Horne handed rare Scotland start against Italy in Six Nations showdown 

The 28-year-old Glasgow back has been given the nod to wear the number nine jersey for the first time since the 2019 World Cup.

Scrum-half George Horne handed rare Scotland start against Italy in Six Nations showdown in Rome PA Media

Scrum-half George Horne has been handed a surprise start for Scotland’s Guinness Six Nations showdown with Italy in Rome on Saturday, with Gregor Townsend making three changes to his starting XV.

The 28-year-old Glasgow back has been given the nod to wear the number nine jersey for the first time since the 2019 World Cup. Regular starter Ben White is rested and drops out of the squad altogether, with Ali Price – who has played no part in the tournament – promoted to the bench.

Saracens flanker Andy Christie is handed his first international start in place of Jamie Ritchie, who is among the substitutes.

Bath centre Cam Redpath made a positive impact off the bench in the 30-21 victory over England and replaces Glasgow’s Sione Tuipulotu, who will miss the remainder of the championship with a knee injury.

Back-rower Matt Fagerson, who dropped out of the 23 altogether for the last match, returns to the bench, with Townsend switching from a 5/3 split to a 6/2.

The Scots are currently second in the table and need a win to keep alive their slim championship hopes.

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