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Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Murray and Kellock to face Italy

Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 28 February Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Coverage: 1430-1700, live on BBC One, BBC Red Button, BBC HD and BBC Sport website, full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Scotland and online, live text commentary and score updates on BBC Sport website

Interview - Scotland head coach Frank Hadden

Euan Murray and Alastair Kellock have returned to the Scotland starting line-up as coach Frank Hadden made two changes for Italy's visit on Saturday.

Alasdair Dickinson drops to the bench, while Kellock replaces second-row Jim Hamilton, who picked up a shoulder injury in the defeat by France.

It will be a first Test start for two years for Glasgow Warriors' Kellock.

Murray returns at tight-head prop for the Six Nations match at Murrayfield after recovering from a rib injury.

Hadden said that, despite the 22-13 loss, he was looking for a similar display to that seen in France.

"We took a bold approach to selection last week and performed bravely in Paris," said the coach. "The approach to this game remains the same.

Euan will be under pressure this weekend because that is the real area of strength for the Italians

Scotland coach Frank Hadden

"We are delighted to recall Euan Murray and bring someone as experienced as Al Kellock in to replace Jim Hamilton.

"Al always brings great enthusiasm and leadership skills, has been champing at the bit waiting for this opportunity and he is determined to show what he can do this weekend."

As for what Scotland had missed during Murray's absence, Hadden suggested: "It's a matter of his considerable bulk for starters.

"But Euan has slowly but surely developed into one of the finest tight-heads in Britain and he is hotly tipped to go on the Lions tour.

"But he will be under pressure this weekend because that is the real area of strength for the Italians."

Euan Murray and Ali Kellock
Murray joins Kellock in the team after recovering from a rib injury

Murray had sat out training on Monday, but it was only a case of resting the Northampton Saints player, who has missed the opening two Six Nations matches, after he turned played in his club's Guinness Premiership defeat by Wasps the previous day.

Simon Danielli was in a similar position after playing for Ulster and retains his place on the wing against Italy.

Lock Scott MacLeod, flanker Alan MacDonald, prop Ed Kalman and hooker Scott Lawson had all been called into Scotland squad to cover for injuries, but none have made the match squad.

Dougie Hall and Kelly Brown picked up injuries playing for Glasgow at the weekend, while Scott Gray suffered a knock with Northampton, but all three have been deemed fit enough to take their places on the bench.

Craig Hamilton and Ally Hogg were also carrying knocks but do not feature in the match-day party along with the previously-injured Geoff Cross and Simon Webster.

Dickinson, who started at tighthead in Paris, replaces fellow prop Moray Low on the bench.

Scotland and Italy are both seeking their first points in this season's Six Nations championship.

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).

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see also
Italians welcome back Bortolami
25 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Hadden plays down Italy pressure
23 Feb 09 |  Scottish
Southwell targets win over Italy
17 Feb 09 |  Scottish
Scots hopeful over Murray return
16 Feb 09 |  Scottish
Better times ahead, says Hadden
14 Feb 09 |  Scottish
France 22-13 Scotland
14 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union

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