Scotland vs Italy preview

March 17th, 2011 by Liam Emerson

Scotland face an Italian side still buzzing from their one point victory over France last week. Scotland manager Andy Robinson makes one change to his side from the one that was defeated 22-16 by England last week, with Geoff Cross coming in at tighthead prop. Kelly Brown is at no.8 despite suffering concussion last week, after a collision with 6ft 7in England centre Matt Banahan.

The Azzurri go into the encounter inspired by the 22-21 triumph over France in Rome, their first win in the competition this year, and make six changes going in to this match. Treviso’s Alberto Sgarbi replaces Gonzalo Garcia at centre while his club team-mate, Kris Burton, takes Luciano Orquera’s place at No.9 and Paul Derbyshire will earn his first Six Nations start in Scotland. Leicester prop, Martin Castrogiovanni is the only player in Italy’s first line that has kept his spot, with Leonardo Ghiraldini and Salvatore Perugini returning to the team. Quintin Geldenhuys will also start after being relegated to the replacements bench against France.

Italy are two points clear of Scotland after victory last week and the Scots hope to finish the tournament with some dignity after losing all five of their games so far. They haven’t ‘won’ the wooden spoon since 2007, finishing one place above Italy in the past three tournaments.

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