Six Nations 2015: Matt Scott 'devastated' for Alex Dunbar

Matt Scott starts at inside centre for Scotland
Matt Scott starts at inside centre for Scotland
Six Nations 2015: England v Scotland
Venue: Twickenham Date: 14 March, 2015 Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, HD, Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Scotland centre Matt Scott is "devastated" for stricken midfield colleague Alex Dunbar, who sustained a serious knee injury on Thursday.

Dunbar has excelled for Glasgow and Scotland but his ruptured ligament could see him miss up to nine months and be unavailable for the World Cup.

Scott takes his place against England.

"I'm absolutely devastated for him because it was such an innocuous injury in training. He's been playing so well," Scott told BBC Scotland.

Edinburgh's Scott, another of the nation's exciting crop of young backs, will line up at inside centre alongside Mark Bennett in Saturday's Calcutta Cup match against England.

"It's a big blow for us but a massive opportunity for me. It's the first time I've started for Scotland since coming back from my shoulder injury," added the 24-year-old.

"I think I play better as a starter. Most players would agree with me. It's hard to come off the bench sometimes and make an impact in games.

"Mark and Alex have been playing really well in the centres, so I've just had to wait my time. As unfortunate as it is for Alex, it is really good for me."

Scott celebrates with Dunbar after the latter's try against Italy last year
Scott celebrates with Dunbar after the latter's try against Italy last year

The Scots have lost their opening three Six Nations fixtures and have not won at Twickenham since 1983 - but Scott says Vern Cotter's side are accustomed to being underdogs.

"We're used to it really, especially against England," he admitted. "Quite rightly so, the last few years England have beaten us, so that's only fair.

"Scotland are always underdogs and we've had that before, we've been written off, come back and played really well.

"It's great motivation to see everyone write you off, it gives you that extra bit of spark.

"It's going to be a massive challenge. It's a great stadium to play in, I love playing there.

"For me, it's a massive opportunity to make history. It's hard, if I'm honest, to ignore that. I personally use it as great motivation and a great opportunity.

"The two Scotland-England games I've been involved in had a massive build-up and a massive emotional experience.

"It's such a great occasion to play in and the players do channel that history involved, the amount of years we haven't won down here, it's quite a powerful tool to use that.

"My first Six Nations game was at Twickenham. You have a massive amount of excitement and adrenaline and coming back now I will still have that same desire and passion but that experience of having played a couple of Calcutta Cup games will help me keep a lid on it a bit more."

Despite performing well in the opening two matches against France and Wales, losing out narrowly on both occasions, Scotland slumped to a 22-19 defeat at home to Italy two weeks ago.

Scott, far left, and Dunbar, second right, look on as Italy celebrate their late win
Scott, far left, and Dunbar, second right, look on as Italy celebrate their late win

"We got some good praise after the first game and people were frustrated we couldn't finish that game off against Wales, and obviously the Italian game we were ahead the whole game," acknowledged Scott.

"We've played well but we've not played as well as we could have and as well as we should have to close these games. A lot of them have been within our control, which is the most frustrating part.

"We've got a squad of players that we're trying to move in the right direction, we're trying to play the right style of rugby."

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