Scotland have made three changes to their squad ahead of their crucial weekend fixture against Italy in the Six Nations, reports BBC Sport.

Richie Gray, Scott Lawson and Johnnie Beattie all come in to replace Tim Swinson, Ross Ford and David Denton.

Scotland need to win this weekend in Rome to try and kick start their Six Nations campaign and two defeats from two games has obviously affected the morale in camp.

Interim boss Scott Johnson said: "Is the mood down? Yes. Should it be down? Yes, it should be. At the end of the day, we've got to do better and that's what we're going to do. The best way to close a critic's mouth is to perform."

A third defeat of the tournament would almost guarantee Scotland picking up the wooden spoon.

The importance of the game was not lost on the returning Gray, who told the Daily Telegraph: "I'm delighted to be back. I think I speak for all the players in the fact we're looking forward to going out and putting in a performance. So I think this weekend it's really about showing what we can do."

The Lions star was sent back to his club last weekend to improve on "a couple of aspects of his game". The 6ft 10 giant made an appearance in the first game against Ireland as a replacement.

Kelly Brown is still missing for the Scots, as he is playing for Saracens this weekend.

Elsewhere in the Six Nations, Wales host unbeaten France at the Millenium Stadium on Friday night and England host Ireland at Twickenham.

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