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Pieter De Villiers welcomes new trophy for Scotland Italy fixture

By PA
Massimo Cuttitta (Getty)

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Scotland assistant coach Pieter De Villiers has welcomed the introduction of a new trophy commemorating Massimo Cuttitta.

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Scotland and Italy will play for the newly-unveiled Cuttitta Cup for the first time in Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations match in Rome.

The trophy celebrates the life of Cuttitta, the former Italy captain and Scotland scrum coach who died of coronavirus 11 months ago at the age of 54.

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“I met Massimo on the circuit,” said De Villiers. “What a man. He did a lot of brilliant work in Scotland and this will be a good tribute to him. Both teams will want to honour his legacy.”

Saturday’s match at Stadio Olimpico represents a chance for Scotland to make amends after suffering back-to-back defeats away to Wales and at home to France.

“We’d like to do better than in the past two games,” said De Villiers. “There was some disappointment there but there were also some good lessons and some good growth opportunities.

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“As much as France were very good in terms of putting pressure on, we probably weren’t as good in terms of our territorial game and putting pressure on. That’s something the boys have discussed.

“We would like to be more balanced in terms of applying pressure and maintaining pressure and also finishing off our opportunities. There are good opportunities for growth for us.”

Pieter de Villiers

Scotland have added four players to their squad for the trip to Rome, with Jonny Gray returning from injury after missing the France game and Glen Young, Adam Hastings and Ross Thompson all included for the first time in the tournament.

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De Villiers is encouraged by the talent pool currently at the disposal of head coach Gregor Townsend and his staff.

“It’s been fantastic to see how our depth has grown over the past two seasons,” he said. “Players are in form with their clubs and they’re getting rewarded for that.

“We’re looking forward to seeing them taking their opportunities and showing us what they’ve been doing with their clubs.”

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