Feb 7 2013 By Gordon Parks
GLASGOW WARRIORS star Robert Harley has been handed his first Six Nations start after being named in the side to face Italy on Saturday.
The 22-year-old forward will make his Murrayfield bow as he replaces the injured Alasdair Strokosch in the back-row.
Harley scored the match-winning try against Samoa on his debut when he was introduced off the bench on the summer tour of the South Pacific.
But the former Douglas Academy pupil will be thrilled to finally get the chance to run out in a Scotland jersey at a packed Murrayfield.
Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson said: “I had the pleasure of working with Robert on our tour last summer.
“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 on Saturday was well-deserved and certainly didn’t surprise us.
“It will be a true Test match this weekend and it will be great to have a big vocal Murrayfield crowd supporting the boys.”
The only other change to the starting line-up sees British Lion Ross Ford return at hooker in place of Dougie Hall, who sustained a knee injury in the 38-18 defeat to England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Hall and his Glasgow Warriors team-mate Pat MacArthur are both bracketed for the substitute hooker role with a decision to be made, pending Hall’s fitness, later this week.