Kellock thrilled to get nod

Lock grateful for place in team

By Rachel Griffiths.   Last Updated: 25/02/10 4:44pm

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Kellock: Grateful for starting spot

Kellock: Grateful for starting spot

Sky Bet

Scotland lock Alastair Kellock admits he is grateful for his starting spot after being named to face Italy in RBS Six Nations action.

"You don't get second chances so I've got to make sure that every game that I play, I'm playing to the best of my ability."
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The second rower made his first Test start for two years in last season's record win over the Azzurri, but was abruptly dropped in favour of the returning Jim Hamilton for Scotland's next game.

However, the order has been somewhat shaken up since the arrival of new head coach Andy Robinson, with Kellock starting all five games for the former Edinburgh and England boss.

And the 28-year-old insists his constant fear of being dropped provides the perfect incentive for him to do well.

Hungry

"It makes you even more hungry; you realise how fragile it is," said Kellock. "I did all I could last year to stay in the team; unfortunately, I didn't get the nod."

"You don't get second chances so I've got to make sure that every game that I play, I'm playing to the best of my ability."

Kellock acknowledged he may not have been given his chance under Robinson had Hamilton been fit for the autumn internationals, and knows that with Nathan Hines also back from injury and Glasgow colleague Richie Gray emerging on the scene, the jersey is highly-contested.

"We know how close it is and how much competition there is," said Kellock. "So we've got to make sure that we're all playing well."

Opportunity

Italy have struggled with their line-out against Ireland and England, presenting an ideal opportunity for Scotland, but Kellock insists his side must focus on their own set piece as well as trying to disrupt their opponents'.

"Our own ball has to provide our backs with a good platform and then we've got to put as much pressure on them as possible," he said.

"They've got a very, very good pack. And we know that it'll be physical; we'll be coming off the park knowing we've been in the game."

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