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Saturday 20
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Rugby Union

Townsend expects Graham to shine

1st February 2019, 10:02 by Alex Jack

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend says he is expecting to see "pride and passion" from Gary Graham if he features against Italy.

The Scots are preparing for their Six Nations opener against the Azzurri at Murrayfield on Saturday, with Newcastle Falcons back-rower Graham named on the substitutes' bench.

Son of former Scotland prop George, Graham caused some controversy when he said he would "love to play against Scotland, make 1,000 tackles and shove it in their face" after training with England.

Graham never appeared for the Red Rose but now the Stirling-born flanker has a chance to impress for Scotland and Townsend has backed the home crowd at Murrayfield to get behind the player.

"I would think they'd support anybody who wears that blue jersey and is proud to play for Scotland," said the coach.

"Gary played age-group rugby for Scotland and Scotland Club XVs. His dad [former prop George] was a great player for Scotland and someone who is Scottish through and through.

"Gary will play with a pride and passion if he gets an opportunity off the bench."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Alex Jack is a Yorkshireman with Scottish connections and well versed in a number of sports. A Leeds United supporter, who also enjoys both codes of rugby. Leeds Rhinos is where you can find him in the summer, while Alex is an avid supporter of Scottish rugby union.

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