Laidlaw leads Scotland against Italy at Murrayfield

Scotland have named scrum-half Greig Laidlaw to lead his country again in front
of a record Summer Test crowd this Saturday against Italy at Murrayfield Stadium

The Gloucester half-back is one of 15 changes to the 25-man squad to face Italy
in front of what will be the largest crowd for a Summer Test match at Murrayfield,
overtaking the 2003 record set against Ireland (35,264) overnight.

The squad rotation means that almost an entirely new team could take to the
field from that which overcame the Italians 16-12 in Turin, just two days before
the 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup is announced.

Laidlaw is among six new faces available to the back division, with Glasgow
Warriors’ quartet Mark Bennett, Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell, and Tommy Seymour,
and returning Harlequins’ wing Tim Visser, all vying for a starting berth.

The nine changes to the pack feature two players yet to feature this summer
– lock Jonny Gray and back-row Ryan Wilson – while the remainder
return from the squad selected to face Ireland in the opening Test, namely John
Barclay, Fraser Brown, Blair Cowan, David Denton, Rob Harley and Jon Welsh.

Lock Grant Gilchrist has recovered from the sickness that ruled him out of the
Italy Test on the morning of the match and is available for selection this weekend,
while a remaining nine – Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Peter Horne, Sean
Lamont, Stuart McInally, Willem Nel, Henry Pyrgos, Gordon Reid and Matt Scott
– return to complete the squad.

Scotland squad

FORWARDS: John Barclay (Scarlets), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Cowan
(London Irish), David Denton, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Grant Gilchrist
(all Edinburgh Rugby), Jonny Gray, Robert Harley (both Glasgow Warriors), Stuart
McInally, Willem Nel (both Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Wilson, Gordon Reid (both
Glasgow Warriors), Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons).

BACKS: Mark Bennett, Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne (all Glasgow Warriors), Greig
Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester), Sean Lamont, Finn Russell, Henry Pyrgos, Tommy
Seymour (all Glasgow Warriors), Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby), Matt Scott (Edinburgh
Rugby), Tim Visser (Harlequins).

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