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Injuries force Scotland to change for Italy


Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson

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Article Published: Wednesday 6 February 2013


Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson has been forced to make two injury-enforced changes to his team to play Italy in the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Twenty-two year old Glasgow Warrior Robert Harley has been named to make his starting debut for Scotland this weekend.

Harley, who scored the match-winning try against Samoa on debut when he was introduced off the bench on the summer tour in the baking South Pacific heat, replaces the injured Alasdair Strokosch in the Scotland back-row.

Strokosch will be examined by a specialist surgeon at Spire Murrayfield Hospital today to determine whether he can play any further part in the championship after the eye socket damage he sustained at the weekend.

A product of Douglas Academy in Milngavie and the West of Scotland club, Harley has played age-grade rugby for Scotland, being a mainstay of the Scotland under-20 team in 2009 and 2010 and has also represented Scotland A. He has already undertaken captaincy duties with Glasgow Warriors.

The only other change to the starting line-up sees British Lion Ross Ford return at hooker in place of Dougie Hall, who sustained a knee injury in the Calcutta Cup match.

Hall and his Glasgow Warriors club-mate Pat MacArthur are both bracketed for the substitute hooker role with a decision to be made, pending Hall's fitness, later this week.

Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson said: "I had the pleasure of working with Robert on our tour last summer.

"He's big and aggressive and he's been knocking on the door for selection for a wee while. He deserves this chance as a reward for his club form.

"Italy's victory against France in Rome was well-deserved and certainly didn't surprise us. It will be a true Test match this weekend and it would be great to have a big vocal Murrayfield crowd supporting the boys this weekend."

Scotland

15 Stuart Hogg ,14 Sean Maitland , 13 Sean Lamont , 12 Matt Scott , 11 Tim Visser , 10 Ruaridh Jackson , 9 Greig Laidlaw , 8 Johnnie Beattie , 7 Kelly Brown , 6 Robert Harley , 5 Jim Hamilton , 4 Richie Gray , 3 Euan Murray , 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant

Replacements : 16 Dougie Hall , 17 Moray Low , 18 Geoff Cross , 19 Alastair Kellock , 20 David Denton , 21 Henry Pyrgos , 22 Duncan Weir , 23 Max Evans

 

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