GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Glasgow flanker Robert Harley earned his first start in a Scotland side which made two enforced changes on Tuesday to the lineup for the Six Nations test against Italy at Murrayfield this weekend.
Harley, who scored the match-winning try against Samoa on debut as a substitute last June, was named in place of Alasdair Strokosch, who damaged an eye socket in the 38-18 loss to England last Saturday.
Strokosch was to be examined by a specialist surgeron on Tuesday to see when he can play again. Dougie Hall hurt his knee in the same match, and was dropped to the reserves, subject to a fitness check. Ross Ford was promoted in the only other change by coach Scott Johnson.
The 22-year-old Harley has played for Scotland Under-20s in 2009 and 2010 and for Scotland A. He's also captained Glasgow. "I had the pleasure of working with Robert on our tour last summer," Johnson said.
"He's big and aggressive and he's been knocking on the door for selection for a wee while. He deserves this chance as a reward for his club form. "Italy's victory against France in Rome was well-deserved and certainly didn't surprise us. It will be a true test match this weekend."
Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Sean Lamont, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, Ruaridh Jackson, Greig Laidlaw; Johnnie Beattie, Kelly Brown (captain), Robert Harley, Jim Hamilton, Richie Gray, Euan Murray, Ross Ford, Ryan Grant. Reserves: Dougie Hall or Pat MacArthur, Moray Low, Geoff Cross, Alastair Kellock, David Denton, Henry Pyrgos, Duncan Weir, Max Evans.