Six Nations

Injuries force Scotland rejig

2013-02-05 15:47
Scott Johnson (Getty Images)

Edinburgh - Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson announced two injury-enforced changes to his starting side on Tuesday when he named his team to play Italy in the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Back-row forward Alasdair Strokosch, who will see specialists in Edinburgh on Wednesday to determine the extent of an eye socket injury, was ruled out.

Meanwhile, hooker Dougie Hall was bracketed on the bench with Pat MacArthur because of a knee problem, with a decision due later this week.

Robert Harley, who came off the bench to score a match-winning try on his Test debut away to Samoa in June, was selected for what will be only the Glasgow forward's second cap, and first at home, after replacing Strokosch at blindside flanker.

"I had the pleasure of working with Robert on our tour last summer," said Johnson, promoted from within the backroom set-up following the resignation of Andy Robinson after Scotland's defeat by Tonga in November.

"He's big and aggressive and he's been knocking on the door for selection for a while," the Australian, preparing for his second game in charge of Scotland, added. "He deserves this chance as a reward for his club form."

Both Strokosch and Hall suffered their injuries in Scotland's Calcutta Cup and tournament-opening 38-18 loss to England at Twickenham last weekend.

This Saturday sees a repeat of last season's wooden spoon decider, which Italy won 13-6 to condemn the Scots to a winless Championship.

However, this year the Azzurri will come into the match on the back of a morale-boosting 23-18 victory at home to pre-tournament favourites France at Rome's Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

And while the result may have shocked some pundits, Johnson insisted he was not among them.

"Italy's victory over France in Rome was well deserved and certainly didn't surprise us," he said.

"It will be a true Test match this weekend and it would be great to have a big vocal Murrayfield crowd supporting the boys this weekend."

Kelly Brown retained the captaincy after leading the side at Twickenham, although Johnson has still to confirm if the openside flanker will skipper the side for the whole tournament.



15-Stuart Hogg, 14-Sean Maitland, 13-Sean Lamont 12-Matt Scott, 11-Tim Visser, 10-Ruaridh Jackson, 9-Greig Laidlaw, 8-Johnnie Beattie, 7-Kelly Brown, 6-Robert Harley, 5-Jim Hamilton, 4-Richie Gray, 3-Euan Murray, 2-Ross Ford, 1-Ryan Grant

Replacements: 16-Dougie Hall or Pat MacArthur, 17-Moray Low, 18-Geoff Cross, 19-Alastair Kellock, 20-David Denton, 21-Henry Pyrgos, 22-Duncan Weir, 23-Max Evans

Read more on:    six nations  |  scott johnson  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 03 February 2018
Wales v Scotland, Principality Stadium 16:15
France v Ireland, Stade de France 18:45
Sunday, 04 February 2018
Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico 17:00
Saturday, 10 February 2018
Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium 16:15
England v Wales, Twickenham 18:45

Who will win the 2017 Six Nations title?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.