Rugby

Gilchrist to skipper Scotland in Italy

2015-08-18 17:00
Vern Cotter (File)

London - Grant Gilchrist was on Tuesday picked to captain Scotland in this weekend's World Cup warm-up against Italy in Turin.

The imposing Edinburgh lock takes the skipper's armband 10 months after injury cost him the captaincy ahead of last year's autumn internationals.

Head coach Vern Cotter has made 11 changes to the squad which lost 28-22 to Ireland last weekend as he looks to give a run-out to more of his World Cup hopefuls at the Stadio Olimpico.

Nine of the changes involve forwards, with the new-look back row to be selected from Adam Ashe, John Hardie, Alasdair Strokosch and Hamish Watson, none of whom were involved against Ireland.

They have replaced John Barclay, Hugh Blake, Blair Cowan and David Denton.

The five remaining changes up front see Kevin Bryce, Alasdair Dickinson, Richie Gray, Stuart McInally and Willem Nel come in for Fraser Brown, Allan Dell, Ryan Grant, Rob Harley and Jon Welsh.

The backs are kept relatively alike, with only uncapped duo Damien Hoyland and Rory Hughes joining the group in place of Dougie Fife and Tim Visser.

The Turin Test is the first of two back-to-back matches against the Azzurri, with the return at Murrayfield on August 29.

Cotter will then announce his final 31-man World Cup squad before concluding preparations against France in Paris on September 5.

Scotland squad:

Forwards: Adam Ashe, Kevin Bryce, Mike Cusack, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Grant Gilchrist, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, John Hardie, Stuart McInally, Willem Nel, Gordon Reid, Alasdair Strokosch, Hamish Watson.

Backs: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Peter Horne, Damien Hoyland, Rory Hughes, Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Lamont, Henry Pyrgos, Matt Scott, Greig Tonks, Richie Vernon, Duncan Weir

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