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Scotland call-up two rookies as three players returned to clubs

By PA
Gregor Townsend /PA

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Murphy Walker and Jordan Edmunds have been handed their first Scotland call-ups. Glasgow prop Walker and Scotland Sevens player Edmunds are joined by Fraser Brown and Scott Cummings in being added to the squad ahead of the weekend’s clash with Ireland.

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Kiran McDonald, Glen Young and Duhan Van Der Merwe have returned to their clubs.

The Scots recorded a bonus-point 33-22 win at Stadio Olimpico, although two tries for the hosts in the closing 14 minutes – including one after the 80-minute mark – took some of the gloss off the scoreline for the visitors.

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Nonetheless, head coach Townsend was pleased with the way his team played after back-to-back defeats against Wales and France in their previous two matches.

“I’m delighted for the players to get a win away from home and to see the rewards of a really productive week,” he said. “To get to the final quarter with a good lead on the scoreboard, I expected us to kick on even more after that so credit to Italy for the way they played the final quarter.

“It was really important to win, though. This tournament is about winning but you’ve also got to learn at times. We learned from the France game and I felt that was reflected in how we managed the game.

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“Our key decision-makers controlled things really well. That was pleasing. The effort was there but the frustrating element was in that final quarter when we didn’t play as well as we had in the previous three quarters.”

Ali Price produced a man-of-the-match performance as he won his 50th cap. The Glasgow scrum-half was heavily involved in four of his team’s tries and unfortunate not to get one himself.

“Ali was inspired,” said Townsend. “He was winning his 50th cap and he got his hands on the ball. It was great to see him play so well on such a big day for him.”

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Captain Stuart Hogg felt Scotland played well overall.

“We wanted to come out here and give a true reflection of ourselves and make sure we gave a professional performance,” he said. “For large parts of that game we did exactly that but unfortunately we had a lapse in concentration every now and then that resulted in Italy scoring points, which we’re quite frustrated about.

“But on the whole, it was pleasing to come away with a victory.”

 

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