Mile stone for Sergio Parisse
Italy captain Sergio Parisse will make history when he walks out today.
It will be his 66th Six Nations cap, which will be a new record.
Towsend rallies his troops
Gregor Townsend says his team must make home advantage count as they also prepare to host Ireland and Wales at Murrayfield.
“On paper it’s significant because you don’t often get to start at home. But you’ve got to make the most of it,” he told BBC Radio Scotland.
“It does help you come out to the field with confidence but as soon as the whistle goes it’s just another match against a tough opponent.”
The coach is also looking forward today’s opening clash against Italy.
“Last year they had a lot of success with their forward carriers, they played ambitious rugby and got in behind us,” he added.
“It’s the first game, there’s going to be mistakes from us and from Italy and it’s important we learn from what we’re doing and what Italy are doing and what works for us.”
Scotland played their part in a historic Six Nations last year, finishing third to complete the first all-Celtic podium since 1975. This time, Gregor Townsend is targeting a landmark that would be all theirs – a first title since the final Five Nations 20 years ago.
Scotland came third in last year’s Six Nations and ensured it was the first time there had been an all-Celtic podium since 1975.
They will be looking to put a bad omen to bed today seeing as they have only won two of their opening Six Nations matches in the past.
Scotland have won six of their last 10 Six Nations matches and now Gregor Townsend is dreaming of taking his side all the way.
Italy will be hoping to pull off a shock and they have reasons to believe seeing as their last Six Nations win came in Edinburgh back in 2015.
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12Sam Johnson, 11 Blair Kinghorn, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw; 1Allan Dell, 2 Stuart McInally, 3 WP Nel, 4 Ben Toolis, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 6 Sam Skinner, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 8 Ryan Wilson.
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Simon Berghan, 19Gary Graham, 20 Josh Strauss, 21 Ali Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23Chris Harris.
Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Luca Morisi, 12Tommaso Castello, 11 Michele Campagnaro, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9Tito Tebaldi; 1 Andrea Lovotti, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3 Simone Ferrari, 4 David Sisi, 5 Dean Budd, 6 Sebastian Negri, 7 Braam Steyn, 8 Sergio Parisse.
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19Jimmy Tuivaiti, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Edoardo Padovani.
13:45: Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage for the Six Nations clash between Scotland and Italy.
We are half an hour away from the action at Murrayfield as both teams look to get their campaign off to the best possible start.
Last night the 2019 tournament got off to an entertaining start as Wales fought back to beat France in Paris.