Spoon fear can stir up a Scotland Italian job

Published: 21/02/2014

Scotland forward Johnnie Beattie has diverted the flak aimed at head coach Scott Johnson, insisting the sole responsibility for the dismal start to the six nations rests with the players.

The Montpellier number eight is a surprise starter for tomorrow’s game with Italy in Rome after David Denton was chosen to start against Ireland and England – both of those games ending in humiliating defeats, with Scotland shipping almost 50 points while scoring just three.

The painful 20-0 defeat by the Auld Enemy has produced a furious backlash, with angry former players queuing up to criticise Australian Johnson, who will step up to become SRU director of rugby when Vern Cotter takes the coach’s role this summer.

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