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Scotland can lock up third spot in the 2023 Six Nations if they secure a bonus-point win over Italy on home soil at BT Murrayfield.
Scotland’s championship started with such promise as they continued their recent Calcutta Cup domination over England before ending their hoodoo against Wales to head into the first rest week with their grand slam aspirations still alive.
Gregor Townsend then saw his troops slip to back-to-back defeats to France and Ireland, despite decent performances in both games. Victory over Italy would cap a solid Six Nations heading into a daunting World Cup group but a shock loss would undermine a lot of the work they have done to this point.
The Azzurri showed plenty of positive signs in their first three games of this championship but a winnable game against a Wales side in disarray saw them produce a limp display and slip to a frustrating defeat, giving them just one more chance to salvage their Six Nations campaign.
Here is all you need to know about the fixture.
When is Scotland vs Italy and what TV channel is it on?
The match will kick-off at 12.30pm BST on Saturday 18 March. It will be shown on BBC One as well as BBC iPlayer.
What is the team news?
Scotland have made four changes to their starting XV with Ollie Smith and Blair Kinghorn in for the injured Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell.
They slot into an otherwise unchanged line-up in the backs, including top try scorer of the tournament centre Huw Jones. In the forwards, Sam Skinner and Hamish Watson come in with Matt Fagerson dropped to the bench and Richie Gray out injured. Cameron Redpath is set for his first appearance of the tournament as he starts from the bench.
Italy too make four changes to their starting line-up. Exciting young flyer Simone Gesi comes in on the wing with Edoardo Padovani out of the matchday 23 and Alessandro Fusco is at scrum-half with Stephen Varney out.
In the forwards, Marco Riccioni starts at prop and Edoardo Iachizzi is at lock with Niccolo Cannone dropped to the bench.
Scotland v Italy line-ups
Scotland: Ollie Smith; Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe; Blair Kinghorn, Ben White; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Sam Skinner, Jonny Gray, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Jack Dempsey.
Replacements: Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland, WP Nel, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Ali Price, Ben Healy, Cameron Redpath
Italy: Tommaso Allan; Pierre Bruno, Juan Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Simone Gesi; Paolo Garbisi, Alessandro Fusco; Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Marco Riccioni, Edoardo Iachizzi, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro, Lorenzo Cannone.
Replacements: Marco Manifredi, Federrico Zani, Pietro Ceccarelli, Niccolo Cannone, Giovanni Pettinelli, Manuel Zuliani, Alessandro Garbisi, Luca Morisi.
Scotland – 1/10
Draw – 45/1
Italy – 6/1
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