26 February 2009, 5:26 pm
Scotland v Italy
Scotland head coach Frank Hadden faces arguably the most important game of his near four-year tenure when Italy visit Murrayfield in the RBS 6 Nations this weekend.
If Italy were to win, it would complete a hat-trick of RBS 6 Nations losses to the Azzurri, who followed up their shock victory in Edinburgh two years ago with a win in Rome last season.
Hadden’s hopes of avoiding a third straight humiliation have been boosted by the return to fitness of prop Euan Murray, who has recovered more quickly than expected from a rib injury.
He is one of two changes to the side beaten in France two weeks ago, with Glasgow captain Alastair Kellock making his first Test start for two years following an injury to fellow lock Jim Hamilton (shoulder).
Italy welcome back Andrea Marcato and Marco Bortolami, both of whom missed the 38-9 defeat to Ireland through injury.
Marcato replaces full-back Andrea Masi, who is serving a three-week ban, while lock Bortolami comes in for the dropped Tommaso Reato.
Hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini returns from injury, while Franco Sbaraglini comes onto the bench as replacement after Fabio Ongaro hurt himself in training on Wednesday.
Calvisano’s Gonzalo Garcia earned a starting spot, with Kaine Robertson having been left out of the squad.
Overmach Cariparma utility back Giulio Rubini could have a chance to make his national team debut in Scotland from the bench.