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Quadrangular Tournament: Interim Scotland coach Scott Johnson happy to blood new players

Last Updated: 20/06/13 7:36pm

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Scott Johnson: Fresh blood key to future success

Scott Johnson: Fresh blood key to future success

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Interim Scotland coach Scott Johnson has revealed he always planned to provide opportunities for new players to come through in South Africa.

All the debutants who played in last week's narrow defeat to the Springboks have kept their places for Saturday's game with Italy in their third/fourth place play-off with Italy in the Quadrangular Tournament.

Hooker Fraser Brown is also expected to come off the bench at some stage in the game and would become the 10th new cap on the three-match tour if he does feature.

Johnson was wary of revealing at the start of the tour that he was planning on using so many new players but he has now admitted that was always part of his plan.

"We didn't want to say that before the tour, I didn't think it would send out the right message and I didn't want to hand caps out," he said.

Questions

"I wanted to make sure that people earned their stripes but I kept talking about expanding the base.

"We all know there are questions about players: what skill sets have they got, can they go to the next level, does he suit international rugby?

"We have always had the questions, this tour was about finding some answers. We don't have them all but we are a good way down the track, which is a good place to be."

Scotland lost 27-17 to Samoa on 8 June before causing the host nation a scare despite going down 30-17 last weekend.

But Johnson's side have a chance to secure a confidence-boosting victory over Six nations rivals Italy at the Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

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