Cusiter and Ross face Italian job

Scotland coach Frank Hadden has made three changes to his line-up as his team sign off from this season's Six Nations Championship against Italy in Rome. [more]

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Scotland coach Frank Hadden has made three changes to his line-up as his team sign off from this season’s Six Nations Championship against Italy in Rome.

Chris Cusiter and Gordon Ross have both been drafted in for their first Six Nations starts of the season while hooker Scott Lawson is back in the team at hooker after featuring in the game against Wales.

They replace Mike Blair, Dan Parks and Dougie Hall respectively, who have dropped down to the replacements’ bench following the 15-9 defeat to Ireland at Lansdowne Road last weekend, while Scott Murray will win a record-equalling 75th cap against the Italians, drawing level with Gordon Bulloch.

Hadden said: "Given where we are at in this season’s championship I feel it appropriate to look at the squad and both Chris and Gordon deserve the opportunity to start.

"Both need to be seen, particularly when you look ahead to next year and the Rugby World Cup.

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"At hooker I have opted for Scott Lawson. Dougie Hall continues to recover from a shoulder injury he sustained against Ireland and he should be fine. I have added the experienced Steve Scott (Border Reivers) to our wider squad."

On the problems Scotland have faced in the lineout, Hadden said: "We were disappointed to win only 23 out of 30 against an outstanding Irish lineout. But I have trust in the commitment and determination of the players to address the situation."

Scotland team to face Italy at the Stadio Flaminio, Rome on Saturday.

H Southwell (Edinburgh Gunners); C Paterson (Edinburgh Gunners), M di Rollo (Edinburgh Gunners), A Henderson (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Northampton); G Ross (Leeds), C Cusiter (Border Reivers); G Kerr (Leeds), S Lawson (Glasgow Warriors), B Douglas (Border Reivers), N Hines (Perpignan), S Murray (Edinburgh Gunners), J White (Sale Sharks, capt), A Hogg (Edinburgh Gunners), S Taylor (Edinburgh Gunners).

Replacements: D Hall (Edinburgh Gunners), C Smith (Edinburgh Gunners), A Kellock (Edinburgh Gunners), J Petrie (Glasgow Warriors), M Blair (Edinburgh Gunners), D Parks (Glasgow Warriors), S Webster (Edinburgh Gunners)

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