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Live Reporting

Ben Dirs

All times stated are UK

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  1. Player reaction

    France hooker  Benjamin Kayser  told Sky Sports: "England are a very good side, they play very expansive rugby and we did well against them to win like we did. They put us under pressure at the end, but we held out. It came down to tiny differences in the end. I felt we deserved it for the way we played for the first 60 minutes. 

    "It's a big win for us as a team but unfortunately it means nothing in terms of the World Cup. It's going to be very tough in the World Cup and we have to remember and learn from the way we stood strong at the end when the competition comes round."

  2. England head coach Stuart Lancaster

    Lancaster told Sky Sports: "I wouldn't say there were times when players lost their heads, but we looked rusty at times, in contrast to last week when we looked cohesive. That's disappointing because we had some experienced players out there. 

    "We've got to get our discipline at the breakdown, we can't give France easy position like we did. We need to improve on that, because all the little mistakes add up. 

    "The bench made a difference, it upped the energy levels and we scored some good tries. I won't gloss over what went on before that, because it was too little too late. 

    "There are a few players who have given me food for thought, those guys who came on and gave us the energy we needed and made a difference. I need to have a sleep on this game and think about my final squad. We're two weeks away from playing Ireland and four weeks away from Fiji in the World Cup and we'll expect a reaction next time."

    England coach Stuart Lancaster (centre) and his dejected team
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  4. England fly-half George Ford

    Ford told Sky Sports: "I thought we might snatch victory at the end, but we had hardly any ball in the first half, and gave away too many penalties. We played some good stuff in the second half.

    "In the first half a lot of our undoing was down to ourselves. We just weren't good enough in that first half, and there's no excuse for that. We let them build up the score and that made it hard for us. It was frustrating and we had to think of ways to adapt and that was constantly going through our minds. We tried to get ourselves out of a hole.

    "We've got to turn up against Ireland now and make sure that we win. Our basics have got to be world class."

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  6. England captain Chris Robshaw

    Chris Robshaw

    Robshaw told Sky Sports: "In the first half we were shocking with our discipline. We gave too many penalties away, but give us  credit, in the second half we came out and played well but couldn't quite get over the line in the end. We can't give teams like France and other quality sides head starts like we did.

    "Credit to France, they put us under pressure and made us make mistakes. Whether it was rust, or nerves in the first half, I don't know. It wasn't good enough and we've got a big two weeks before the Ireland match, and then looking ahead to the World Cup. 

    "We'll look long and hard at ourselves. We let ourselves down in the first half. We played well in phases but you can't wait for 40 minutes to do that." 

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  8. Full-time

    France 25-20 England

    Food for thought for Ireland fans after tonight's performance by France - they're both in Pool D and their clash in Cardiff on 11 October will probably decide who wins it. The old master Michalak looked pretty decent this evening at fly-half, as did the big man Bastareaud at centre. Huget with a fantastic finish, French forwards rampant at times, all of a sudden the cock has reason to crow.

  9. Full-time

    France 22-20 England

    One man who did himself no harm this evening was Danny Cipriani. He was only on the field for 15 minutes or so but scored a clinical try and looked dangerous every time he had the ball in his hands. Maybe he's done enough to make Lancaster's final squad. But maybe he hasn't...

  10. Ex-England fly-half Paul Grayson on BBC Radio 5 live

    "There's still a hell of a lot to work on for England after that display. I don't know what Danny Cipriani's instructions were when he went on but he was a threat on the ball and gave England an added dimension. He made no mistakes, he scored a try and he was excellent."

  11. Full-time

    France 25-20 England

    There were a couple of layers of gloss in the last 10 minutes from England but you got the sense that France had already parked up. Only five points in it in the end, but England were beasted up front, a mess at the set-piece and never looked like potential World Cup winners until right at the end. Much work to be done.

    Luther Burrell
  12. Full-time

    France 25-20 England

    England having one last go as the clock ticks past 80 minutes, putting phases together and doing what they didn't do for most of the match, looking after the ball. George makes a half-break... Easter goes... Ford now... inside the French 22... coughed up, France kick it out, that's an encouraging night for the hosts and a chastening one for the visitors. 

  13. Try (Joseph)

    France 25-20 England

    It took England 70 minutes, but they're finally in the game. Scrum in the French 22, Twelvetrees butchers the back move with an errant pass. But here comes Joseph, touching down in the left-hand corner... Ford with a fine conversion from the touch-line. Nice move that, Brown with a well-timed pass, Joseph showing a beautiful turn of pace. 

    Jonathan Joseph
  14. France 25-13 England

    Ford finds a good touch from a penalty and England have another good attacking platform. This time George finds his man and England put some phases together. England put-in at the scrum... 

  15. Try (Cipriani)

    France 25-13 England

    Tip your hat to Danny Cipriani, who makes the most of some go-forward from England's pack, takes the ball from Ford, gives a little goose-step and shows good strength to go over for England's first try. Ford kicks the extras, England have a sniff.

    Danny Cipriani
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  17. Ex-England fly-half Paul Grayson on 5 live

    "There's no real structure to the game now as we head towards the final 10 minutes. France know they are going to win and they look very comfortable. England are working hard but they are toiling, and one or two players are now looking pretty leggy."

  18. France 25-6 England

    France giving England nothing here and what they do get, they're managing to chuck away - Care tries to get it away, loses the ball on a boot, which looks like a French one, and it's a knock-on. Off goes Michalak, he's had a good night, to be replaced by Remi Tales of Castres.  

    Joe Marler
  19. France 25-6 England

    Fofana chips through and here comes Brown on the counter. Easter takes a pass from Ford and has a gallop but Joseph kicks it away and France clear their lines. 

  20. Penalty (Michalak)

    France 25-6 England

    La Marseillaise rings out at the Stade de France and it sounds for all the world like it's party time already in Paris. England won't be going, it's early to bed for them after a truly awful performance. If things weren't tough enough for England's forwards, on comes 25 stone prop Atonio. For England, it's time for Danny Cipriani to stake a late claim for a World Cup spot. Although, not much of one. France penalty, and they're going for the posts... over it goes...

  21. France 22-6 England

    This pitch is a shambles, it looks like Aintree after the Grand National out there. It's also quite dangerous for the forwards at scrum-time. Another scrum goes down and the referee asks: "What are we going to do?" Seriously though, it's impossible to get any purchase. Eventually it's an England penalty and here comes replacement scrum-half Danny Care...

    Pitch cutting up
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  23. Ex-England fly-half Paul Grayson on BBC Radio 5 live

    "Having nailed your colours to the mast and started with ostensibly your strongest XV, for them to be this poor, well that poses some big questions for England. If you'd mixed the team, then you could have had some leeway, but these guys have played lots of matches together. Not that you would know tonight."

  24. France 22-6 England

    Another stolen line-out, this time it's Jamie George with the gammy throw. Cross-kick, May loses it, Pape ends up with it, France assail the England line. But France can't make the most of their chance, with Bastareaud isolated and held up and Joseph hacking through... can't wait to see the headlines tomorrow, Lancaster's England will no doubt have gone from World Cup contenders to ramshackle outsiders.

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  26. France 22-6 England

    Michalak just misses with an attempted drop-goal, Ford caught scuttling like a crab, Joseph gets a hospital pass. England penalised yet again at the breakdown, Vunipola holding onto the ball, I believe. Easter and Attwood replace Launchbury and Haskell for England.

  27. Ex-England fly-half Paul Grayson on BBC Radio 5 live

    "If England concede again, it will turn into something of a disaster as a warm-up match."

    Yoann Huget
  28. France 22-6 England

    England lose their third line-out and another headache becomes an absolute thumper for Stuart Lancaster, what he would do now for Dylan Hartley given the performances of  Luke Cowan-Dickie last week and Tom Youngs this. England collapse another scrum, and it's another penalty...

    Stuart Lancaster
  29. Converted try (Huget, con Michalak)

    France 22-6 France

    England's scrum disintegrates again and it's another France penalty, which Michalak thumps into touch. Tremendous move by France and what a finish by Huget... Michalak it was with a cute inside pass and Toulouse winger Huget went high-stepping through, leaving Brown for dead and shrugging off a couple of desperate tackles. France, all of a sudden, looking like World Cup contenders, they are giving England a battering, all over the park. Michalak kicks the extras.

    Yoann Huget
  30. France 15-6 England

    Cole is dumped on his backside but retains the ball. Joseph chisels out some space with those quick feet of his but England eventually cough it up and France clear. Brown brings it back but runs into his own man, accidentally, and it's a France scrum.  

    Dan Cole
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  32. France 15-6 England

    England swing it right and Nowell breaks a tackle, better by England, this is exactly what they needed early in the second half. Lawes pops up outside him, but Robshaw is eventually bundled into touch.  

  33. France 15-6 England

    The second half is under way, I'll let you know about any changes when I hear about them - hold that thought, no changes by either side...

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  36. Post update

  37. Full-time

    Italy 12-16 Scotland

    Scotland fans rejoice, you've only gone and won for the first time in 2015.

    Was it pretty? Nope.

    Was it dominant? Nope again.

    But is a win a win? You betcha, and hopefully it's the first of several to come over the next couple of months.

    Greig Tonks
  38. Ex-England fly-half Paul Grayson on BBC Radio 5 live

    "The first 20 minutes of the first-half were uncomfortable to watch, as England made rudimentary errors with and without the ball. You wouldn't expect it to look that poor. The last two minutes rescued the half for England because they finally looked like they'd found some shape."

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  40. Ex-England fly-half Paul Grayson on BBC Radio 5 live

    "This is pretty patchy from England, they waited 22 minutes to get the ball and when they did they gave it back after three passes. They need to look after the ball much better."

  41. Half-time

    France 15-6 England

    England can't wait to get the ball into touch as half-time passes, it has to be said that Stuart Lancaster's side have been pretty dismal and utterly outmuscle. That said, they're still very much in this game. 

  42. Penalty (Ford)

    France 15-6 England

    Lawes at the tail of the line-out and it's a welcome clean take. England with the maul but it all breaks down in midfield and Le Roux comes away with it. Pape hits a wall but gets some back up and England are going backwards again. Burrell with a half-break after some nice work by Joseph, but France have it back again through Picamoles... ball turned over again... and again... and again... Ford eventually finds touch deep and Nakaitaci takes it quickly... Joseph with that step of his and Burrell charges through the hole he created... England penalty after a thousand phases, almost bang in front... Ford knocks it over...

    George Ford
  43. Converted try (Pyrgos, con Weir)

    Italy 12-16 Scotland

    After showing very little in attack Scotland finally show some wit,. Henry Pyrgos takes a quick tap penalty, Matt Scott makes good ground down the right and his inside ball sends the replacement scrum-half striding over.

  44. Penalty (Michalak)

    France 15-3 England

    It's the England backs you feel sorry for, it was their big chance to shine today with places up for grabs and they've barely had the ball. France showing a bit of adventure and Vunipola is penalised for going high on Huget. The man upstairs has a look at it - as do the crowd, who react as if Vunipola has attempted to decapitate him - and it's decided it's not worthy of a yellow card. MIchalak cocks the hammer again... and finds the target...

  45. Missed penalty

    France 12-3 England

    Tom Youngs, England's top tackler so far today with 12, is bandaged up and thrown back into the fray. Half an hour into the game, England have made 54 tackles to - wait for this - four for France... Nowell in space and he gets nailed for his efforts, didn't see who it was but whoever it was, he hits big. It was Bastareaud, with help from Bernard Le Roux. However, it's an England penalty for an infringement at the breakdown... which Ford leaves well short...

    French fans
  46. Penalty (Ford)

    France 12-3 England

    England finally have a chance to get on the scoreboard, a Frenchman not releasing the ball. Ford with the responsibility, he scored 25 points against France in March... and he's got three so far today, from just off centre...

  47. Penalty (Allan)

    Italy 12-9 Scotland

    Back in Turin, Italy now lead courtesy of Tommaso Allan's third penalty.

  48. Penalty (Michalak)

    France 12-0 England

    Bit of a disagreement as another scrum goes down, this Stade de France turf is churning up like a paddy field. France blast England off the ball when the scrum eventually settles, these are unsettling times for Stuart Lancaster's team. Michalak is going for goal... this time it's within his range, England getting splattered.

    Eddy Ben Arous
  49. France 9-0 England

    Brown eats up some ground with a good left-pegged kick and Spedding, for once, opts not to run it back, standing his ground and finding touch instead. Knock-on from Brown, this is not pretty from England, not pretty at all.

  50. Missed penalty

    Italy 9-9 Scotland

    After surviving a sustained Italy assault, Scotland finally mount an attack of their own, but Weir misses the resulting penalty.

  51. Missed penalty

    France 9-0 England

    England are being bullied out there are the moment, here's Cole getting buried at the line-out. Lots of pats on the backs in the French ranks, which tells you everything you need to know. Picamoles picks and goes, a Frenchman bundled into touch, Brown takes it quickly. Another penalty given away by England at the breakdown, this time it's England skipper Robshaw with the mistake... this time, Michalak misses, nudging the ball right of the posts...

    Bernard La Roux
  52. Penalty (Michalak)

    France 9-0 England

    England's backs off-side from the line-out, that's four penalties conceded in 15 minutes. Michalak pops over another three and that makes him the top scorer in French Test history, passing Christophe Lamaison.

    Stuart Lancaster
  53. France 6-0 England

    France with another good attacking platform on the England 22. Bastareaud having a storming start, bouncing off England tacklers and rousing the crowd. Tillous-Borde with a naughty kick and Brown does very well to nick the ball from Huget, who was looming large on the England touch-line. The Quins man also called a mark, great presence of mind.

  54. Italy 9-9 Scotland

    Italy seem energised by the arrival of Castro - winning his 111th cap - and the Racing 92-bound prop goes within inches of scoring.

    Brave Scots defence there, real bodies-on-the-line stuff.

    Martin Castrogiovanni
  55. France 6-0 England

    France steal the line-out now and Michalak clears his line. Brown finds Picamoles, before Bastareaud does some cleaning up and England give another penalty away at the breakdown. France kick for territory...

  56. Replacement

    Italy 9-9 Scotland

    Martin Castrogiovanni, beloved at former club Leicester, brings his big hair and bigger attitude to the fray for Italy.

  57. Penalty (Michalak)

    France 6-0 England

    France rumble at the scrum but it's an England penalty, Ben Arous angling in. But Ford misses touch, which is not very clever at all. Ford now misses a high one, the fly-half has had a start to forget. Bastareaud with a couple of rumbles in midfield before Dan Cole is penalised for coming in from the side. Bit daft, that. Michalak knocks over the three-pointer, England have not started well.

  58. Italy 9-9 Scotland

    You won't believe it, a scrum's hit the deck in Italy too. Remember, you can listen to Radio Scotland commentary by clicking on the live tab at the top of this page. 

  59. France 3-0 England

    Almost full at the Stade de France and the locals in fine voice as a scrum hits the deck on the halfway line. France win their own line-out, Picamoles, so effective last week, goes on a charge. Huget knocks forward from a high ball, England scrum...

    French crowd
  60. Penalty (Spedding)

    France 3-0 England

    Vunipola's foot is in touch after a fine clearance by Tillous-Birde, France line-out. Spedding with one of his trademark kick returns and England are penalised for not rolling away, Burrell the guilty man. It's Spedding with the kick from miles out and he's nailed it, France have the early lead.

  61. Kick-off

    France 0-0 England

    I'm almost certain this game can't be as bad as the first half of Italy-Scotland, so stay with us. France have six wins and England four at the Stade de France, let's see what goes off this evening, England kick-off, George Ford with it...

  62. Italy 9-9 Scotland

    Not that we're leaving Turin untended, and we're ready for the re-start in Italy...

  63. France v England

    Here come the teams, doesn't sound much like a friendly at the Stade de France, it's full to the brim and making a racket. Listen to this match on BBC Radio 5 live by clicking on the link on the top of this page and get involved via hashtag #bbcrugby. Anthems almost done, we'll have some rugby in a minute.

  64. France v England

    Our attention turns to Paris, where France are seeking revenge over England after last week's game in Twickenham. Still spots up for grabs in Stuart Lancaster's World Cup squad and winger Johnny May is the only player to start both games against the French. No Sam Burgess or Henry Slade today, even on the bench, so it will be interesting to see how centres Burrell and Joseph perform.

    Johny May
  65. Ex-Scotland prop Peter Wright on BBC Radio Scotland

    "Scotland have kicked and chased very well, the scramble defence has been decent but it's all a bit too comfortable for me. After all, it's a World Cup trial match for all the players out there but there's an intensity missing for me at the moment. 

    "I don't know whether we should have gone for four games building up to the tournament like we have, maybe three would be better like most of the other countries have gone for."

  66. Post update

  67. Half-time

    Italy 9-9 Scotland

    A game for the die-hards, you might say. Lots of grunt and lots of penalties but not much in the way of excitement, I can't remember anyone outside inside-centre Matt Scott touching the ball in the Scotland backs.

  68. Penalty (Allan)

    Italy 9-9 Scotland

    Nice kick and chase by Scotland, Hidalgo-Clyne with the kick, Hughes with the hit on Masi, but Scotland are pinged again. Italy with the line-out on Scotland's 22... Italy making inroads, Vunisa to the fore, here he is again, for the third time in this set... and off he goes again, from the back of a ruck... and again, but he's held up a couple of yards short... Allan with the cross-kick after a penalty is called, but it's a bit of a duff... however, the Italy fly-half does slipper over a three-pointer on the whistle to make it all square... 

  69. Ex-Scotland prop Peter Wright on BBC Radio Scotland

    "The game just needs a bit of a spark to get it going, either a try or a fight will probably do it. Preferably a try."

    Andrea Masi
  70. Italy 6-9 Scotland

    Italy giving it the old heave-ho at the scrum and Scotland are penalised again after Mike Cusack folds like a concertina. It's a line-out on Scotland's 22...

  71. Italy 6-9 Scotland

    Italy come again, here's scrum-half Palazzani on the snipe. But they lose it in the tackle again and Scotland thump it clear. Too many mistakes from both sides, this is not what you would call clinical, from either side, unless you factor in the kicking.

  72. Italy 6-9 Scotland

    The Scottish defence up quick and Italy's backs are unable to find any space. But hang on, here's Venditti flying down the right wing... Aguero makes yards before Zanni loses the ball in the tackle and Weir clears his lines.

  73. Ex-Scotland prop Peter Wright on BBC Radio Scotland

    "Every time Scotland have had possession, Italy have given away a penalty for not releasing. For me, the referee has to start increasing the sanctions."

  74. Italy 6-9 Scotland

    If any of you have any chat you'd like to send us, you can do so via our hashtag #bbcrugby. Some splendid nonsense on there. That's a sweet over-the-shoulder kick by Scotland scrum-half Hidalgo-Clyne, to earn his side a line-out 5 metres out... Matt Scott takes the ball flat after a fine take by Strokocsh but Italy win yet another penalty after a Scot is pinged for clearing around the neck...

    Sam Hidalgo-Clyne of Scotland
  75. Penalty (Allan)

    Italy 6-9 Scotland

    Not exactly a flowing festival of rugby at the moment, the referee's whistle is the headline act and here it is again after Italy mess up their line-out. Another collapsed scrum, the big lads get a telling off, and down they go again... Italy get a shove on, Scotland cave, it's another penalty... Tommy Allan, he of the Scottish old man, is given the responsibilities from closer range and over it pops...

  76. Post update

  77. Ex-Scotland prop Peter Wright on BBC Radio Scotland

    "The quality and the standard of goal-kicking now is that good, he was half a yard inside the Scotland half and stroked it nonchalantly through the posts." 

  78. Penalty (Weir)

    Italy 3-9 Scotland

    Ashe rises high at the line-out and Scotland have an attacking platform just inside the Italian 10m line. Italy number eight Vunisa is penalised for off-side, I believe, and Weir will go again from the tee... slots it...

  79. Penalty (Garcia)

    Italy 3-6 Scotland

    Italy with their first maul of the match and they win a penalty from it, the luxuriously bearded Garcia gets another go from just inside the Scottish half... this time it has the legs and the hosts have halved the deficit. 

  80. Missed penalty

    Italy 0-6 Scotland

    Italy have a penalty now, after some good work at the breakdown by debutant winger Rory Hughes, and Gonzalo Garcia leaves his kick just short of the posts. It was a longun, and Scotland did well to deal with the fall-out...

  81. Penalty (Weir)

    Italy 0-6 Scotland

    Scotland penalty for not moving away quickly enough, a straightforward chance for Weir of Glasgow... and over it goes...

    Duncan Weir
  82. Italy 0-3 Scotland

    More mess at the scrum and this time it's an Italy penalty. Allan kicks to touch, it's a line-out on half-way. Good, bold defence from Scotland, Strokosch with a driving tackle... Italy come again, but it's wing to wing and not much in terms of forward momentum. Sarto proving a handful at the moment, the Zebre wing carving another opening, although he's burgled by Gordon Reid.

    Richie Gray tackles Alessando Zanni
  83. Italy 0-3 Scotland

    Minto snipes from the back of a line-out before Benvenuti blasts through a couple of rather weak tackles. Sarto, now, goes flying through the Scottish defences and only a loose pass saves the visitors. By the way, you can listen to this on the radio by clicking on the link at the top of this page...

  84. Penalty (Weir)

    Italy 0-3 Scotland

    Scrum goes down. And again, and second time around the referee gives Scotland the penalty... Duncan Weir draws first blood from the right of the posts and not far out...

  85. Kick-off

    We have lift-off at the sparsely-populated Stadio Olimpico, rugby clearly not much of a concern in Turin. Scotland fly-half Rory Hughes with the first act, Scotland scrum...

  86. Scotland need a win...


    Scotland are on a six-match losing streak and haven't won in 2015. As it stands, no team won't fancy their chances against them in Pool B of the World Cup, not even Japan or the United States. Anthems done, play in a minute...

  87. Italy v Scotland teams

    Italy:  15 Andrea Masi, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Giovambattista Venditti, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani; 1 Matias Aguero, 2 Davide Giazzon, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (c), 5 Valerio Bernabo, 6 Francesco Minto, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 8 Samuela Vunisa,

    Replacements:  16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Mauro Bergamasco, 21 Marcello Violi, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Luke McLean

    Scotland:  15 Greig Tonks, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; 1 Gordon Reid, 2 Stuart McInally, 3 Mike Cusack, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Grant Gilchrist (c), 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 7 John Hardie, 8 Adam Ashe.

    Replacements:  16 Ross Ford, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Damien Hoyland.

  88. Post update

    For Italy, Quintin Geldenhuys skippers the side in the absence of Sergio Parisse while centre Tommaso Benvenuti starts for the first time in two years. Grey beards Martin Castrogiovanni, Marco Bortolami and Mauro Bergamasco are on the bench. 

    I should point out that this match is actually taking place in the Stadio Olimpico in Turin, not the one in Rome. Fooled me... 

  89. All change for Scotland

    Kick-off in Turin is at 19:00 BST, and we're going to concentrate on Italy-Scotland for the first hour, until France-England kick-off in Paris. 

    Scotland coach Vern Cotter has made a raft of changes from the side beaten by Ireland last week, with second-row and captain Grant Gilchrist the only forward to retain his place in the starting line-up. Uncapped trio John Hardie, Rory Hughes and Stuart McInally also start.

    Grant Gilchrist
  90. Get the BBC Sport app

    Anyone keen on getting alerts sent straight to their phone, I suggest you sign up to the BBC Sport app. Sign up now and you won't need to do it again before the World Cup, or indeed the coming domestic season, whoever your team may be. 

  91. Post update

    As for England, they welcome back full-back Mike Brown and lock Joe Launchbury. Brown hasn't played since suffering concussion in England's Six Nations game against Ireland in February, while Launchbury has been out since October following neck surgery. Skipper Chris Robshaw, who sat out last week's victory over France at Twickenham, is back at open-side flanker.

    Mike Brown and Chris Robshaw
  92. Post update

    Evening all, and welcome to our coverage of two Rugby World Cup warm-up games, the first being Italy v Scotland in Turin (kick-off 1900 BST) and the second France v England in Paris (kick-off 2000 BST).

    Scotland fans need some succour following defeat by Ireland last weekend, while Italy - who beat the Scots 22-19 in this year's Six Nations - are without their magnificent captain Sergio Parisse, who has a spot of influenza.