sport

Harley to learn from team-mates

Scotland forward Rob Harley has pointed to Kelly Brown and Johnnie Beattie as shining examples of the type of player he hopes to become.

The 22-year-old Glasgow back-row will make his first start for his country in the Dark Blues' next RBS 6 Nations fixture on Saturday as they host Italy at Murrayfield.

Harley made his debut in last summer's tour of the South Pacific, adding a debut try to his one and only cap in the victory over Samoa, and is rated highly by interim head coach Scott Johnson.

He will join up with former Warriors colleagues Brown and Beattie at the rear of the Scots' pack after praising the pair - now playing with Saracens and Montpellier respectively - for their advice and support since he joined up with the national squad.

"It's been great coming into the team with Johnnie and Kelly already there," said Harley. "They have calmed me down a bit and handed me a few technical pointers. They have been keeping me right all week.

"Now I'm really looking forward to going into the game with them. I've played with Johnnie for a couple of years at Glasgow and I know the damage he can do to teams.

"Every session I'm picking this up from him and the others. I see the way he carries ball and accelerates into the contact and that's something I can pick up.

"I've never had the chance to play with Kelly when he was at Glasgow, so I'm looking forward to that. He's a great example and I've looked to learn things from him too."

Harley has won honours with Scotland A and the Under-20 side but admits he will have to battle nerves in the build-up to his first start for full international side.

"Will I have any nerves?" he asked: "Yeah, definitely. Huge nerves.

"But I will try and use that to my advantage. I'll be really nervous in the build-up but hopefully as I get towards kick-off I will be able to focus on what I've got to do and by the time I get out on the pitch, there won't be so many nerves. That's the plan anyway."

And the player refused to look ahead to nailing down a permanent place in Johnson's team, saying: "At the minute I'm just looking at Italy and how they play. It's about them and what they will bring.

"I'm taking it one game at a time. I don't think you can look any further forward. It's my first start so I will be fully committed to this.

"Italy are coming here off the back of a huge win against France and they will be full of confidence.

"But we have to match the intensity that they bring, because they will be really up for it."