Rugby World Cup
Scotland quartet set for first Test start
ESPN Staff
August 20, 2015
© Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Vern Cotter has made 11 changes to his Scotland side for the Rugby World Cup warm-up against Italy in Turin, with four players set to make their first Test start.

Scotland narrowly lost to Ireland in Dublin last weekend, but only four players retain their place from the game at the Aviva Stadium.

Those coming into the side for Saturday's game at the Stadio Olimpico include John Hardie, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Rory Hughes and Stuart McInally - all playing from the start for the first time. 

McInally has made one appearance for Scotland as a replacement - in the back row against South Africa in 2012 - but he will rubber-stamp his switch to hooker as he lines up between props Gordon Reid and Mike Cusack.

Elsewhere, British and Irish Lions lock Richie Gray comes in to partner captain Grant Gilchrist, while Hardie is joined in the back row by Alasdair Strokosch and Adam Ashe.

In the backs, Hidalgo-Clyne partners Duncan Weir at half-back, with Greig Tonks dropping back to full-back, where he is joined in the back three by Hughes and Sean Lamont.

Richie Vernon keeps his place at outside-centre, meanwhile, with Matt Scott alongside him.

Cotter said: "This is another chance to give opportunities to players and allow us to have a good look at our squad, be it those who haven't played or are playing in different positions.

"The Irish game was an open, fairly fluid affair for the most part but I think the Italy game will be a tighter battle so we'll be looking, perhaps, to play a bit differently.

"A lot of players put their hands up last week and we're expecting the same of this group." 

Scotland team to face Italy:

Tonks; Lamont, Vernon, Scott, Hughes; Weir, Hidalgo-Clyne; Reid, McInally, Cusack, Gray, Gilchrist, Strokosch, Hardie, Ashe.

Replacements: Ford, Dickinson, Nel, Hamilton, Watson, Pyrgos, Horne, Hoyland

© ESPN Staff

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