Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Townsend delight at duo

Richie Gray

Scotland attack coach Gregor Townsend singled out Richie Gray and Joe Ansbro for praise following their first RBS 6 Nations starts for their country.

Lock forward Gray, 21, was outstanding throughout Scotland's 34-21 defeat against France, while Ansbro continued to repay head Andy Robinson's faith after being drafted into the set-up during the autumn internationals.

Townsend said: "Richie Gray and Joe Ansbro played very well and it's even more important to say that was their first starts in the Six Nations."

He added: "So for them to go out there in Paris and look like comfortable test players of five or 10 years was great to see, and that gives us a lot of hope for the future that these players are going to build on that performance.

"I believe the way they played was fantastic for getting a lead for the other players of being direct, taking on the opposition and backing themselves.

"Players who are new to the team have to realise they've been picked because they have certain strengths and we want them to express themselves and bring these strengths out.

"If they do the things they are doing at club level, they'll perform well at international level as well."

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