Frank Hadden has named his side to take on the Italians this week, and the Scots will be desperate to avoid the prospect of the wooden spoon.
If English supporters were worried about the second row situation, they should be thankful that they aren’t Scottish – Hadden has lost Jim Hamilton and Nathan Hines to injury, and is continuing to experiment with back row forwards at lock.
Does this team contain potential Lions? Mike Blair may have lost some ground to Mike Phillips in the last few weeks, whilst no one else has really made an effective case. What price on Thom Evans to make the trip though if he has strong games in the last three fixtures?
Scotland: Hugo Southwell (Edinburgh), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Max Evans (Glasgow Warriors), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors), Thom Evans (Glasgow Warriors), Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Mike Blair (Edinburgh, capt), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Northampton Saints), Jason White (Sale Sharks), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Simon Taylor (Stade Francais), John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors).
Replacements: Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Kelly Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Gray (Northampton Saints), Chris Cusiter (Perpignan), Chris Paterson (Edinburgh), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh).