Oli Smith replaces injured Stuart Hogg against Italy

Oli Smith starts at full-back in place of Stuart Hogg and Blair Kinghorn heads-up to replace Finn Russell.

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Both impact couples were ruled out after suffering injuries in last week’s match against Ireland.

In the pack, Sam Skinner comes in second, with Hamish Watson returning at the open.

Kinghorn will partner Ben White (scrum-half) as part of a back section containing the same quarterback pair of Sione Tuipulotu – named vice-captain – and Huw Jones for the fifth straight game.

Smith completes a defense trio that includes wingers Doohan van der Merwe and Kyle Stein, both of whom are also present at the 2023 tournament.

Captain Jimmy Ritchie returns to the blind flanker to join Watson and No. 8 Jack Dempsey in the back row, with Johnny Gray, once again named vice-captain, lining up alongside Skinner in the second row.

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Scotland’s first row again featured George Turner at hooker, with loose defender Pierre Schoemann and Xander Fagersson (tophead) combining as a unit for the third match in succession.

Among the alternatives, front-runner Ben Healy is on the way to making his Scotland debut, with Ali Price and Cameron Redpath – who will make his Championship debut this year – also named.

As potential attacking replacements, Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland and WP Nel represent changes to the matchday squad from the final round, along with Scott Cummings and Matt Fagerson.

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