Ben Toolis “loved” his first start for Scotland – and now he hopes he has done enough to start against Australia this weekend.

The Edinburgh Rugby second-row grew up in Australia and has certainly given Head Coach Gregor Townsend food for thought after his performance in the 34-13 victory over Italy in Singapore.   It was his second cap.

“The fact Gregor put his trust in players like myself, giving me my first start, shows what sort of coach he is and the confidence he has in players,” Toolis, 25, said.

“He had a game plan from the start based on attack and throwing the ball around. It was very enjoyable.

“It was a good result for his first go as an international Head Coach.

“I loved going out for my first start. It was difficult in the heat, tough in the first half when the Italians came out and made it difficult for us. We had a lot of ball, a lot of attack, but there were a few errors, things we need to work on.

“There were a lot of good things, a lot of bad things, but overall I am happy with how it went and it was good to get a win.

“The maul defence was pretty good even though we did give away a few penalties at the end. Italy love their maul and set-piece but we stopped them pretty well. The scrum went well.

“I’m happy with the lineout defence, all the boys were all in the right spots and we put pressure on them.”

“Positive place”

Meanwhile, Scotland Defence Coach Matt Taylor is also excited to be back on familiar territory with Scotland.

The former Reds Coach said: “I think Scottish rugby is in a really positive place.

“I think personally over the last couple of years we’ve built and built and we’ve had some good results.

“Like even in the 6 Nations, we had a really bad result against England which was disappointing, but you’d say in every other game, to beat Wales the first time in 10 years, to beat Ireland who were a very good team and to beat Italy and keep them tryless in the last game, there was lots of positives.

“I’m hoping the next couple of years we can really press on and not only do well in the World Cup but also press for 6 Nations honours.

“I’d never say never about Australia because you’ve just got to go where the job is but at this point I love Scotland, my family’s really settled there and the SRU have been really good to me and my family.

“The great thing I find for me personally is you’ve got the likes of Dave Rennie and he’s going to be with Glasgow.

“I think it’s really good to talk to a lot of Kiwi coaches because you get a bit of insight of what they think about Australians and Australian teams which you wouldn’t get if they’re in competition.”

Ben Toolis is pictured by David Gibson/FOTOSPORT playing against Italy in Singapore

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