Horne handed keys to number 10

Feb 26 • General News, International, Six Nations • 2511 Views • Comments Off on Horne handed keys to number 10

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Glasgow Warriors stand-off Peter Horne has been given the chance to bring his club form to the international arena, with the starting stand-off spot for this Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations match against Italy at BT Murrayfield (28 February, kick-off 2.30pm).

Horne, who helped orchestrate his Guinness PRO12-leading club’s back-to-back wins over Zebre and Ospreys – man of the match in the former – is a direct replacement for suspended club-mate Finn Russell, whose appeal was overruled by a Six Nations disciplinary committee yesterday afternoon (Wednesday).

He is one of four changes to the starting side, with second-row Tim Swinson the only other to be enforced. He takes on the starting berth of the injured Richie Gray (arm).

The front-line alterations are completed with the return of Glasgow Warriors wing Tommy Seymour and prop Euan Murray, who start in place of Tim Visser and Geoff Cross, having missed the Wales match through injury (hip) and religious beliefs respectively.

Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter said: “We’re very wary of Italy and feel that they have improved. They are a team that will be targeting this game, so we must be prepared to roll our sleeves up and work very hard to get a result.

“They are a big, physical team – bigger than us – so we will have to be technically strong and well connected as a group to withstand what will be a strong assault on our defensive line.

“We’re very focused on what we do and what we want to achieve, which is to apply pressure that yields points, create line breaks and tackle breaks and develop our speed in this game.

“If we keep developing our belief and our skill sets, and our attitude to the game and our standards we’ll get what we’re aiming for, which is the win.”

Cotter has made four changes to the replacements’ bench, with props Ryan Grant and Cross replacing Gordon Reid (knee) and Jon Welsh (hand), who were injured against Wales.

On the bench, promising young Edinburgh Rugby duo Ben Toolis (22) and Hamish Watson (23) are poised to make their senior international debuts having taken the places of injured lock Jim Hamilton (groin) and back-row Alasdair Strokosch.

Replacement scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne today completed his graduated return to play protocol to retain his place in the squad, having shown signs of delayed concussion after the match against Wales.

Cotter added: “We have youth and experience in this group of players and when we look at our performances, we’ve improved from one week to the next, so that’s positive.

“We’ve stayed focused on the process. The players have been very honest, but we’re enjoying what we’re doing and that’s important.

“We focus on the here, the now, and what’s next, in the knowledge that what we do now can influence what comes next.”

Scotland team to play Italy at BT Murrayfield Stadium in the RBS 6 Nations this Saturday (28 February, kick-off 2.30pm)

15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); 29 caps, 9 tries, 1 pen, 48 points

14 Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors); 14 caps, 6 tries, 30 points
13 Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors); 4 caps
12 Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors); 13 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
11 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors); 92 caps, 12 tries, 60 points

10 Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors); 6 caps
9 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester); 36 caps, 3 tries, 38 cons, 74 pens, 313 points

1 Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby); 41 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
2 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby); 82 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
3 Euan Murray (Glasgow Warriors); 63 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
4 Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors); 9 caps
5 Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors); 10 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors); 12 caps, 1 try, 5 points
7 Blair Cowan (London Irish); 8 caps, 1 try, 5 points
8 Johnnie Beattie (Castres); 36 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

16 Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors); 5 caps
17 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors); 19 caps
18 Geoff Cross (London Irish); 37 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
19 Ben Toolis (Edinburgh Rugby); uncapped
20 Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby); uncapped
21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby); 2 caps
22 Greig Tonks (Edinburgh Rugby); 1 cap
23 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby); 22 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)

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