Fraser Brown's rush of blood to the head against England has cost the Scotland hooker his starting slot against Italy on Saturday.

Head coach Vern Cotter - who is taking charge of the Dark Blues for the final time - has recalled Ross Ford to start against the Azzurri at Murrayfield after Brown wrecked his plans for the Auld Enemy with his Twickenham sin-binning.

The Glasgow front-rower was shown a yellow card just 90 seconds into the clash with Eddie Jones's team after dumping wing Elliot Daly to the turf with a dangerous tip tackle. 

Brown was spared further punishment on Tuesday when an independent disciplinary panel ruled his challenge did not merit a red card.

But Cotter has now decided to hand Ford his first start of the championship and his 107th international cap.
The Edinburgh forward will need just two more caps after this weekend to equal Chris Paterson's Test record for a Scottish player.

Ford's inclusion is the only change to the starting XV ripped apart by the English last weekend as they went on to claim a record-equalling 61-21 triumph.

Although their title hopes were snuffed out by that humiliating defeat, Scotland can still finish as runners up for the first time since the tournament was expanded to six teams in 2000.

Cotter will be relieved to see the likes of Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour and Ryan Wilson declare themselves fit after suffering head knocks last weekend. Finn Russell, Huw Jones and Richie Gray have also shaken off knocks to take on the struggling Italians, who have lost all four of their games to date.

The only other change to the match-day squad sees Gloucester centre Matt Scott return to the bench to replace Mark Bennett, who lasted just two minutes as a first-half replacement against England before suffering leg and arm injuries.

Scotland team to play Italy: Hogg (Glasgow); Seymour (Glasgow), Jones (Stormers), Dunbar (Glasgow), Visser (Harlequins); Russell (Glasgow), Price (Glasgow); Reid (Glasgow), Ford (Edinburgh), Fagerson (Glasgow), R Gray (Toulouse), J Gray (Glasgow), Barclay (Scarlets, capt), Watson (Edinburgh), Wilson (Glasgow).

Replacements: Brown (Glasgow), Dell (Edinburgh), Berghan (Edinburgh), Swinson (Glasgow), Du Preez (Edinburgh), Pyrgos (Glasgow), Weir (Edinburgh), Scott (Gloucester

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Live Six Nations coverage of Ireland v England on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player (KO 5pm), live radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday Sport and live blog on RTÉ.ie and the RTÉ News Now app.

Television coverage begins at 12pm on Saturday with live coverage of Scotland v Italy (KO 12.30pm) and France v Wales (KO 2.45pm) on RTÉ Two and RTÉ Player on Saturday.

Live coverage of Ireland v England in the Under-20 Six Nations on RTÉ2 from 5.30pm (KO 5.45pm) on Friday.

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