Six Nations 2015: Scotland add five players to squad for Italy match

Vern Cotter boosts pack with a number of experienced reinforcements ahead of the must-win game on Saturday

Scotland training at BT Murrayfield
David Denton (centre) takes part in training at BT Murrayfield on Monday morning Photo by Jason O'Callaghan

Scotland have called up an additional five players ahead of the RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scrum-half Chris Cusiter, 32, was ruled out of Vern Cotter’s initial squad with a knee injury, but came through 80 minutes in Sale Sharks’ 14-10 win over Saracens on Saturday.

Exeter Chiefs tighthead prop Moray Low, 30, has also been called up as a replacement for the injured Jon Welsh (hand), despite having no game time since being stretchered off in the Chiefs’ 28-26 defeat at London Irish in January.

Cotter’s back-row injury problems have also eased with the availability of Edinburgh’s David Denton, who has recovered from a calf tear, and Glasgow Warriors number eight Adam Ashe, who has recovered from a neck injury.

Warriors loosehead prop Alex Allan has also been called up as a replacement for injured club team-mate Gordon Reid (knee), who lasted all just three minutes after coming off the bench in the 26-23 defeat to Wales at BT Murrayfield earlier this month.

Cotter had earlier called up Warriors lock Tim Swinson as cover for Castres’ Richie Gray, who was taken off with an arm injury against Wales.

Scotland have lost their opening two rounds of this year’s Six Nations, despite impressing in phases and having plenty of chances to win, and they welcome the Azzurri to Edinburgh knowing they must win.

The match is Scotland’s only home match in this championship not to sell out, but the Dark Blues will be spurred on by the country’s armed forces with 1,000 free tickets made available through Tickets for Troops.

Scotland injury list:

Chris Fusaro (ankle), Grant Gilchrist (arm), Richie Gray (arm), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (subject to concussion return-to-play protocols), Ruaridh Jackson (knee), Sean Maitland (shoulder), Henry Pyrgos (knee), Gordon Reid (knee), Tommy Seymour (hip), Duncan Taylor (returning from hamstring), Duncan Weir (arm), Jon Welsh (hand).

Unavailable due to suspension:

Finn Russell (available from 1 March*)

*Subject to appeal

MORE: Six Nations 2015: Italy call up trio for Scotland clash

MORE: Six Nations 2015: Scottish Rugby to appeal Finn Russell ban for dangerous challenge

MORE: Six Nations 2015: Five talking points as Wales hold on to defeat Scotland

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