Scotland coach Andy Robinson makes changes for Italy Test

Scotland v Italy

Venue:
Murrayfield
Date:
Saturday 20 August
Kick-off:
1700 BST
Coverage:
Live on BBC Two Scotland from 1645 BST, Radio Scotland 92-95 FM and online
Scotland centre Graeme Morrison
Morrison is the sole survivor from the team that beat Ireland two weeks ago

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has made major changes to the side that defeated Ireland for Saturday's visit of Italy.

Centre Graeme Morrison is the only survivor from the XV that started against the Irish earlier this month.

The Test is Scotland's final warm-up match ahead of Monday's World Cup squad announcement.

And Robinson has told players that there is still a chance to make his final 30-man squad for New Zealand.

"We have made 14 changes from the team that started against Ireland as we want to give those players who have been working very hard in training the opportunity to put that into practice in Saturday's Test match against Italy," he said.

"It was encouraging to emerge with a win against Ireland and also that our defence did not yield a try.

"Our ambition and the way we wanted to play was really pleasing.

"Particularly the first 25 minutes our shape was really good.

"We lost our way a little bit in the second half but great to be able to score a try right at the end of the game and to be able to close the game out."

But Robinson is wary of an improving Italian side at Murrayfield on Saturday

"As ever, our aim is to improve on that last showing and I believe that Italy will prove ideal opponents ahead of our opening Rugby World Cup matches against Romania and Georgia," Robison said.

"Historically Scotland have found Italy very tough opponents and it was no surprise to us that they achieved one of the results of the Six Nations Championship earlier this year when they accounted for France in Rome.

"We knew we had to be at our best when we faced them next up after their success against France and I was pleased with the way our forwards in particular fronted up at set piece back in March."

Edinburgh centre Nick De Luca, who scored Scotland's first try in the 21-8 Six Nations win over the Italians, will start after impressing off the bench in the 10-6 victory over Ireland, with Simon Danielli and Rory Lamont also returning to the line-up.

Glasgow captain Alastair Kellock will skipper the side, with Edinburgh's Mike Blair as vice-captain.

Kellock is joined in the second row by the experienced Nathan Hines, while Chris Cusiter and Euan Murray, having recovered from injury, begin on the bench.

Centre Ben Cairns, prop Ryan Grant and flanker Rob Harley are the only men in Robinson's provisional 38-man squad not to be included in the warm-up matches and are therefore highly unlikely to make the final cut.

Scotland: R Lamont (Toulon), M Evans (Castres), N De Luca (Edinburgh), G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), S Danielli (Ulster), D Parks (Cardiff Blues), M Blair (Edinburgh), A Dickinson (Sale Sharks), S Lawson (Gloucester), M Low (Glasgow Warriors), N Hines (Clermont Ferrand), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), K Brown (Saracens), R Vernon (Sale Sharks), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors)

Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow Warriors), E Murray (Newcastle Falcons), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), R Rennie (Edinburgh), C Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), N Walker (Ospreys)

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