Scotland: Gregor Townsend says players are 'desperate to build' on recent progress

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend will take charge of his first international against Italy on Saturday
Scotland v Italy
Venue: Singapore National Stadium Date: Saturday 10 June Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Scotland and BBC Radio Scotland

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend believes his players can improve on the progress made under his predecessor, Vern Cotter.

Townsend has been working with the squad for three weeks ahead of the summer tour and is encouraged by the level of performance.

"We are fortunate with the group of players we have," he said.

"They work hard, have got a lot of confidence from the last two seasons and are desperate to build on that."

The former Glasgow Warriors head coach will take charge of his first international match on Saturday, when Scotland face Italy at Singapore's National Stadium, in Kallang.

The touring party will then travel to Sydney to face Australia before ending the three-Test series in Fiji.

"It still feels a bit unreal arriving for my first Test match in Singapore," Townsend said.

"For our players, it was exciting to tell them that we were to be part of the first international 15-a-side game to be played here.

"The first game of a tour is always one you are building up to and I am excited. We have had three weeks of camp, which was a bonus, and have used that time productively.

"You put a game plan together, you are working with the players and getting to know some. You have the tracksuit on."

Broadcast coverage of Scotland's summer tour

Saturday 10 June: Scotland v Italy; Singapore National Stadium (kick-off 20:00, 13:00 BST) - live on BBC One Scotland

Saturday 17 June: Australia v Scotland; Allianz Stadium, Sydney (kick-off 15:00, 06:00 BST) - live on Sky Sports

Saturday 24 June: Scotland v Fiji; ANZ Stadium, Suva, Fiji (kick-off 14:30, 03:30 BST) - live on scottishrugby.org/live

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