Italy coach expects strong Scotland

08 February 2013 06:31:54 EST
Gonzalo Canale will start in Scotland following Alberto Sgarbi's injury.

Italy coach Jacques Brunel believes his side will have to be at their best if they are to follow up their win over France by defeating Scotland.

Everyone says Scotland are not a great team at the moment but they are a hard team to play against, especially at Murrayfield.

Jacques Brunel

The Italians secured a shock 23-18 victory over the French in their opening Six Nations fixture and head to Murrayfield in confident mood, but Brunel expects a close contest.

Brunel said: "The team has really grown and against France they demonstrated their strength. It's the right time to manage Italy.

"We've worked a lot on our team and a lot on our game and I liked a lot of what I saw against France.

"Everyone says Scotland are not a great team at the moment but they are a hard team to play against, especially at Murrayfield, and last year they gave a lot of teams problems."

Brunel has made just one change to his side from the team that beat France, with inside centre Gonzalo Canale replacing the injured Alberto Sgarbi.

Kris Burton kicked a crucial 68th minute drop goal in Rome to help Italy secure the win over France but again starts on the bench for the Italians.

Italy are seeking a third Six Nations win in a row, having beaten Scotland in their final match in 2012.

Italy are 13/8 to secure the win, while Scotland can be backed at 1/2.

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