Horne eyes must win match
Scotland scrum-half George Horne discusses what he accepts is a 'must win' match against Italy in Rome this Saturday.
Would you go along with the idea this is a must win game?
“Absolutely. We’re obviously disappointed with the first two results. We’ve played some good stuff but not got quite over the line, so it’s absolutely a must win game.”
With that in mind, what’s the confidence and spirit like in the team?
“Confidence is good – we’re creating a lot of chances, which is positive, but we’ve not been clinical in the finish zone as we call it.
“We’ve coughed up a lot of ball, which is frustrating, but the positives are there to take from the fact we’re creating those chances.”
Surely then there’s a real desire to see you get the pay-off for that hard work this weekend?
“We’re out to prove a point now, especially as we’ve come off the back of two games where we could have won. People have labelled it as a typical result for us, being almost there but not quite, so we’re absolutely buzzing to get out there and prove ourselves.
“You never want to be labelled as that. We're looking to go out and win Test matches no matter who it’s against, whether it’s England, Italy, France or whoever. We want to beat everyone.”
Italy haven’t won a Six Nations match since beating Scotland at BT Murrayfield in 2015. What are you expecting from them and how have they developed since then?
“They’ve certainly improved this year with new coaches coming in. They play different brand of rugby.
"They play with a lot of width on the ball and have a lot of attacking threats, so we’ll need to defend really well.
“They’re a big bunch of guys too so we’re going to have to stop them up front and deal with that attacking threat.”
Is it the manner of the win, or just a win that’s most important?
“At the end of the day people look at results so the win is the most important thing.
“We’d obviously like to go out and play our brand of rugby to do that, but at this level it’s about winning rugby matches, so that’s our main focus.
“The way Gregor is trying to make us play is what suits us, so we just need to put that together in an 80-minute performance.”
You’ve been on the bench twice with Ali Price starting – how are hard are you pressing for the chance to start?
“We [Ali Price and he] push each other, it’s good healthy competition between the two of us and Henry Pyrgos in the squad. All three of us work together but also keep each other on our toes.
“I think Ali has played really well in the last couple of games so I’m just doing my utmost in training and with the time I get to keep on pushing.
“Ali and I share a role at Glasgow and, at the moment, he’s starting, so it’s on me to push him further. But if I'm on the bench I have to do my role and come on and make a difference, so I’m focussed on that as well.”
How has the environment changed since the Rugby World Cup?
“I think the preparation we’ve had so far has been positive. There’s been a few changes with personnel and the leadership group led by Hoggy [captain Stuart Hogg], who’s come in and done really well. He’s been amazing in training and in games and taken on that role really well.
“It’s really positive environment we’re training and playing in, so hopefully that can reflect on us winning.”