De Luca 'desperate' for cup spot
Edinburgh centre Nick de Luca hopes to show his class in Scotland's EMC Test against Italy on Saturday to earn his place in the Rugby World Cup squad.
The 27-year-old is out to prove his match-winning cameo in setting up Joe Ansbro's try in the 10-6 win over Ireland a fortnight ago was not a one-off. He is set to start Saturday's final World Cup warm-up contest with Italy at Murrayfield and is determined to be included in coach Andy Robinson's final 30-man World Cup squad on Monday.
"I was very happy with my contribution," said De Luca. "It was only seven minutes, there wasn't much to do, but what I did I did well, which is all you can ask."
He added: "But I don't want to be a super sub or anything. I want to put in a good performance and try to get on that plane and then a starting jersey. I'm desperate to get out there and play in a World Cup."
De Luca has now taken London Irish centre Ansbro's place in the first XV, lining up outside Glasgow Warriors centre Graeme Morrison, who is the only player retained from the starting line-up which began the Ireland game.
"It's good to get a run-out," he said. "I'm glad to get a go. I enjoy playing outside Graeme - we've been undefeated as a partnership in only three games."
Those matches were significant, though - the 2010 RBS 6 Nations win over Ireland in Dublin and the 2-0 win in Argentina which earned Scotland a first southern hemisphere series success.
De Luca now hopes to face the Pumas in the World Cup, with Saturday representing the last opportunity to impress and win a place on the plane to New Zealand.
"I've got this opportunity this weekend," he added. "It's a great chance to put your case forward.
"I'm confident in my own ability and I need to make sure everybody else notices."