Scotland head coach Scott Johnson has made three changes for this weekend’s RBS Six Nations wooden spoon decider with Italy in Rome, but there is still no place for Kelly Brown in the match-day squad.
Chris Fusaro retains the openside jersey after his debut in the Calcutta Cup drubbing by England a fortnight ago, but there are three changes elsewhere in the pack.
Scott Lawson replaces Ross Ford at hooker, Johnnie Beattie comes in for the unlucky David Denton at number eight and Richie Gray is recalled in place of Tim Swinson.
Ford, Swinson and Denton are, though, on the replacements bench.
Behind the pack, with injury robbing Johnson of strike runners Sean Maitland and Tim Visser, it’s the same again as the Scots look to overturn a pair of dismal performances in the opening two games.
Alex Dunbar and Matt Scott, a pairing described by Johnson as “potentially world class” will have the chance to show their worth on the expanses of the Stadio Olympico if the Scottish pack can secure clean ball.
Lawson’s introduction at hooker and the recall of Gray should shore up the line-out that has misfired so badly in the first two rounds, while Johnnie Beattie offers increased international experience at the base of the scrum.
Despite calls in some circles for Stuart Hogg to move into the number 10 jersey, Duncan Weir is again charged with orchestrating a Scottish attack that has failed to score a try in four matches.
That means Hogg remains at full-back and will look to ignite the visitors on the counter-attack in Rome with ball in hand, rather than the kick-chase style that was deployed to no avail against the Auld Enemy.
Defeat to Italy on Saturday would all-but condemn Johnson’s troops to the wooden spoon with clashes against France and Wales still to come.