‘Win in Italy can spark Scots revival’

Stuart Hogg

Hogg has tasted victory just three times in his 21 Six Nations appearances for Scotland

Stuart Hogg believes victory against Italy in Rome can be “the start of something special” for Scotland.

The Scots have lost their first two Six Nations matches against England and Wales, and defeat to the Italians would make it 10 straight championship defeats stretching back to 2014.

“Our performances have been fairly good but it’s a results-based business,” said full-back Hogg.

“We are dying to get that win and we have been working incredibly hard.”

Scotland have not tasted victory in the Six Nations since their last appearance at the Stadio Olimpico two years ago, when Duncan Weir’s late drop goal snatched a 21-20 win.

Hogg, however, says the players are “definitely not looking at the record”, and are confident a win on Saturday will spark an upturn in Scottish fortunes.


Duncan Weir’s late drop-goal secured victory for Scotland against Italy in Rome in 2014

“Getting a win would do wonders for us,” the Glasgow Warrior explained.

“If we were to get that win then I can see us winning the next two games after that [against France and Ireland] as well.

“Every single game we play for Scotland is a massive game, so for us it’s a chance to get a win and get some momentum going forward.

“The last couple of weeks have been bitterly disappointing having come away with two defeats but Saturday is a chance to make amends.”

Hogg has fond memories of the dramatic late victory in Rome on the Scots’ last Six Nations visit, and hopes they can replicate it against an Italian side who have also lost their opening two matches of this season’s championship.


Italy snatched a late victory at Murrayfield as Scotland slumped to a Six Nations whitewash in 2015

“My memories of two years ago was that it was incredibly warm,” Hogg recalled.

“It was great to get a win with a lovely drop goal at the end, though. It created a huge amount of confidence both as individuals and as a team, sadly we just did not get the results we wanted afterwards.

“So this time it would be great for us to get a win and build from there.”

Italy captain Sergio Parisse is confident that his men can make it back-to-back Six Nations wins over the Scots following last season’s victory at Murrayfield, but is respectful of the threat posed by Vern Cotter’s men.

“It would be arrogant on my part to say we are better than Scotland in the forwards or in the backs,” said Parisse, who will win his 117th cap for the Azzurri this weekend.

“I think they are a really strong team – but I think we are a really strong team too. I’m confident in our strengths.


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BBC Scotland’s Six Nations Extra

“Everyone is talking about this game and how both Scotland and Italy have no victories in their opening two matches, so this weekend is a crucial match.

“In the past we lost against them here in Rome with a last-minute drop-goal but last year we went to Murrayfield and got a try late.

“So you know that Scotland-Italy matches are always hard, always tough to win.

“Maybe we have more pressure because we are playing at home. We know we can lose to them but we also know we can beat them.

“If we play the right game we have the possibility to have a good result at the end.”

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