British & Irish Lions

Harris accepts Six Nations pressure on Scotland

Kenki Fukuoka was een van sy span se driedrukkers.
Kenki Fukuoka was een van sy span se driedrukkers.
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Edinburgh - Chris Harris has said everyone in the Scotland squad is well aware of the pressure they are under ahead of a crunch Six Nations Championship match away to Italy.

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Both Scotland and Italy have lost their opening two matches of this season's Championship and a defeat for either side in Saturday's third-round clash in Rome will leave them on course to finish bottom of the table.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend was already under the microscope after the Dark Blues failed to reach the knockout stages of last year's World Cup in Japan.

And Townsend has now seen losses to Ireland and England compounded by the collapse of his relationship with star fly-half Finn Russell that has left the gifted playmaker in international exile.

Russell, yet to feature in this Championship, will be missing again when Scotland take the field at the Olympic Stadium.

But Gloucester centre Harris, one of three changes made by Townsend for this weekend, believes the current side do have it in them to sustain a winning display for the full course of the match as Scotland go in search of their first try of the tournament.

"There is pressure on Gregor, there is pressure on us," said Harris.

"We have just got to deliver," the 29-year-old added. "We are fully capable, we have got the game plan, it's just about going out there and putting in that 80-minute performance.

"It's a big one for everyone involved. Obviously we are hungry to get our first win. We have been pretty close and we are just a bit frustrated that we haven't come out on top in those two games."

Harris, who has come off the bench in both of Scotland's opening two matches, insisted: "We have been towards the try line quite a few times and never quite converted so there's an element of looking at the detail of that and making sure we come away with points every time we enter their end zone.

"Honestly, I think we have been playing some good rugby. We have made line breaks, we have been in positions to score."

Harris found himself up against Scotland captain Stuart Hogg when Gloucester played Exeter in the English Premiership last Friday.

"We said after the game that it was a bit weird playing against each other," recalled Harris.

"We actually played against each other when we were 16-17, Carlisle v Hawick I think it was."


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