The final day of the 2023 Six Nations gets underway at the northernmost stadium featured in the tournament, with Edinburgh's Murrayfield the stage for a match-up that looks set to be anything but a dead-rubber. Scotland's slim hopes of a first championship since 1999 were dashed by Ireland last time out, while Italy were pushed to the bottom of the ladder by Wales in Rome.
Scotland is where attacking rugby comes to thrive at the moment, with Gregor Townsend's side throwing the ball around at will to score some scintillating tries so far in 2023. Impressive, bonus point victories were recorded over England and Wales, before pushing France close throughout an end-to-end classic in Saint-Denis.
Things got off to a similar start against Ireland, but the world's number one side were able to keep the hosts at bay for 63 of the 80 minutes played at Murrayfield. Huw Jones crossed early for his fourth try of the tournament, but Ireland responded through Mack Hansen before two second-half scores within five minutes of each other wrestled the game out of Scotland's control.
"From the other end of the universe!" 🌎#AsOne pic.twitter.com/uY4zXPqsjZ— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 15, 2023
Italy have also been tough to stop when on-song with ball in hand, but are yet to record a victory in the 2023 tournament. France and Ireland were both very lucky to leave Rome with bonus-point victories, either side of a 31-14 defeat to England which featured a second-half revival at Twickenham.
Having significantly tested the world's top two at home, the Azzurri were a disappointing second-best in their 29-17 loss to Wales last time out, with errors throughout the game costing them dearly as they fell to the foot of the table. Three first-half tries gave the hosts a mountain to climb, and despite scoring first in the second period, they couldn't overcome a professional performance from Warren Gatland's men, who recorded their first win of the tournament.
Though neither side is able to win the tournament, both can still make moves up the table with victory at Murrayfield. A bonus-point win, coupled with France losing to Wales, would see Scotland move back up to second in the final standings, while Italy can climb off the bottom with one of their own, although they'd need to rely on Wales losing to avoid an 18th wooden spoon.
Recharged 🔋#AsOne pic.twitter.com/5gnvgwnG48— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 14, 2023
MORE: 2023 Six Nations standings and fixtures heading into decisive final day
Scotland vs. Italy kick-off time
Scotland host Italy in the Six Nations Championship at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. The game kicks off at 12:30 p.m. GMT on Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Here's how that time translates to major time zones around the world:
|UK||Sat, Mar. 18||12:30 GMT|
|Australia||Sat, Mar. 18||23:30 AEDT|
|Canada||Sat, Mar. 18||08:30 ET|
|New Zealand||Sun, Mar. 19||01:30 NZDT|
|USA||Sat, Mar. 18||08:30 ET|
|India||Sat, Mar. 18||18:00 IST|
|Singapore||Sat, Mar. 18||20:30 SGT|
|Malaysia||Sat, Mar. 18||20:30 MYT|
|Hong Kong||Sat, Mar. 18||20:30 HKT|
Scotland vs. Italy live stream, TV channel
Here is how to watch the match in some of the major territories:
|USA||—||fuboTV, Peacock, CNBC|
|UK||BBC One||BBC iPlayer|
|New Zealand||—||Sky Sport NOW|
|India||—||Premier Sports Asia|
|Hong Kong||—||Premier Sports Asia|
|Malaysia||—||Premier Sports Asia|
|Singapore||—||Premier Sports Asia|
USA: All games are streaming live on Peacock and will also be available through fuboTV. However, they will also be repeated on CNBC on delay, usually by a couple of hours.
Canada: All games are streaming live on DAZN.
UK: Matches will be shown on BBC and ITV, with S4C also broadcasting in Wales. BBC has the rights to this match.
Australia: Six Nations coverage is provided by Stan Sport.
India: Premier Sports Asia is the main place to watch the Six Nations.
MORE: Ireland power home in second-half to defeat Scotland in Grand Slam quest
Scotland vs. Italy confirmed lineups
Stuart Hogg won his 100th Scottish cap against Ireland, but couldn't help to prevent their 22-7 defeat and is dropped for this game. Ollie Smith slots into full-back, as Scotland's exciting backline, spearheaded by the tournament's top try-scorer Huw Jones, looks to rally from their 63-minute shutout by Ireland.
🏴 @Blair_Kinghorn completed his hat-trick against Italy in 2019 with this beauty.— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 16, 2023
He's back in the @Scotlandteam 10 jersey on #SuperSaturday ⚡️#SCOvITA | #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/UZvNiMAS2U
Further changes come in the halves and pack, with Finn Russell also absent from the 23. Blair Kinghorn deputised for the fly-half during the autumn and does so again, while Tipperary-born former Ireland youth international Ben Healy could come on for his Scotland debut. Sam Skinner replaces the injured Richie Gray at lock, and 2021 player of the championship Hamish Watson reclaims his place at openside.
Scotland starting XV: Ollie Smith, Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Blair Kinghorn, Ben White; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Sam Skinner, Jonny Gray, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Jack Dempsey.
Scotland replacements: Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland, WP Nel, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Ali Price, Ben Healy, Cameron Redpath.
Your Scotland team for Saturday's Italy clash 🏴— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) March 16, 2023
More ➡️ https://t.co/qVDd6WDAWk pic.twitter.com/BHREOQyhJm
Italy coach Kieran Crowley also makes a number of changes ahead of the Azzurri's final match. 21-year-old Simone Gesi makes his international debut on the wing, and Paolo Garbisi, yet to really fire since returning to the side against Ireland, is joined in the matchday 23 by his younger brother. Alessandro Fusco has been rewarded with a start at nine after impressing off the bench in the first four games, with Alessandro Garbisi joining the bench as the replacement scrum-half.
🇮🇹 A new face on the wing for @Federugby in the form of 2021 @SixNationsU20 star Simone Gesi. #AwakenAnticipation | #SCOvITA pic.twitter.com/6EegwR9RoA— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 16, 2023
Sebastian Negri's early second-half try began a short-lived fightback in the Azzurri's loss to Wales, and the Benetton flanker packs down in a back-row which has been impressive, and unchanged, for the entire tournament alongside Lorenzo Cannone and captain Michele Lamaro. Marco Riccioni and Edoardo Iachizzi have both made impressive cameos off the bench throughout the championship, with the pair starting this final game in numbers three and four respectively.
Italy starting XV: Tommaso Allan, Pierre Bruno, Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Simone Gesi, Paolo Garbisi, Alessandro Fusco; Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Marco Riccioni, Edoardo Iachizzi, Federico Ruzza, Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro, Lorenzo Cannone.
Italy replacements: Marco Manfredi, Federico Zani, Pietro Ceccarelli, Niccolo Cannone, Giovanni Pettinelli, Manuel Zuliani, Alessandro Garbisi, Luca Morisi.
🇮🇹 The @Federugby side to take on Scotland for #SuperSaturday⚡️#AwakenAnitcipation #SCOvITA pic.twitter.com/1u6dMK9fCq— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 16, 2023
MORE: The history and records of the Six Nations Championship
Scotland vs. Italy odds
Scotland's strong form throughout the tournament pits them as clear favourites to win on the final day, with 1/10 odds from both Sky Bet and BetMGM reflecting that. They're also backed at just over a dollar by Sports Interaction and Neds respectively, with the latter having an Italian victory at $7.00. That's the highest odds for the Azzurri to win at Murrayfield, with BetMGM's +550 the lowest ahead of Sky Bet's 6/1.