And you thought the last one was experimental? An interesting team this, with a bunch of changes.
In all there are 11 new faces taking the field in Turin, with an almost entirely new pack, four new backs, and three starting debuts for John Hardie, Rory Hughes and Stuart McInally who completes his switch to hooker in some style.
The team is a curious mix of the defensive (Weir, Tonks, Strokosch) and the swashbuckling (McInally, Sam H-C, Ashe) but it looks as if a more conservative style of play may be opted for to try and conserve momentum better. An interesting partnership in the midfield too with Matt Scott teaming up with Richie Vernon for the first time and looking to unseat any number of Vernon’s Glasgow teammates who are challenging for a centre berth.
Scotland’s last game against the Italians was the last-minute loss in February at BT Murrayfield, where a converted penalty try sealed the win for the visitors despite Scotland dominating almost the entire rest of the match. Revenge, hopefully, is on the cards.
Scotland Team (to play Italy at the Stadio Olimpico, Turin, this Saturday 22 August, kick-off 7pm BST – live on BT Sport):
Greig Tonks, Sean Lamont, Richie Vernon, Matt Scott, Rory Hughes, Duncan Weir, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Gordon Reid, Stuart McInally, Mike Cusack, Richie Gray, Grant Gilchrist (c), Al Strokosch, John Hardie, Adam Ashe
Replacements: Ross Ford, Al Dickinson, WP Nel, Jim Hamilton, Hamish Watson, Henry Pyrgos, Pete Horne, Damien Hoyland