Six Nations 2019: Scotland hand Sam Johnson debut v Italy

Sam Johnson has been in consistently aesthetic acquire for Glasgow for the duration of the last two seasons
Six Nations: Scotland v Italy
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 2 February Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Explore are residing on BBC television & on-line; listen on Radio Scotland; observe are residing textual declare material commentary on BBC Sport internet sites & app

Glasgow centre Sam Johnson will kind his Scotland debut of their Six Nations opener against Italy on Saturday.

The Australia-born midfielder, 25, who qualified by residency final summer time, used to be named in the autumn squad but a knee injury delayed his Test entrance.

Newcastle flanker Gary Graham and Leicester hooker Jake Kerr would possibly perhaps perchance also kind their debuts off the bench.

Blair Kinghorn starts at left flit, Sam Skinner at blind-aspect and Ben Toolis at lock in an all-Edinburgh entrance five.

Tommy Seymour takes over from Sean Maitland, who has did no longer enhance sufficiently from a hamstring injury sustained playing for Saracens, on the classy flit.

Hooker Fraser Brown, lock Jonny Gray and flanker Hamish Watson are amongst these missing by injury.

Ryan Wilson returns at quantity eight, with Josh Strauss on the bench.

Finn Russell reverts to flit-half, having completed the autumn sequence at interior centre, with Adam Hastings amongst the replacements.

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Graham, the son of ancient Scotland prop George, used to be in England’s Six Nations coaching squad final year forward of switching his allegiance encourage to his native country.

With Skinner – who made his Test debut at lock in the autumn – starting up at blind-aspect, Graham, 26, is included as no doubt one of two encourage-row alternatives on the bench.

Though Brown is shut to a comeback, George Turner is restful sidelined, so Edinburgh-born Kerr has acquired the hasten amongst three uncapped hookers to present encourage-up to first-decision Stuart McInally, who returns to the starting up XV.

Kerr, 22, is the older brother of Scottish 1500m runner Josh Kerr, the European junior champion.

‘This would possibly perhaps be a complex fixture’

Scotland own acquired their final six meetings with Italy, whose final victory in the Six Nations came at Murrayfield in 2015 – no doubt one of seven cases they’ve beaten the Scots in the championship.

“Italy own made lifestyles advanced for Scotland in every Test match we have played,” celebrated head coach Gregor Townsend.

“I be conscious that as a player, as a supporter and as a coach – and they were better than us in most of ultimate season’s contest in Rome. They played with tempo, were physical and we needed to play actually, actually effectively in the last quarter to buy.

“That efficiency and also the recent shows of Benetton Treviso are intriguing reminders for our players that this will perhaps perchance be a complex fixture.

“Our command is to buy the physical battle, which is a power of Italian rugby. We can also want to bring energy and accuracy in bid to procure our advertising and marketing campaign off to a winning initiate.”

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Relive Scotland’s dramatic Six Nations buy in Rome final year

Scotland: Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne – captain); Allan Dell (Edinburgh), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors).

Replacements: Jake Kerr (Leicester Tigers), Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Gary Graham (Newcastle), Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks), Ali Worth (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Harris (Newcastle).

Italy: Jayden Hayward, Angelo Esposito, Luca Morisi, Tommaso Castello, Michele Campagnaro, Tommaso Allan, Tito Tebaldi; Andrea Lovotti, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Simone Ferrari, David Sisi, Dean Budd, Sebastian Negri, Sergio Parisse (capt).

Replacements: Luca Bigi, Cherif Traore, Tiziano Pasquali, Federico Ruzza, Jimmy Tuivaiti, Guglielmo Palazzani, Ian McKinley, Edoardo Padovani.

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