Scotland star delighted to stamp his mark in first Test start

Scotland fly-half Ben Healy during a Test in 2023. Credit: Alamy

Scotland fly-half Ben Healy during a Test in 2023. Credit: Alamy

Scotland fly-half Ben Healy put in a man-of-the-match performance in his first Test start as his side beat Italy 25-13 at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Healy is a product of Ireland’s youth systems but switched allegiance to Scotland in search of Test rugby. The move was welcomed by head coach Gregor Townsend who got rewarded for handing the star his first start.

Stamping his mark

The 24-year-old admits he knew this was his chance to showcase his skills and had to produce before the incumbent, Finn Russell, returns to the starting lineup. The performance has gone a long way in boosting his hopes of selection for the Rugby World Cup.

“Probably a little bit, yes,” he said.

“It was more important that we got the win and put into practice a lot of things we’d been working on throughout pre-season.

“But without question, I knew I had to have a good game against Italy because there are only four warm-up games and there are other lads that need to play games.

“Realistically, I knew I had to put my best foot forward.”

Healy was delighted to start and believes it gives him more of a chance to control the game. He also loved playing on a ground like Murrayfield.

“It was great to get the start,” he said. “You have a bit more control of the week when you know you’re starting rather than coming off the bench.

“The boys were brilliant to work with all week. It’s been really good to build all those connections with the boys over the past few weeks and then put it into practice.

“It was far from perfect as a team performance but it was a step in the right direction.

“It was great to play in front of a crowd like that at Murrayfield and get across the white line with a result.”

Intense build-up

The pivot admits the intensity and workload of the World Cup build-up is something like he has never experienced.

“I’ve loved being part of the squad for the last couple of months,” he said. “It’s my first World Cup pre-season and it’s probably the hardest I’ve done.

“It doesn’t really compare to any I’ve done at club level in terms of the intensity and the volume of work you get through.

“It’s been great to be in camp and build connections, which is something we’ve put a real emphasis on in the last few weeks and months.”

READ MORE: Ben Healy lauded as ‘excellent’ as first Scotland start impresses Gregor Townsend

The article Scotland star delighted to stamp his mark in first Test start appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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