Rugby World Cup Rugby World Cup selection adds to Scotland's pressure against Italy

Hooker Ross Ford conceded Scotland's veterans will need to step up against Italy on Saturday after Vern Cotter's fringe players impressed last week.

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Hooker Ross Ford conceded Scotland's veterans will need to step up against Italy on Saturday after Vern Cotter's fringe players impressed last week.

Ford (87 caps) and Alasdair Dickinson (45) started on the bench in Turin, while Chris Cusiter (70), Greig Laidlaw (39) and Stuart Hogg (32) were some of the more experienced players left out of the match-day squad entirely by coach Cotter.

Scotland triumphed 16-12 in Turin, while they will back-up against the same opposition in Edinburgh on Saturday, and Cotter is expected to ring the changes as he attempts to finalise his Rugby World Cup squad.

With only one more warm-up match remaining for Scotland before rugby's premier event begins on September 18, Ford knows it is time to make a statement.

"That's what's good about the squad this time round, there's a lot of competition for places and a lot of pressure on form," the 31-year-old said.

"The boys last weekend got a win away from home, now we've got home advantage and although we're not sure what sort of team Italy will send across, they'll be looking at certain areas of the game where we didn't do as well as we should have.

"They'll be targeting that so we have to make sure we front up and give a platform that we can attack off, and nullify the strong attacking game that Italy had."

In the lead-up to next month's World Cup, Scotland have lost to Ireland in Dublin and overcome Italy, while they will follow up this weekend's game with a trip to Paris to play France on September 5.

Italy started their World Cup match practice in Turin and have a clash against Wales scheduled at the start of next month.

Coach Jacques Brunel named Italy's final 31-man squad on Monday, with 36-year-old flanker Mauro Bergamasco set for his fifth World Cup.

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