Scotland make three changes

20th Jun 2013, 15:04

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Blindside: David Denton

Blindside: David Denton

Scotland have made three changes to their starting team for their final international of the season against Italy at Loftus in Pretoria.


Scotland have made three changes to their starting team for their final international of the season against Italy in Pretoria on Saturday.

In the backs Ruaridh Jackson has not recovered sufficiently from the shoulder injury he sustained against South Africa in Nelspruit last weekend, therefore Tom Heathcote will win his third cap at fly-half.

In the pack Alastair Kellock wins his 55th cap in the second-row for Jim Hamilton, who has returned home for the birth of his second child, and David Denton replaces the injured Ryan Wilson in the back-row.

On the bench Grant Gilchrist, Rob Harley and Tim Visser are introduced.

"This is the end of a long season for both the northern hemisphere teams in this tournament and, as I've said, before we want no rocks under our beach towels after Saturday's game," said Scotland head coach Scott Johnson.

"I was encouraged by our performance against South Africa last week but having set that standard we have to ensure that we build upwards from it against Italy.

"When we gathered in camp in Perthshire last month I said that this tour would be about broadening our base and that we'd find out about whether certain players were ready to play international rugby.

"That has happened and we'll take a lot from that but we also want to end the tournament on a high against an Italian team that we know well and that we respect greatly."

Scotland defeated Italy 34-10 at Murrayfield in February and the Man of the Match that day, Greig Laidlaw, will captain Scotland for a second time on Saturday.

Scotland: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Alasdair Strokosch, 6 David Denton, 5 Al Kellock, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Jon Welsh, 18 Moray Low, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Rob Harley, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Tim Visser.

Date: Saturday, June 22
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 14.15 (local)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Hennessy (Wales), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Television match official: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)
Assessor: Nigel Williams