GREGOR Townsend has made five changes to his Scotland line-up for their final Six Nations fixture in Italy.
The Scots Travel to Rome for the final round of action on Saturday with a top-half finish still within reach.
Two changes have been made to the back division, with Tommy Seymour returning from injury to replace Blair Kinghorn and centre Nick Grigg earning his first Championship start in place of Peter Horne.
In the pack, hooker Fraser Brown, prop WP Nel and lock Tim Swinson start with Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist and Simon Berghan dropping out.
Richie Gray and Zander Fagerson have joined the bench after missing out on the rest of the tournament through injury.
BREAKING | Gregor Townsend has named five changes to the starting Scotland team to face Italy in Rome this Saturday.
➡️ Seymour back from injury, Grigg gets first championship start
➡️ Brown, Nel & Swinson promoted from the bench
➡️ R.Gray & Fagerson join the bench pic.twitter.com/DGTWkefpoW
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 14, 2018
Townsend said: “We’ve had a deeper look at the Ireland game, where we performed well in areas that will have to be better this weekend.
“There were a number of positives in how we took the game to Ireland in attack and defence but this didn’t lead to us scoring enough points to win the game.
“We’ve been pleased with how the players have responded to last week’s disappointment, with the energy they have brought to training and a determination to improve our performance in our final match in this year’s NatWest 6 Nations.”
He added: “Playing Italy will be a very tough game – it always has been for any Scotland side. We are ready for the challenge and have an experienced group of players working hard to finish our campaign with a positive performance and result.”
Townsend’s side reacted well to a galling opening day defeat to Wales by beating France and England in Edinburgh, but last Saturday’s 28-8 loss in Dublin ended any hopes of a Championship challenge.
Italy are set to finish bottom of the standings regardless of the result, having lost every match of the tournament so far without picking up a single bonus point.
The game in Italy kicks off at 12.30pm on Saturday at the Stadio Olimpico.
Source : HeraldScotland