Tuesday 20 March 2018

Horne replaces banned Russell as Scots ring changes for Wooden Spoon clash

Peter Horne
Peter Horne

Glasgow's Peter Horne has been given the nod to replace suspended stand-off Finn Russell for Scotland's Six Nations clash with Italy on Saturday.

Russell this week lost an appeal against a two-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Wales' Dan Biggar, leaving Scotland head coach Vern Cotter with a dilemma over his replacement.

The Kiwi had to decide between the inform duo of Horne and Edinburgh's Greig Tonks, but it is the Warriors fly-half who has been told he will collect his seventh cap when the Azzurri visit Murrayfield.

Horne's inclusion is one of four changes to the side beaten 26-23 by Wales two weeks ago.

Glasgow's Tommy Seymour takes Tim Visser's place on the wing while Scotstoun team-mate Tim Swinson comes in for injured lock Richie Gray.

Tighthead prop Euan Murray, who missed the Wales clash for religious reasons, reclaims his place as Geoff Cross drops out, while Tonks is left to take consolation from being named amongst the substitutes.

Scotland will hope to bounce back from successive defeats to France and then Warren Gatland's men as they host the Italians in Edinburgh - a match already looking like the Wooden Spoon decider.

Cotter has made four changes to the replacements, with props Ryan Grant and Cross replacing Gordon Reid (knee) and Jon Welsh (hand), who were injured against Wales.

Promising young Edinburgh duo Ben Toolis and Hamish Watson are poised to make their senior international debuts having taken the places of injured second-row Jim Hamilton (groin) and back-row Alasdair Strokosch on the bench.

Team in factfile

Irish Independent

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