De Luca back for Scotland
March 14, 2012
Martin Castrogiovanni wil rejoin Sergio Parisse in Italy's starting line up © Getty Images
Nick De Luca has recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place in Scotland's starting XV for their Wooden Spoon decider against Italy in Rome.
The centre was a late withdrawal from Scotland's clash with Ireland last weekend but returns as the only change to Scotland's starting line up. He replaces Lee Jones, who suffered severe concussion during the defeat in Ireland. Max Evans moves on to the right wing while Jack Cuthbert is drafted onto the bench as cover for the back three.
The return of Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni is one of six changes for Italy.
The tight-head has recovered from a fractured rib that saw him miss the last two games and will start this weekend while Simone Favaro drops to the bench with flanker Robert Barbieri taking his place in the starting XV. Aironi lock Marco Bortolami replaces Cornelius Van Zyl to earn his 93rd cap.
In the backs Giovambattista Venditti replaces Luke McLean on the right wing while Tommaso Benvenuti will start at centre. Benetton Treviso's Edoardo Gori replaces Fabio Semenzato at scrum-half.
Scotland: S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors); M Evans (Castres), N De Luca (Edinburgh), G Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Scarlets); G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), M Blair (Edinburgh); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (capt, Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), J Hamilton (Gloucester), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), R Rennie (Edinburgh), D Denton (Edinburgh)
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), E Murray (Newcastle), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), R Vernon (Sale Sharks), C Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors), R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), J Cuthbert (Bath)
Italy: A Masi (Aironi Rugby); G Venditti (Aironi Rugby), T Benvenuti (Benetton Treviso), G Canale (Clermont-Auvergne), Mirco Bergamasco (Racing-Metro Paris); K Burton (Benetton Treviso), E Gori (Benetton Treviso); A Lo Cicero (Racing Metro-Paris), L Ghiraldini (Benetton Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers), Q Geldenhuys (Aironi Rugby), M Bortolami (Aironi Rugby), A Zanni (Benetton Treviso), R Barbieri (Benetton Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais)
Replacements: T D'Apice (Aironi Rugby), L Cittadini (Benetton Treviso), J Furno (Aironi Rugby), S Favaro (Aironi Rugby), M Vosawai (Benetton Treviso), T Botes (Benetton Treviso), G Toniolatti (Aironi Rugby), M Rizzo (Benetton Treviso), A Sgarbi (Benetton Treviso)
Referee: A Rolland (Ireland)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor