Rhona Lloyd will win her 50th cap for Scotland against Italy in Parma on Saturday in round four of the Guinness Women’s Six Nations.  

Bryan Easson’s side shows four changes from the 46-0 defeat to England last weekend, with lock Eva Donaldson handed a first start after a combative cameo from the bench against the Red Roses.  

Molly Wright is preferred at loosehead prop to Leah Bartlett – a double try scorer in last year’s win over Italy, while Fran McGhie makes her first start of the championship and Lisa Thomson earns a recall at inside centre for Meryl Smith.  

Donaldson replaces Fi McIntosh, with Emma Wassell again unavailable for personal reasons.  

The Scotland head coach praised Lloyd as she follows Louise McMillan in bringing up her international half-century this campaign.  

Easson said: “I’m delighted for Rhona. She deserves everything she gets and it’s a big weekend for her.

“She epitomises this team - her energy, both on and off the pitch, is second to none. Her work rate on the pitch is phenomenal, but [so is] her work rate off the pitch, her detail and how much she pulls this group together.” 

Scotland Rugby News: Rhona Lloyd is congratulated by her team-mates after one of her 22 Scotland tries to dateRhona Lloyd is congratulated by her team-mates after one of her 22 Scotland tries to date (Image: SNS)

Lloyd has 22 tries from her 49 caps since making her Scotland debut against England in the 2016 Six Nations. It could be a record for Scotland Women, but gaps in the statistical records for the women’s team mean that cannot be confirmed.  

Easson added: “The key thing for her as a winger is scoring tries: 22 tries in 49 caps - we’re hoping for another one on her 50th cap. Her strike rate is phenomenal.” 

The Scotland coach also explained why former Edinburgh University student Donaldson has leapfrogged McIntosh for the trip to Parma.  

"I felt Eva brought some real energy off the bench,” he said.  

“She’s also a good lineout option for us. We’ve worked pretty hard on our lineout this week and she and Louise McMillan have worked well together.” 

Easson said bringing Wright into the team will help bring an “edge” to Scotland’s performance.  

He added: “Molly gives us some defensive and ball-carrying dominance.  

"We want to get into the game nice and early against a side who we know that, if we start well against, we could really squeeze them.” 

Thomson, another who has more than 50 caps and a former Scotland captain, has been recalled to bring more experience. 

Scotland Rugby News: Scotland's Lisa Thomson in action against FranceScotland's Lisa Thomson in action against France (Image: SNS)

He said: “Lisa does bring a little bit of directness, but she also brings that experience. 

“Meryl's been playing really well this year, but we just felt that with a performance last week that we weren't overly happy with, we wanted just to go with more experience.” 

READ MORE: Thomson relishing Italian challenge to right wrongs of England defeat

Easson said the players had “owned” the performance against England – which he said was not a reflection of the ability of his side.  

He continued: “We know it wasn’t us and we were frustrated about that, but there was also real ownership around the performances against Wales and France.  

“We know we haven’t become a poor side after one game.” 

The teams

Italy: ⁠Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi, ⁠Aura Muzzo, ⁠Alyssa D’inca, ⁠Beatrice Rigoni, ⁠Francesca Granzotto, ⁠Veronica Madia, Sofia Stefan; Silvia Turani, Vittoria Vecchini, Sara Seye, Sara Tounesi, Giordana Duca, Ilaria Arrighetti, ⁠Francesca Sgorbini, ⁠Elisa Giordano 

Replacements: Laura Gurioli, ⁠Gaia Maris, ⁠Lucia Gai, ⁠Valeria Fedrighi, ⁠Isabella Locatelli, ⁠Beatrice Veronese, ⁠Sara Mannini, ⁠Beatrice Capomaggi 

Scotland: Chloe Rollie, Rhona Lloyd, Emma Orr, Lisa Thomson, Francesca McGhie, Helen Nelson, Caity Mattinson; Molly Wright, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Eva Donaldson, Louise McMillan, Rachel Malcolm (captain), Alex Stewart, Evie Gallagher 

Replacements: Elis Martin, Leah Bartlett, Elliann Clarke, Fiona McIntosh, Rachel McLachlan, Mairi McDonald, Meryl Smith, Coreen Grant