Italian Job 2 For Scotland'S Steph

Scotland Women meet Italy in the final game of the women's RBS 6 Nations this Sunday in Rovato, Brescia (kick-off 1.30pm GMT / 2.30pm local).

Lisa Martin starts at inside centre with Lisa Ritchie moving to the bench while Tess Forsberg and Ruth Slaven are switched similarly at openside flanker. Flanker Mary Lafaiki returns from injury to complete the substitutes. The match marks a return journey for full back Steph Johnston (pictured) who made her debut against Italy away two years ago, when the teams drew.

Johnston says: "It was a fantastic opportunity to be called into the squad - obviously I was very nervous before the game and I suppose I didn't really expect to get on then, when there was an injury, I just had to go on and do the job. I really enjoyed the experience."


Photo: Steph Johnston scores against the Army earlier this year

Johnston says: "It was a fantastic opportunity to be called into the squad - obviously I was very nervous before the game and I suppose I didn't really expect to get on then, when there was an injury, I just had to go on and do the job. I really enjoyed the experience.

"The Italians were really tough. That was the biggest game I'd ever played and really I didn't expect how tough international rugby was going to be. It's really such a jump from playing at club level, or playing the police or the army.

Two years on and now with 18 caps to her credit, Steph is one of the more experienced members of this young squad.

"I'm really looking forward to the game on Sunday - I really feel so much more confident now. I guess I've now got two years under my belt and feel really settled in the squad and just know what I'm going to do with regards to my job in the team.

Although the team has yet to record a victory in the championship, Steph feels a win is within reach on Sunday. "I think we just need to keep doing what we're doing. We are getting consistently better both in defence and attack and in the chances we've had to attack we've shown that we can break the gain line and make yards.

"We just need to back ourselves, make that extra ten metres and cross the line, I think we have every chance of doing that on Sunday afternoon."

Scotland Women v Italy Women on Sunday 18 March at Rovato Stadium, Brescia, kick-off 2.30pm (local)

15 Stephanie Johnston (RHC Cougars)
14 Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers)
13 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
12 Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers)
11 Sarah Dixon (Stirling County)
10 Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars)
9 Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)

1 Tracy Balmer (Worcester)
2 Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers)
3 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)
4 Anna Swan (RHC Cougars)
5 Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead/Jordanhill)
6 Lindsay Wheeler (Richmond)
7 Tess Forsberg (Richmond)
8 Susie Brown (Richmond) (captain)

Substitutes
16 Alison Macdonald (RHC Cougars)
17 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead/Jordanhill)
18 Katherine Muir (Richmond)
19 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
20 Mary Lafaiki (Cartha QP)
21 Lisa Ritchie (Carlisle)
22 Lauren Harris (Melrose)

Scotland Women's RBS 6 Nations fixtures are as below, with free entry at both home matches.

Sunday 5 February, Scotland 0 - 47 England
Sunday 12 February, Wales 20 - 0 Scotland, Cross Keys RFC
Saturday 25 February, Scotland 0 - 23 France, Stirling County RFC
Friday 9 March, Ireland 20 - 0 Scotland, Ashbourne RFC
Sunday 18 March, Italy v Scotland, Rovato Stadium, Brescia, kick-off 2.30pm (local)