ROME, Italy -- Scotland were dealt an early injury blow ahead of their Six Nations clash with Italy after No. 8 David Denton was ruled out just an hour before kick-off.
The 26-year-old failed to recover from a groin strain picked up during Friday's captain's run at the Stadio Olimpico, with Ryan Wilson promoted to the starting line-up from the bench.
South African-born Josh Strauss has joined the 23 among the replacements despite playing for Glasgow Warriors against Dragons on Thursday night.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 27, 2016
Scotland faced similar disruption in their last Six Nations outing -- a 27-23 defeat by Wales. Sean Maitland was replaced in the starting XV by Sean Lamont at the last minute after failing to recover from a hamstring injury.
Vern Cotter's men are desperately trying to prevent their winless run in the Championship from extending into double figures with victory over Italy. Their nine defeats in a row is the country's second-worst record, after the 15 straight losses the amateurs suffered between 1951 and 1955.