Beattie keen to repay faith

Number eight back from injury and keen to team up with back row colleagues

Last Updated: 23/02/11 1:09pm

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Beattie: handed starting slot

Beattie: handed starting slot

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Johnnie Beattie says he is determined to repay Andy Robinson's faith in him after being named in Scotland's starting XV for Sunday's RBS Six Nations clash with Ireland at Murrayfield.

The 25-year-old Glasgow Warriors number eight was one of seven changes made by Robinson following Scotland's 24-6 defeat at the hands of Wales two weeks ago.

Beattie will make his first appearance since last June's 2-0 Test series win in Argentina, having subsequently undergone shoulder surgery. He will also be joining forces in the back row with club colleague John Barclay and Kelly Brown, who moved from the Warriors to Saracens last summer.

The reunion of the trio - much-praised in recent seasons for their destructive defence and ball carrying - is something Beattie believes will be of help to him as he makes his full international comeback, having played two Scotland A games, three Magners League games and two British and Irish Cup matches with Ayr recently.

Beattie, who will be winning his 15th cap, said: "It's a massive show of faith from Andy in giving me the starting slot again.

"I'm looking forward to repaying that faith, getting out there and trying to win this game with Scotland.

"It makes the transition for me a lot easier playing with those guys, I know how they operate.

"I've played hundreds of games with them back at Glasgow and hopefully it will make it a bit more seamless for me to come straight back in.

"I know how they play, I know where they're going to be and I can rely on them. It's a confidence booster for me coming in."

Physical

Beattie actually made his Glasgow return against Munster on January 8 but was forced to miss their Heineken Cup games owing to an administrative error.

However, playing instead for his affiliate team Ayr, he feels he is back to full fitness, adding: "I'm just looking forward to getting out there."

Beattie's last appearance for Scotland coincided with a run of form that saw them win five out of six Tests.

But two error-strewn displays, including tries conceded in the opening minutes, have contributed to losses to France and Wales.

Scotland's back row will have responsibilities for establishing forward momentum by winning the ball against Ireland counterparts whose number include Lions David Wallace and Jamie Heaslip.

"They're a hugely physical and attritional unit," added Beattie, who scored Scotland's sole try in the win in Dublin last season.

"But we understand if we control territory and possession the way we want to, we can get on the front foot and take them out of the game.

"That's the aim. A big goal for me as a ball carrier is getting across that gain line and taking those guys out of the game. If we can do that we'll be okay."

Having lost both their opening Six Nations matches, Scotland must try and turn the tide this weekend. They have a match against in-form England to come and so their meeting with Italy on March 19 could become a wooden spoon decider.

Beattie insisted: "We're a good side, we've had a good 12 months. We know what we're capable of.

"If we go out and assert what we can on this game we know we'll be in a position to win it."

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