Tim Visser [centre] in action for Harlequins
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Tim Visser has been recalled to the Scotland starting XV to face Italy in Rome.
Visser has recovered from a hamstring injury he suffered while playing for Harlequins in December and replaces Sean Lamont in Vern Cotter’s team
Cotter will hope the 23-cap wing – who has 10 international tries to his name – can add some vital fire-power ahead of what already looks like a wooden-spoon decider in the Eternal City.
The Dutch-born flyer goes straight into the starting XV for the Stadio Olimpico duel after proving his fitness during two 80-minute run outs for Quins against Leicester and Gloucester.
Cotter’s only other alterations to the squad that lost 27-23 to Wales in Cardiff two weeks ago are on the bench.
Exeter prop Moray Low will look to add to his 29 caps with a first appearance for Scotland since the 2014 summer tour of North America and South Africa, while 23-year-old Edinburgh loosehead Rory Sutherland is primed for his international debut.
Other changes to the replacements list see Glasgow Warriors back row Ryan Wilson and centre Peter Horne also recalled.
Cotter knows not only his side, but his reign as head coach, will come under scrutiny if they fail again against the Azzurri after last year’s whitewash.
But the former Clermont Auvergne boss tried to give off an air of calmness as he said: “After a week off from the championship, we have returned to camp fresh and fit, and have prepared well for what will be another formidable opponent.
“Italy have shown they are a talented team, particularly in their performance away against France, but also against England.
“They surprised both teams with their physicality, intensity and quality, all of which we will have to be ready for, and at least equal to, if we are to win in Rome this weekend.
“We have worked hard to improve our game and will stay true to the core values of this team, which is to work hard but stay calm; have belief in our systems, ourselves, and enjoy the opportunity.”