Scotland aim to continue recent renaissance for trip to Florence

Scotland aim to continue recent renaissance for trip to Florence

Scotland have made four changes to their starting line-up for their opening match of the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup away to Italy in Florence on Saturday 14 November kick off 12:45pm GMT.

In the back-line Head Coach Gregor Townsend makes three changes from the recent win in Wales with Worcester Warriors stand-off Duncan Weir winning his 29th cap for Scotland and joined in the half-backs by fellow Warrior, Glasgow’s Ali Price.

Sam Johnson earns his first appearance of the autumn at inside centre with Chris Harris selected at 13.

Duhan van de Merwe starts on the wing joined by Edinburgh teammate Darcy Graham in the back three, with James Lang and Blair Kinghorn respectively joining the replacements, having featured in Llanelli.

Stuart Hogg captains the side once again from full-back, winning his 78th cap for Scotland.

There is one change in the pack with Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally starting, with props Zander Fagerson and Rory Sutherland packing down with McInally in the front row.

Glasgow Warriors’ George Turner is on the bench after Fraser Brown picked up an injury in training, ruling him out of the tie.

Lock pairing Jonny Gray and Scott Cummings continue their partnership in front of an unchanged back-row of Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Blade Thomson.

Double cup-winning Exeter Chief pair Sam Skinner and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne come into the matchday 23 for the first time in this international window and are joined by Edinburgh forwards WP Nel and Nick Haining and Glasgow Warrior, Oli Kebble in the replacements.

“It’s exciting to be a part of this new competition, and also to play in Florence for the first time. Italy recorded a famous win against South Africa in this stadium, and we are well aware of the quality they have in their squad that they can raise their game to a similar level this weekend. Head Coach Gregor Townsend.

“While we gained confidence from the win over Wales, we have been working hard to improve in all areas of our game, and we believe that there is a lot more to come from this group of players. The energy has been great at training and we are seeing real competition for places throughout our squad. We are looking forward to this squad grabbing their opportunity to play and take the game to the opposition.”

Scotland team to play Italy at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence.
Saturday 14 November (kick-off 12:45pm GMT) – live on Amazon Prime Video

15. Stuart Hogg CAPTAIN (Exeter Chiefs) – 77 caps
14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 13 caps
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) - 20 caps
12. Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) – 2 caps

10. Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors) – 28 caps
9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 34 caps

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 9 caps
2. Stuart McInally VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 39 caps
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 31 caps
4. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) – 14 caps
5. Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs) – 58 caps
6. Jamie Ritchie VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 20 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 34 caps
8. Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – 6 caps

Substitutes
16. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 2 caps
18. WP Nel (Edinburgh) – 38 caps
19. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 7 caps
20. Nick Haining (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Exeter Chiefs) – 12 caps
22. James Lang (Harlequins) - 4 caps
23. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 23 caps

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