Kyle Steyn to start for Scotland in Six Nations trip to Italy

Kyle Steyn in action for Scotland during 2021 Autumn Internationals Kyle Steyn is one of five changes to Scotland's starting XV for the Italy match (Steve Welsh/PA)

Kyle Steyn will make his first Six Nations start for Scotland as one of five changes to the starting XV for this Saturday’s clash with Italy in Rome.

The Glasgow winger’s only previous appearances in the tournament was in 2020 when he came off the bench against France.

Steyn enjoyed a stunning first start for Scotland when he scored four tries against Tonga in October and he will now get another chance to make an impact in the inaugural Cuttitta Cup match at Stadio Olimpico.

Matt Fagerson returns from injury to start at number eight, while Hamish Watson is also named in the starting line-up having missed the last match against France through coronavirus.

Centre Sam Johnson and front-rower George Turner are the others added to the team.

The five players to drop out are Stuart McInally, Magnus Bradbury, Sione Tuipulotu, Nick Haining and the suspended Duhan van der Merwe.

In the replacements, Edinburgh scrum-half Ben Vellacott is in line to make his debut, while Gloucester scrum-half Adam Hastings could make his first appearance of the tournament from the bench after being a surprise omission from Gregor Townsend’s squad for the three previous matches.

Ali Price will win his 50th cap at scrum-half as the Scots bid to reignite their campaign following back-to-back defeats away to Wales and at home to France.

Scotland team to play Italy

Forwards: 1 Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby), 2 George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), 3 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), 4 Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), 5 Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby), 6 Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors), 7 Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby), 8 Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)

Backs: 9 Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), 10 Finn Russell (Racing 92), 11 Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), 12 Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), 13 Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby), 14 Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby), 15 Stuart Hogg (CAPTAIN, Exeter Chiefs)

Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), 17 Allan Dell (London Irish), 18 WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby), 19 Jamie Hodgson (Edinburgh Rugby), 20 Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh Rugby), 21 Ben Vellacott (Edinburgh Rugby)*, 22 Adam Hastings (Gloucester Rugby), 23 Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors)

* Denotes uncapped player

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