Andy Robinson announces a mostly unchanged team to allow the combinations that performed well against England and France to see if they can end the tournament on some sort of high, while Nick Mallet has made a bunch of changes to the team that beat France.
Scotland: Paterson, Evans, Ansbro, Lamont, Danielli, Jackson, Lawson, Jacobsen, Ford, Cross, Gray, Kellock, Hines, Barclay, Brown
Replacements: Lawson, Murray, Vernon, Strokosch, Blair, Parks, De Luca
Italy: A Masi (Racing Metro), T Benvenuti (Treviso), G Canale (Clermont Auvergne), A Sgarbi (Treviso), Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais), K Burton (Treviso), F Semenzato (Treviso) S Perugini (Aironi), L Ghiraldini (Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester), C Del Fava (Aironi), Q Geldenhuys (Aironi), A Zanni (Treviso), P Derbyshire (Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais).
Replacements: C Festuccia (Racing Metro), A Lo Cicero (Racing Metro), V Bernabo (Treviso), R Barbieri (Treviso), P Canavosio (Aironi), L Orquera (Brive), L McLean (Treviso)
Ref: Steve “Matey” Walsh
Sorry I’ve been a bit slack on the Calcutta Cup build up duties this week, but there has been plenty back and forth on Twitter and I’ve got a wee piece going up on the ESPN fanzone shortly. All I will say is I hope the boys put in a top performance on Sunday and if they can manage that, then anything is possible! Also you really should check out A.D’s article below “Arrested Development” about the Under 20s which has attracted a fair bit of new comment.
Greetings, readers. Ahead of the big cross-border clash that is sure to have the tinpot nationalists out in force this weekend, regular correspondent for The Rugby Blog Christine Lester writes in with an Englishwoman’s view of her first trip to Murrayfield for the Ireland game. Christine is based in Glasgow, and we hope she may be able to give us some more coverage from that end of the country in future. Over to Christine!
Our Six Nations review will follow tomorrow, but for now here is the SRU update on Six Scotland players who will require further medical assessment from injuries sustained in yesterday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship loss to Ireland at Murrayfield.
Scotland team doctor James Robson reported today that among the forwards lock Richie Gray had a knee strain; his second-row partner, captain Alastair Kellock had hand bruising and a neck strain; and flanker John Barclay had a knee contusion.
In the backs stand-off Ruaridh Jackson had calf bruising; centre Sean Lamont had bruising to his shoulders and upper body; and full-back Chris Paterson had shoulder bruising.
Dr Robson added: “We will be closely monitoring all players over the next 48 hours but at this juncture none of the injuries is giving us any serious cause for concern.
When you read a national newspaper everyone is obsessed with numbers. People want a player rated out of 10, a statistical breakdown of offloads out of the tackle and the number of pints sold at a ground.
Despite being sober and despite the improved nature of our performance we have still lost 3 in a row and look set for a showdown with the Twickenham steamroller, so forgive me for wanting to hide behind statistics and numbers today.