'Super-sharp' Scotland ready to take their opportunity against Italy in Six Nations

Scots know importance of picking up victory in Parma

Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm believes her squad are feeling “super sharp” ahead of their “massive” Guinness Women’s Six Nations match with Italy on Saturday.

The Scots, seventh in the world, are in Parma to take on the sixth-placed Italians in the round four clash with lots on the line. Both sides are in a battle with Ireland and Wales to finish third in the table behind likely top two England and France come April 27 and earn a WXV 1 spot and a Rugby World Cup 2025 place. Scotland are currently fifth in the standings after one win and two losses while Italy are fourth with a similar record. It is set to be quite a battle at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi as Scotland look to bounce back from a poor performance versus England and win away in Italy for the first time since 1999.

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“You can talk about fuel and getting fuel from defeats like last week, but I think the one thing this group never needs to worry about is the motivation to play with the thistle on our chests,” back-row Malcolm, 32, said. “Regardless of the performance and the result last week I think we would have had the exact same attitude going into a massive game against Italy.

Scotland take on Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday afternoon.Scotland take on Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday afternoon.
Scotland take on Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday afternoon.

“The England game [46-0] gave us focus points and things to work on. We now have two of our most important games of the championship coming up with this one followed by Ireland and we have worked hard in training this week and built things up really nicely. The key word for us this week has been execution and the captain’s run on Friday was super sharp and everyone is feeling good.

“We are now ready to grasp the opportunity that we have this weekend and we want to put in a performance that the fans can be proud of. Italy are a dangerous side with a number of threats, so we will have to earn the right to go wide and be patient.”

The match kicks off at 4.45pm UK time and will be live via BBC Sport.

Elsewhere, Mo Hunt insists England are ready to thrill a bumper audience at Twickenham when they face Ireland on Saturday at 2.15pm.

A crowd of up to 50,000 is expected to watch the Red Roses continue their Grand Slam quest in their first match at the venue since last year’s rollercoaster victory over France that clinched the title. England have averaged 47 points a game in their three wins to date but Hunt wants the attack that has been enhanced under head coach John Mitchell to take another step forward.

“We just want it to click for us. There are 47,000 in Twickenham from what I have been told and we want to put on a show,” said the Gloucester-Hartpury scrum-half, who is enjoying a Test resurgence since missing out on the 2022 World Cup.

“The best is yet to come for us, I truly believe that. We’ve spoken about the discipline and the penalties, but also our one-team attack – every time we train it is starting to look better and better. I just want it to click so you can all see what we are seeing in training because we’ve not got there yet. I’m really enjoying the way we are trying to play, how positive everything is and the way we are trying to go after defences. It’s the way I want to play rugby.”

On Sunday, Wales host France at Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 3.15pm).



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