Ali Price: Scotland can bounce back from criticism in Italy

Ali Price has backed Scotland's senior pros to step up as Gregor Townsend's team seek to reinvigorate their stuttering Six Nations campaign against Italy on Saturday.

Price will win his 50th cap in Rome against a side whose losing streak in the championship now stands at 35 matches.

The scrum-half knows Scotland have not performed to their potential in the tournament, losing to Wales and France after beating England on the opening weekend.

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The squad's most experienced performers have borne the brunt of the criticism, with Price, Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg all in the firing line.

Ali Price will win his 50th cap for Scotland in Rome. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)Ali Price will win his 50th cap for Scotland in Rome. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Ali Price will win his 50th cap for Scotland in Rome. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The Glasgow Warriors No 9 said the team had let themselves down at times but believes the leaders in the group will help them through the tough spell.

"We are as disappointed as anybody," said Price. "We are our harshest critics. People can say what they want to say but we know when we have made a mistake or when things have not gone to plan.

"We are all old enough now. We have the experience. We have been in this situation before which helps. Personally in 2018 I had performances that were not up to scratch and below standard. You have to ride that wave.

"There is nothing we can do…… we review every single game and individually review every game with the coaches and especially looked after the France game a couple of weeks ago. We take the learnings on board and have to show that this week and put in a better performance that is for sure. It is back on us to go out there and perform and do what we are selected to do."

Italy have not won a Six Nations game since beating Scotland in Edinburgh in 2015 and have not won at home in the championship since 2013 but Price denied there was any sense of trepidation about the becoming the team responsible for ending the losing run.

“I mean no-one wants to lose a game," he said. "There’s no fear. We’re confident in what we’re going to put out on the field, we’re confident in our abilities, and we want to just go and express ourselves and put a true reflection of ourselves out there. And like I said, hopefully that brings us the result."

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