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Swinson: Scotland eager to push on

Scotland lock Tim Swinson insists the depressed Dark Blues will not settle for being RBS 6 Nations also-rans.

Scott Johnson's side have put in two limp displays as they opened this year's campaign with dismal defeats to Ireland and England.

They have shipped almost 50 points and scored just three as their attacking plans failed miserably in both games.

Italy - who have also lost both their first two matches against Wales and France - are next up for the Scots on February 22 but Swinson has promised a reaction from his wounded colleagues.

The Glasgow forward told Press Association Sport: "The Italy game can definitely be a turning point for us.

"A lot of people are putting us on a par with the Italians but we want to be higher than that.

"We are not comfortable being in this position. We want to aim for the stars and really push on from this point so we are flying by the time the World Cup comes around next year.

"The game in Rome will be huge for us but there is no doubt about it, we will go there looking for the victory."

If that is to come true Scotland will need mammoth improvements to pretty much every facet of their game.

They gave away 65 per cent of the possession and 76 per cent of the territory in the second half at Murrayfield as England set up camp in the Scottish 22.

And just to make the visitors' life even more easier during the 20-0 romp, 17 penalties were conceded, five line-outs coughed up and 27 tackles missed.

They spent a tiny three per cent of the match near England's posts but Swinson was defiant as he insisted Johnson's coaching team can turn Scotland around.

"The squad is pretty depressed but we need to move on," he said.

"We've not shown much in attack so far but it can definitely be solved in the next few weeks. It is something we need to work on as a squad. We need everybody to come into training every day hungry to improve."

Johnson has vowed to continue putting his faith in inexperienced youngsters such as Matt Scott, Alex Dunbar and Duncan Weir, insisting they are Scotland's only hope for the future.

And Swinson - who has just five caps himself - believes the Australian has made the right call.

He said: "It's a process that all teams go through. Right now we have got a lot of young guys in the side but we also have guys who have been performing to a top level in the domestic game in the Pro12, the Premiership and the Top 14.

"To say that we don't have experience is false. We have Sean Lamont with 80-odd caps, Ross Ford in the 70s and Chris Cusiter in the 60s.

"There are guys in there with lots of caps and who are top-quality players. But it's just taking time for us to get things together."


From Belfast Telegraph