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Rob Harley is excited about making his first start for Scotland against Italy

Last Updated: 05/02/13 5:58pm

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Rob Harley: Nervous ahead of first Scotland start

Rob Harley: Nervous ahead of first Scotland start

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Scotland flanker Rob Harley says experienced back-row duo Kelly Brown and Johnnie Beattie will play a key role in his transition into international rugby.

The 22-year-old will make his first start for Scotland against Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday after scoring off the bench in his only international appearance so far against Samoa last summer.

And the Glasgow flanker says he is learning a huge amount from his fellow back-row forwards ahead of the clash with the Azzuri, who beat France on Sunday.

Harley said: "It's been great coming into the team with Johnnie and Kelly already there.

"They have calmed me down a bit and handed me a few technical pointers. They have been keeping me right all week.

"Now I'm really looking forward to going into the game with them. I've played with Johnnie for a couple of years at Glasgow and I know the damage he can do to teams.

"Every session I'm picking this up from him and the others. I see the way he carries ball and accelerates into the contact and that's something I can pick up.

"I've never had the chance to play with Kelly when he was at Glasgow, so I'm looking forward to that. He's a great example and I've looked to learn things from him too."

"I'll be really nervous in the build-up but hopefully as I get towards kick-off I will be able to focus on what I've got to do and by the time I get out on the pitch, there won't be so many nerves. That's the plan anyway."
Rob Harley

Harley has won honours with Scotland A and the Under-20 side but admits he will have to battle nerves in the build-up to his first start for full international side.

Nerves

"Will I have any nerves?" he asked: "Yeah, definitely. Huge nerves. But I will try and use that to my advantage.

"I'll be really nervous in the build-up but hopefully as I get towards kick-off I will be able to focus on what I've got to do and by the time I get out on the pitch, there won't be so many nerves. That's the plan anyway."

When invited to look forward to potentially a long international career, Harley refused to look ahead at securing a regular place in the Scotland side.

He said: "At the minute I'm just looking at Italy and how they play. It's about them and what they will bring.

"I'm taking it one game at a time. I don't think you can look any further forward. It's my first start so I will be fully committed to this.

"Italy are coming here off the back of a huge win against France and they will be full of confidence.

"But we have to match the intensity that they bring, because they will be really up for it."

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