Scotland add uncapped centre McDowall to squad for Italy clash

FILE PHOTO: Britain Rugby Union - Glasgow Warriors v Leicester Tigers - European Rugby Champions Cup Pool One - Scotstoun Stadium - 14/10/16 Rory Hughes of Glasgow Warriors in action with Peter Betham of Leicester Tigers Action Images via Reuters / John Clifton Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

(Reuters) – Scotland have made three changes to their squad for the Six Nations opener at home to Italy on Saturday, including a call-up for uncapped centre Stafford McDowall.

Coach Gregor Townsend has also called on Glasgow Warriors wing Rory Hughes and Edinburgh scrum-half Henry Pyrgos for the clash at Murrayfield.

The trio replace loose-forward Matt Smith, centre Alex Dunbar and lock Rob Harley, who have all been released back to their club Glasgow Warriors, having been added to the squad last week.

McDowall, 20, a former Scotland Under-20 international, signed his first professional contract with Glasgow Warriors last month.

Wing Lee Jones is a doubt with a knee injury and his fitness will be assessed this week, while prop Zander Fagerson and hooker Fraser Brown will continue their rehabilitation with the squad.

Townsend has had to cast his net wide for the Six Nations after 19 players initially under consideration were unavailable for selection, including experienced flankers Hamish Watson and John Barclay, lock Richie Gray and both first-choice hookers Brown and George Turner.

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