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Gregor Townsend warns Scotland that Italy will fancy their chances after defeat to France

Gregor Townsend warns Scotland that Italy will fancy their chances against them after heavy defeat by France

  • The Scotland head coach has warned Italy will fancy their chances of an upset
  • Italy were defeated by Ireland in a losing run that stretches to 35 games
  • They were Italy’s last Six Nations win with a 22-19 triumph at Murrayfield in 2015 

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has warned his players that Italy will fancy their chances against them in Rome after Saturday’s defeat by France.

The Azzurri have not won a Six Nations match since 2015 — when they beat Scotland 22-19 at Murrayfield — and Sunday’s defeat by Ireland takes their losing run to 35 matches.

But Townsend has warned they will take heart from Scotland shipping six tries at home to France, who remain on course for the Grand Slam after Paul Willemse, Yoram Moefana, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty and Damian Penaud, twice, went over at Murrayfield.

‘Italy will be hugely motivated by our scoreline and France getting tries from our errors,’ said Townsend. ‘We will have to play a lot better in a fortnight to win that game.’

Gregor Townsend has warned his Scotland side that Italy will fancy their chances for an upset

Townsend said that the starting places of many of his underperforming players are on the line. 

‘We will look at everybody in terms of their performance against France and those who have put their hands up for selection and who is under pressure,’ he said. ‘There are players outside our squad who are doing well so we have two weeks to assess that and any possible changes.’

Scotland had expectations of being in the title mix, especially after beating England, but Townsend admits the way the campaign has unfolded has been a crushing disappointment.

He said: ‘Despite the defeat in Cardiff we still had an opportunity to be in the mix if we had won against France. It is disappointing that we won’t be involved in any title race.’

Scotland did score two tries from Rory Darge and Duhan van der Merwe but Townsend reflected: ‘We didn’t take our opportunities and that made it a very hard game for us to win.’


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