sport

Hall and Strokosch ruled out

Scotland's interim head coach Scott Johnson has been forced to make two changes to his side for this weekend's RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy.

Alasdair Strokosch and Dougie Hall will both miss out after picking up injuries in the Calcutta Cup defeat to England last Saturday.

Back-row forward Strokosch - who will see specialists in Edinburgh to examine the extent of an eye socket injury - is replaced by Robert Harley while Ross Ford comes in at hooker in place of Hall, missing with a knee injury.

Glasgow forward Harley, 22, makes his first start at Murrayfield, having scored the winning try against Samoa on the Scots' tour of the South Pacific last summer.

Kelly Brown will retain the captaincy for the visit of the Azzurri after Johnson - who has declined to confirm if he will continue in the role for the entire competition - gave him the nod once more.

Strokosch, meanwhile, will see experts at Spire Murrayfield Hospital today to determine whether he can play any further part in the Championship after damaging his eye socket in the 38-18 defeat to the Auld Enemy.

Scotland team: S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); S Maitland (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), M Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) T Visser (Edinburgh Rugby); R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby); R Grant (Glasgow Warriors), R Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), E Murray (Worcester Warriors), R Gray (Sale Sharks), J Hamilton (Gloucester), R Harley (Glasgow Warriors), K Brown (captain, Saracens), J Beattie (Montpellier).

Replacements: D Hall (Glasgow Warriors) or Pat MacArthur (Glasgow Warriors), M Low (Glasgow Warriors), G Cross (Edinburgh Rugby), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), D Denton (Edinburgh Rugby), H Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors), D Weir (Glasgow Warriors), M Evans (Castres).