Brown fit to face much-changed Italy
March 16, 2011
Martin Castrogiovanni has retained his place for Italy © Getty Images
Kelly Brown has been passed fit to start Scotland's vital Six Nations clash with Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday.
The Saracens No.8 was carried from the field in last weekend's loss to England after a heavy collision with centre Matt Banahan and while he will continue to be monitored under concussion protocols, he has been named at the base of the scrum.
The team shows only one change from that 22-16 loss, with Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross recalled at tight-head in a bid to shore up a Scottish scrum that has creaked so far in the Championship.
Cross replaces Moray Low, who drops out of the 22, while Newcastle's Euan Murray returns on the bench as Scotland seek to avoid the wooden spoon.
Italy coach Nick Mallett has rung the changes despite their heroic victory over France. The former Stade Francais coach has made six alterations to his matchday squad for the Murrayfield clash, with avoiding the wooden spoon still a concern despite last weekend's 22-21 win over Les Bleus.
Among the backs, Benetton Treviso's Alberto Sgarbi replaces Gonzalo Garcia at inside-centre while his domestic team-mate Kris Burton takes Luciano Orquera's place at fly-half.
Flanker Paul Derbyshire will earn his first Six Nations start, replacing the impressive Robert Barbieri at openside. Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni is the only player retained in the front-row, with Leonardo Ghiraldini and Salvatore Perugini returning at hooker and loose-head respectively. Lock Quintin Geldenhuys also starts after being relegated to the replacements bench last time out.
Scotland: C Paterson (Edinburgh); M Evans (Glasgow Warriors), J Ansbro (Northampton), S Lamont (Scarlets), S Danielli (Ulster); R Jackson (Glasgow Warriors), R Lawson (Gloucester); A Jacobsen (Edinburgh), R Ford (Edinburgh), G Cross (Edinburgh), R Gray (Glasgow Warriors), A Kellock (Glasgow Warriors, captain), N Hines (Leinster), J Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), K Brown (Saracens)
Replacements: S Lawson (Gloucester), E Murray (Newcastle), R Vernon (Glasgow Warriors), A Strokosch (Gloucester), M Blair (Edinburgh), D Parks (Cardiff Blues), N De Luca (Edinburgh)
Italy: A Masi (Racing Metro); T Benvenuti (Treviso), G Canale (Clermont Auvergne), A Sgarbi (Treviso), Mirco Bergamasco (Stade Francais); K Burton (Treviso), F Semenzato (Treviso); S Perugini (Aironi), L Ghiraldini (Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Leicester), C Del Fava (Aironi), Q Geldenhuys (Aironi), A Zanni (Treviso), P Derbyshire (Treviso), S Parisse (Stade Francais).
Replacements: C Festuccia (Racing Metro), A Lo Cicero (Racing Metro), V Bernabo (Treviso), R Barbieri (Treviso), P Canavosio (Aironi), L Orquera (Brive), L McLean (Treviso)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ire)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton