front rower George Turner to the team he announced on Thursday. Ali Price is set to win his 50th cap at the Stadio Olimpico, with the scrumhalf again paired with Finn Russell.
Townsend, a former Scotland playmaker, resisted the temptation to drop Russell following the flyhalf’s below-par display against France.
Scotland – 15 Stuart Hogg (c), 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Kyle Steyn, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Rory Darge, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Subs: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Allan Dell, 18 WP Nel, 19 Jamie Hodgson, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Sione Tuipulotu.
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