Townsend makes three changes to Scotland team for Italy test

Stuart McInally,Ben Toolis and Chris Harris come into the team as they search for their first win.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has made three changes to his team as they look to earn their first win of the Six Nations campaign against Italy on Saturday.

Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally, second row Ben Toolis and Gloucester centre Chris Harris all come into the side for the match at Stadio Olimpico.

Jonny Gray is out through injury, Fraser Brown drops to the bench and Huw Jones drops out of the squad altogether.

Scotland have suffered defeat in both of their Six Nations so far, losing 19-12 in Ireland in their opening match before suffering a 13-6 defeat to England in the Calcutta Cup.

Townsend said he felt Harris and McInally had earned their chance to start and he expected them to make an impact.

“We believe Chris [Harris] and Stuart [McInally] deserve this opportunity,” he said. “They were very close to the starting fifteen when we entered this campaign. We think this is the right time for them to come in.

“Chris has been excellent for Gloucester this season and has continued to make improvements since the summer. He works very hard on both sides of the ball, which will be important this week.

“Stuart [McInally] has shown over the past few weeks he’s back to full fitness and is raring to go and Ben gets an opportunity to start following Jonny’s injury against England.

“Second-row is a position we have a lot of competition with a number of very good players available for selection. We’re looking forward to seeing how he combines again with Scott [Cummings] after a successful outing together against Russia in the World Cup.”

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