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Scotland change three for Italy with 6-2 split on the bench

By Josh Raisey
Finn Russell (left) leads the Scotland national anthem last month in Wales (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Gregor Townsend has made three changes to the XV that triumphed in the Calcutta Cup for their Guinness Six Nations round four clash with Italy on Saturday.

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Former captain Jamie Ritchie has dropped down to the bench, with Andy Christie earning a deserved first start for Scotland. The 24-year-old’s start at blindside flanker is merited given his sensational form for Gallagher Premiership champions Saracens this season, where he has kept out seasoned internationals in a loaded back row.

Ritchie is part of a 6-2 split on the bench, with Ali Price and Kyle Rowe being the only backs.

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Price comes back into the matchday squad for the first time this year in place of Ben White, who drops out of the squad entirely after starting in the win over England. George Horne will partner co-captain Finn Russell from the start at the Stadio Olimpico after coming on from the bench in round three.

The final change sees Cameron Redpath start at inside centre in place of Sione Tuipulotu, who will miss the remainder of the Championship with a knee injury.

Fixture
Six Nations
Italy
31 - 29
Full-time
Scotland
All Stats and Data

Redpath played a crucial role from the bench in the Calcutta Cup victory, making the break that led to Duhan van der Merwe’s hat-trick try. He was joined by Horne and fly-half Ben Healy on the bench in Edinburgh, but Townsend has opted to forgo fly-half cover among the substitutes, with both Redpath and fullback Blair Kinghorn being capable of filling in there.

With second-place Scotland playing first this weekend, they can put the pressure on leaders Ireland with a win, who face England at Twickenham immediately after.

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Scotland XV
15. Blair Kinghorn – Toulouse (51)
14. Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors (17)
13. Huw Jones – Glasgow Warriors (46)
12. Cameron Redpath – Bath Rugby (12)
11. Duhan van der Merwe – Edinburgh Rugby (37)
10. Finn Russell – Co-Captain – Bath Rugby (78)
9. George Horne – Glasgow Warriors (28)
1. Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby (29)
2. George Turner – Glasgow Warriors (43)
3. Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors (65)
4. Grant Gilchrist – Vice-Captain – Edinburgh Rugby (70)
5. Scott Cummings – Glasgow Warriors (36)
6. Andy Christie – Saracens (6)
7. Rory Darge – Co-Captain – Glasgow Warriors (17)
8. Jack Dempsey – Glasgow Warriors (18)

Replacements
16. Ewan Ashman – Edinburgh Rugby (15)
17. Alec Hepburn – Exeter Chiefs (3)
18. Elliot Millar-Mills – Northampton Saints (2)
19. Sam Skinner – Edinburgh Rugby (33)
20. Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh Rugby (48)
21. Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors (42)
22. Ali Price – Edinburgh Rugby (66)
23. Kyle Rowe – Glasgow Warriors (3)

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