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Weir eager to seize starting chance

Scotland new boy Duncan Weir hopes to repay the debt of gratitude he owes interim head coach Scott Johnson after being handed his first RBS 6 Nations starting berth.

The Glasgow stand-off was a late replacement for club team-mate Ruaridh Jackson in Scotland's last outing - the 12-8 win over Ireland last month - and the 21-year-old's tenacious display was enough to convince Johnson he was ready to direct the play from the off against Wales at Murrayfield.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to play and hopefully I can do 'Johnno' justice on Saturday," said Weir. "It will be a hugely proud moment, not only for me but for my family and friends. I'll get to share a great achievement with them and the Scottish nation as well."

He added: "When I came on against Ireland I just wanted to bring a real energy, put a wee bit of pressure on Ireland and get a bit of territory. Our defence for the majority of the game had been outstanding, so I knew our defence could bring us points.

"I also wanted to try and get the guys going in attack, so I felt I did all right there."

Johnson has made an immediate impact since taking over from Andy Robinson. The squad that trudged off with the wooden spoon last year has now picked up two wins from three and are genuine Six Nations title contenders.

Weir believes it is Johnson's attention to detail, especially with the half-backs, which has played a large part in that fact.

He said: "Johnno drills the stand-offs pretty hard. He wants us to know our goals, our movement onto the ball and our leadership of the team. He also wants us to know the correct calls and also to listen for our outside players and what they can see before relaying that back to everyone else and making sure we exploit the chances we get.

"We were disappointing against England but we played some great rugby against Italy. We didn't have much good ball to attack against Ireland but our defence was superb and that was what won us the game.

"We can still iron out the creases and hopefully against Wales people will see a rounded-off performance."


From Belfast Telegraph