Grant Gilchrist to captain Scotland against Italy

Grant Gilchrist in action during Scotland's training session. Picture: SNS

Grant Gilchrist in action during Scotland's training session. Picture: SNS

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SCOTLAND have named Grant Gilchrist as captain for Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match against Italy in Turin.

Head coach Vern Cotter has announced a raft of changes to his squad for what is the second of four preparatory matches.

A Scotland side skippered by Henry Pyrgos lost narrowly to Ireland in Dublin last Saturday. Now second-row forward Gilchrist has the opportunity to stake his claim to the captaincy ahead of next’s month’s World Cup in England

The are 11 changes in the squad – nine in the pack.

A new look back row will be selected from Adam Ashe, John Hardie, Alasdair Strokosch and Hamish Watson, none of whom were involved against Ireland. They replace John Barclay, Hugh Blake, Blair Cowan and David Denton.

The five remaining changes up front sees Kevin Bryce, Alasdair Dickinson, Richie Gray, Stuart McInally and Willem Nel come in for Fraser Brown, Allan Dell, Ryan Grant, Rob Harley, and Jon Welsh.

The Test in Turin is the first of two back-to-back matches against Italy, with the return leg at BT Murrayfield the following Saturday (29 August).

Scotland must announce their final 31-man squad for Rugby World Cup ahead of the 31 August. They then play France in the final warm-up Test on 5 September.

Scotland squad: to face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico, Turin, this Saturday, (kick-off 7pm BST), live on BT Sport.

Backs: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh Rugby), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby), Rory Hughes (Glasgow Warriors), Ruaridh Jackson (Wasps), Sean Lamont, Henry Pyrgos (both Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott, Greig Tonks (both Edinburgh Rugby), Richie Vernon, Duncan Weir (both Glasgow Warriors),

Forwards: Adam Ashe, Kevin Bryce, Mike Cusack (all Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Grant Gilchrist CAPTAIN (all Edinburgh Rugby), Richie Gray (Castres), Jim Hamilton (Saracens), John Hardie (unattached), Stuart McInally, Willem Nel (both Edinburgh Rugby), Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpigan), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby).

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