Scotland v Italy Rugby Live: Six Nations Championship promotion and updates from Murrayfield

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Scotland hosts Italy on Super Saturday


Scotland can finish third in the 2023 Six Nations if they secure a bonus point victory over Italy at home at Murrayfield this afternoon.

The Scottish Championship began with such promise as they continued their recent Calcutta Cup dominance over England before wrapping up their hood against Wales to head into their first rest week with their Grand Slam aspirations still intact.

Gregor Townsend then saw his troops slip to successive defeats to France and Ireland, despite decent performances in both matches. Victory over Italy would cap the Six Nations title heading into a tough World Cup group, but a shock loss would undo much of the work they’ve done up to this point.

The Azores showed plenty of positive signs in their first three matches in this tournament but a winnable game against a Wales side in disarray saw them put up a poor showing and slip to a disappointing defeat, giving them just one more chance to salvage their Six Nations campaign. .

Catch up on live coverage from the first game of Six Nations Super Saturday below:


Kieran Crawley will hope Italy can repeat Wales’ win

“I would like to think so,” the Italy coach laughed when asked if his team could repeat last year’s final-day tournaments. “It’s a different tournament and a different team. We weren’t good enough last week in our execution. We focused on that this week.

“We’ve taken the mindset that we have to be a little bit better every week. Hopefully if the more you get in those positions and the more you get in those positions, the better you will be. We just don’t have that yet.”

Italy beat Wales in Cardiff last year to claim their first victory in the Six Nations tournament since 2015

(Work photos via Reuters)

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 12:13


Scotland coach Gregor Townsend speaks to the BBC

“It’s all in the performance today. It’s our last game in the Six Nations and we’ve put a lot of effort into this tournament to get our best performance ever. That’s the goal today.

“We’re very careful. They were about to beat Ireland and France, they moved the ball around. They have nothing to lose. At this stage last year they went to Cardiff and played a great game and won that game. We need to make sure we force our game on Italy.” “.

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 12:11


Jimmy Ritchie demands a grand finish as Scotland bid for third place in the Six Nations

Back-to-back defeats against France, ranked second in the world, and Ireland, ranked number one, meant that Scotland could no longer claim silverware in the tournament that began with wins over England and Wales.

But Ritchie feels there is still a lot at stake in Saturday’s finale at PT Murrayfield as Gregor Townsend’s side displayed three wins out of five and a third-place finish for the first time since 2018.

“I set our target of five good performances,” said the captain, “and I think we’ve done three and a half now.” “Getting up to four and a half would be good, so we’re looking for a solid performance. To secure that third place outright would be a positive.”

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 12:10


Look at the loose heads

If you were asked to pick two of the most quietly admired artists in these six countries, they would probably quickly spring to mind. Pierre Schoemann and Danilo Fichte have both emerged at loose and tight throughout this tournament, and have continued to grow their burgeoning international reputations.

They’re different kinds of props, Schoeman shoulder to shoulder with Fischetti more than rowdy, but each packs plenty of punch to carry and presents an immediate threat of unraveling. Quietly, the first jersey has been littered with many quality performers during this tournament – Cyril Bale is back somewhere near his best in the last fortnight, Ellis Genge has led the way in England’s best moments and Andrew Porter has been a cornerstone amidst Ireland’s first-row chaos .

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 12:07


Simon Jesse shoots on the wing

Are you experiencing Ange Capuozzo withdrawal symptoms? Allow me to introduce you to Simone Gesi, who has made his international bow for Italy and offers much of the same little danger as his potential absentee future teammate. The Zebre is a few inches wingspan and two years younger than Capuozzo, but it’s explosive and elusive in the same way, with ferocious fenders adding to its menace.

He still has a little way to go defensively and aerially, but Gesi has been building up defenses for this year’s United Rugby Championship. His inclusion on the wing is another sign of Kieran Crowley’s commitment to playing an exciting brand of rugby. Italy created plenty of chances against Wales but snatched them away a bit, but there is little indication they will ever tone down their attacking activity.

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 12:02


A major decision made by Gregor Townsend this week was where to best put Blair Kinghorn on his side. Townsend likes the Edinburgh man’s potential as an international fly-half, but the 26-year-old has been a bit of a disappointment at center during his chances in the fall and has been quite good off the bench in all three defenses during this campaign.

Townsend is three runs down, with both Adam Hastings and Ross Thompson currently unavailable, but the Scotland manager suggested this week he had no qualms about starting Ben Healy. Recruiting Monster away from the Irish system feels like a coup for Scottish rugby, with Healy already bringing a sophisticated sense of control to the game. But he hasn’t been in Townsend’s setup for long, with limited running opportunities alongside the rest of the fine back line, so now he’s Kinghorn’s bid.

“We’ve seen him train and how well he’s promoted as a first receiver,” Townsend said of his selected fly-half. “His class last Wednesday, when Finn didn’t train at all, was fantastic. I think now, the way we play, will suit Blair more. He has focused his defense on people on the outside which will open up opportunities for him.”

The versatile Blair Kinghorn scored a hat-trick from the wing against Italy in 2019, but started the day at fly-half.

(Getty Images)

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 11:58


Team news – Italy

Italy’s worst performance in the Six Nations prompted some changes from Kieran Crawley, although the New Zealander still had great faith in the side that disappointed him against Wales. Up front, Marco Riccione and Eduardo Iacchisi were promoted to start on pole and row two respectively.

Behind the party is a new half in the form of Alessandro Fusco, while somewhat exciting Zebre winger Simone Gesi is set to make his debut after an impressive season in the URC. Another possible debut is substitute for hooker Marco Manready, while Alessandro Garbisi could form a half-back partnership with big brother Paolo for the first time in this Six Nations if used from the bench.

Italy XV: Danilo Fichte, Giacomo Nicotera, Marco Riccione; Eduardo Yachesi, Federico Rosa; Sebastien Negri, Michele Lamaro (Captain), Lorenzo Cannon; Alessandro Fusco, Paolo Garbisi; Simon Jessy, Tommaso Menoncillo, Juan Ignacio Brix, Pierre Bruno; Tommaso Allan.

Subs: Marco Manfredi, Federico Zanni, Pietro Ciccarelli, Niccolo Canoni, Giovanni Bettinelli, Manuel Zuliani; Alessandro Garbisi, Luca Morrisi.

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 11:54


Team News – Scotland

A long, grueling tournament has had such an impact on the Scottish team that three mainstays have been thrown away for this final. Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg, and Richie Gray all miss out on this final showdown.

Without Russell and Hogg, Blair Kinghorn’s place in the starting team was a certainty, and at the halfway point Gregor Townsend opted to install the tall full-back, who has impressed off the bench throughout this campaign. This allows a place for Ollie Smith in the back three, while Sam Skinner and Hamish Watson start the attack.

Edinburgh-born playmaker Ben Healy is poised to make his debut off the bench, offering Townsend more than a fly-half option, while Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland and Cameron Redpath return to the fold among the benches.

Scotland XV: Pierre Schumann, Georg Turner, Xander Fagersson; Sam Skinner, Johnny Gray; Jimmy Ritchie (The Captain), Hamish Watson, Jack Dempsey; Ben White, Blair Kinghorn; Doohan van der Merwe, Siwon Tuipuluto, Huw Jones, Kyle Stein; Ollie Smith.

Substitutes: Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland, WB Neal, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson; Ali Price, Ben Healy, Cameron Redpath.

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 11:52


Six Nations Grand Championship Saturday: Scotland v Italy

But we shall deal with all permutations of address more fully a little later, since there are acts rapidly approaching attendance in Edinburgh. After a disappointing display against Wales, Italy had one last chance at victory in the 2023 Six Nations, while Scotland would be keen to finish the tournament in brilliance and retain third place in the table.

Kick-off is less than 45 minutes away – let’s check out the two teams…

Jamie Ritchie is ready to captain Scotland at the start of the Big Saturday Six Nations

(Getty Images)

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 11:49


Six Nations Super Saturday: Title Permutations

Of course, a victory for Ireland would bring Andy Farrell’s men a championship they richly deserve, but technically we still have a fight for the title. France’s defeat of England last weekend, and Ireland’s failure to secure a bonus point at Murrayfield, leaves last year’s winners four points in the table, ready to pounce on any unexpected Irish failure this evening.

Harry Latham CoyleMarch 18, 2023 11:46

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