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Allan gunning for former colleagues


Tommy Allan is a former Scotland Under-20 international but now represents Italy

Tommy Allan is a former Scotland Under-20 international but now represents Italy

Tommy Allan is a former Scotland Under-20 international but now represents Italy

Italy's former Scottish youth international Tommy Allan insists he will not let old loyalties stand in his way as he prepares for Saturday's RBS Six Nations clash at Murrayfield.

The Perpignan stand-off has tartan blood flowing through his veins courtesy of his dad William and played 16 times for the Scots at Under-20 level.

His last appearance for Scotland was as recent as the summer of 2013.

But despite being highly rated by bosses from the Scottish Rugby Union, Allan chose to honour his mother Paola Berlato's Italian heritage by pulling on the savoy blue of the Azzurri.

During his Dark Blues days, Allan played alongside the likes of Jonny Gray, Mark Bennett and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, who have now all graduated to Vern Cotter's top team.

However, the 21-year-old is ready to forget his old friends as he focuses on grabbing the Italians' first win of this year's competition.

Allan - who will start Saturday's match from the bench - said: "It is a special feeling playing against Scotland. I played against them last year and know some of the boys so it will be good to get on the pitch against them.

"I was back at Murrayfield last year when Perpignan played Edinburgh. The pitch has changed a bit. It was quite muddy then but it's a lot better now. It is a great stadium.

"We have done some good things in the last two games but have been disappointed in the results. If we want to put a step forward we have to put our foot down in this game and get the victory.

"Beating Scotland always helps the morale of the team. We still have two other games after this so if we can get a win and play well in this game we can go forward and look ahead to the World Cup as well."

Despite scoring in last year's Rome clash between the sides, Allan has been overlooked for a starting slot this time, with Zebre's New Zealand-born Kelly Haimona given the nod by head coach Jacques Brunel.

His part in that Stadio Olimpico match was not enough to prevent the Scots snatching a thrilling 21-20 victory in the Eternal City after Duncan Weir nailed a last-gasp drop goal.

But with six victories from 14 meetings with Scotland since being welcomed into the Six Nations, Allan insists the Scots would be foolish to think his side are certainties to claim the Wooden Spoon.

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"Last year's game is still at the back of our minds," he said. "It hurt quite a lot. Hopefully it won't be as close this year.

"It is always been a tough game over the past few years. Last year Scotland came to us and they gave it a good go. It is a really important game and although all the games in the Six Nations are big, this is a really important one for us and one we will prepare for intensely."

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