Six Nations Championships: Scotland not worried about 'must win' Italy tie

Scotland squad
Scotland were defeated 6-13 by England at Murrayfield earlier this month
Six Nations Championship: Italy v Scotland
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Date: Saturday, 22 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One; listen BBC Radio 5live & BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Scotland will not worry about the pressure of the "must win" Six Nations tie in Italy on Saturday, says assistant coach Mike Blair.

Gregor Townsend's side go to Rome on the back of two defeats in their opening matches to Ireland and England with just two losing bonus points.

Blair insists he is aware of the need to get a win on the board, but says the players are ready to deliver against bottom-placed Italy.

"I think it's a must win," he said.

"We have shown some positives in the first couple of games but it's not about how you play, it's winning games.

"We have shown improvement and we need to get one over the line to put some pressure on a really good Italian team.

"We focus on what we are trying to do. Attack and defence are key points within that. Not worrying about it being a pressure game, but putting our best selves forward for the match against Italy."

Head coach Townsend has come under scrutiny after two defeats were compounded by the Finn Russell saga.

The Racing 92 fly-half has been exiled from the squad for breaching team protocol, and has not featured at all during the tournament.

When asked if the situation has had an impact on the squad, Blair said: "Everyone talking about it is the media. It's not something we've talked about a huge amount. It was addressed early at the time.

"For our guys here we have a big job to play well and try and win games. Our focus is completely on that.

"I don't think it's something that's been talked about inside from the players or management at all.

"What we are concentrating on is beating Italy and we don't want anything else in our minds apart from doing that."

Scrum-half George Horne admits the squad is determined to take their chances and ease the pressure on Townsend, saying: "I can understand that's how it works but we have to take responsibility as a playing group as well to go out and get results.

"We have probably done enough to win two games so far and we've not done that so we have to take responsibility on ourselves."

Top Stories