Scotland v Italy - RBS Six Nations match preview

Last updated: 9th February 2013  

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We'll just have to work hard and I believe you will definitely see an improvement from last weekend to this weekend.

Henry Pyrgos
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Henry Pyrgos insists Scotland can bounce back from their opening loss in the RBS Six Nations when they face Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland were left disappointed as they suffered a 38-18 defeat to England at Twickenham - while Italy caused a shock by toppling France in Rome.

England's were able to dominate the breakdown in the Calcutta Cup clash, however there were promising signs for Scotland when they were able to release the likes of Sean Maitland, Tim Visser and Stuart Hogg.

And Scotland No 9 Pyrgos said: "I feel like we have a really good squad and the boys know that. We have got belief. But that opening performance was really frustrating.

"There were parts when we played really well and caused them a lot of problems, and others when we let ourselves down, especially in the contact area when we were not as accurate as we should have been.

Improvement

"That costs you games, especially in Test matches when things hinge on the small margins. But we can definitely fix it in time for Italy. It's a hard area - most games are won in the contact zone. Both teams are going at it and one team has to come out on top.

"We'll just have to work hard and I believe you will definitely see an improvement from last weekend to this weekend."

Scotland interim coach Scott Johnson has made two changes to his line-up with Robert Harley and Ross Ford starting - while there is a first call-up to the bench for Pat MacArthur.

Italy, who beat Scotland last season to avoid the Wooden Spoon, have made one change to their starting XV - with Gonzalo Canale replacing centre Alberto Sgarbi, who has an ankle injury.

Canale's place on the bench is taken by Gonzalo Garcia.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Sean Lamont, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 1 Ryan Grant, 2 Ross Ford, 3 Euan Murray, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Jim Hamilton, 6 Robert Harley, 7 Kelly Brown (capt), 8 Johnnie Beattie.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Moray Low, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 David Denton, 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Max Evans.

Italy: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Gonzalo Canale, 11 Luke Mclean, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Tobias Botes, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 5 Francesco Minto, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 7 Simone Favaro, 8 Sergio Parisse.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Alberto De Marchi, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Antonio Pavanello, 20 Paul Derbyshire, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Kristopher Burton, 23 Gonzalo Garcia.

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