Six Nations Championship
Townsend calls up four to squad for Italy clash
Gregor Townsend has added four players to his Scotland squad for the Six Nations clash with Italy after more injuries meant another reshuffle for the head coach.
Oli Kebble, Nick Haining, Oli Smith, Rufus McLean and Marshall Sykes have all been ruled out through injury in the wake of the recent loss to France at Murrayfield.
Boarding the plane to Rome for Saturday’s meeting as the Scots attempt to restore some pride after back-to-back losses to Wales and the French will be fit-again Jonny Gray, Adam Hastings, Ross Thompson and the uncapped Edinburgh lock Glen Young.
The visitors will be strong favourites to record a positive result, with Saturday’s opponents not having won a match in the Six Nations for seven years – their losing streak now sitting at 35 matches.
Townsend, though, struck a cautious note ahead of the game saying: “Despite the defeat in Cardiff we still had an opportunity to be in the mix if we had won against France. It is disappointing that we won’t be involved in any title race.
“Italy will be hugely motivated by our scoreline and France getting tries from our errors. We will have to play a lot better.”
Forwards: Ewan Ashman (Sale Sharks), Josh Bayliss (Bath), Simon Berghan (Glasgow Warriors), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), Andy Christie (Saracens), Allan Dell (London Irish), Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors, Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs), Jamie Hodgson (Edinburgh), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Kiran McDonald (Glasgow Warriors), WP Nel (Edinburgh), Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Glen Young (Edinburgh).
Backs: Mark Bennett (Edinburgh), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby), Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), James Lang (Edinburgh), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Kyle Rowe (London Irish), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Thompson (Glasgow Warriors) Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors), Ben Vellacott (Edinburgh), Ben White (London Irish).