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Six Nations: George Horne handed Scotland start for Italy clash in Rome

Scotland make three changes to side who beat England so impressively last time out in Six Nations; George Horne gets the nod at scrum-half for the first time since the 2019 World Cup; Saracens flanker Andy Christie handed his first international start; Cam Redpath comes in at centre

George Horne, Scotland
Image: George Horne returns at scrum half for Scotland against Italy on Saturday

George Horne has been handed a surprise start for Scotland's Six Nations clash with Italy in Rome on Saturday, with Gregor Townsend making three changes to the side that beat England last time out.

Horne has been given the nod to play scrum-half 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.

Scotland's Six Nations 2024 fixtures

Saturday, February 3 Wales 26-27 Scotland 4.45pm
Saturday, February 10 Scotland 16-20 France 2.15pm
Saturday, February 24 Scotland 30-21 England 4.45pm
Saturday, March 9 Italy vs Scotland 2.15pm
Saturday, March 16 Ireland vs Scotland 4.45pm

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.

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Scotland's Duhan Van der Merwe says it was a 'special day' after scoring a hat-trick in Scotland's 30-21 Six Nations victory over England

Back-rower Matt Fagerson, who dropped out of the 23 altogether for the last match, returns to the bench as Townsend opts for a 6-2 split among forwards and backs.

The Scots are currently second in the table and need a win to keep alive their slim championship hopes. They are unbeaten in their past 13 meetings with Italy, last suffering defeat in Rome in 2013 when going down 13-6 to their hosts.

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Sky Sports News' Eleanor Roper analyses England's 30-21 Six Nations defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield

Scotland team: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell (co-captain), 9 George Horne; 1 Pierre Schoeman, 2 George Turner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 5 Scott Cummings, 6 Andy Christie, 7 Rory Darge (co-captain), 8 Jack Dempsey

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Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Matt Fagerson, 22 Ali Price, 23 Kyle Rowe

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