Six Nations: Scotland give Grant Gilchrist late call-up to replace Richie Gray

Grant Gilchrist will partner Richie's brother Jonny Gray in the second row
Grant Gilchrist will partner Richie's brother Jonny Gray in the second row
Six Nations: Scotland v Italy
Venue: BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 18 March Kick-off: 12:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland 810MW & BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra, plus live text commentary via the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app

Edinburgh forward Grant Gilchrist will start for Scotland against Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday after Richie Gray failed to recover fully from a hamstring injury.

His club-mate Ross Ford replaces Fraser Brown at hooker.

Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour and Ryan Wilson are named despite suffering head knocks in the heavy loss to England.

Finn Russell and Huw Jones are also in the starting XV, having been injury doubts from last weekend.

Richie Gray had been named in the Scotland starting line-up on Thursday but has now been deemed not fit enough for head coach Vern Cotter's last match in charge as Scotland seek a third home win of the tournament.

Gilchrist was not in the original list of substitutes and comes in to the team ahead of Tim Swinson, who remains on the bench.

The Scots, who beat Ireland and Wales, have not managed three Six Nations victories since 2006.

Italy are without a win in the competition since their 2015 visit to Edinburgh.

Brown was cleared to play after he was cited for the tackle on Elliot Daly that led to a second-minute yellow card in the record 61-21 defeat at Twickenham.

However, he drops to the bench for the first time in this season's tournament, with Ford winning his 107th cap from the start.

The inclusion of Hogg, Seymour and Wilson remains subject to the Glasgow trio completing the progressive head injury protocol.

Gloucester centre Matt Scott is called up to the replacements following injury to Mark Bennett, with regular captain Greig Laidlaw, Duncan Taylor, Alasdair Dickinson, WP Nel, Josh Strauss and John Hardie also on the sidelines.

Cotter, who has been with Scotland for three years, will be replaced by Glasgow Warriors' Gregor Townsend in the summer, with the 55-year-old New Zealander moving on to take over at French Top 14 club Montpellier.

"Matches between Scotland and Italy have always been tough affairs," said Cotter. "We have a lot of respect for them and feel they have been improving throughout the competition.

"They showed in this campaign they can be innovative, so preparation has been key to ensuring we put in a good performance. We have to be ready for anything."

Scotland: Hogg; Seymour, Jones, Dunbar, Visser; Russell, Price; Reid, Ford, Fagerson, Gilchrist, J Gray, Barclay (capt), Watson, Wilson.

Replacements: Brown, Berghan, Du Preez, Weir, Dell, Swinson, Pyrgos, Scott.

Six Nations table

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