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Hamish Watson is determined to mark his Scotland milestone with a victory after finally getting the chance to win a 50th cap.
The flanker will reach the landmark in Salta on Saturday night as Scotland take on Argentina looking to level their summer Test series.
The Edinburgh forward missed last weekend’s 26-18 defeat with a shoulder injury having been denied the chance to reach his half-century during the Guinness Six Nations.
The 30-year-old said: “It was a bit frustrating, I’m not going to lie, especially after having to miss the France game with Covid.
“That was quite annoying and then I hurt my shoulder the week of the Chile game and thought I might be stuck on 49 for a while.
“It was never a really serious injury, it was just one I had to manage. I could have maybe played in the first Test but then if I had hurt it again, that would have been me done.
“I think we made the right decision, the physios and Doc (James) Robson has been really good with dealing with it. It’s probably going to be a tiny bit sore but I have trained all week, done all the contact stuff and it feels pretty good.”
Watson is particularly keen to be able to enjoy his achievement after being unable to savour his Scotland debut in 2015 – he was sin-binned in the final minute after a scrum infringement which handed Italy a penalty try and Six Nations victory in Edinburgh.
“Especially after my first cap, I didn’t think I would get to 50,” he said. “It’s amazing to be named in the team and to get 50 is quite an exclusive group.
“It’s an amazing achievement for me and my family and for all my friends.
“It’s hopefully about marking it in the right way and making sure we get the win, which is the most important thing.”
Despite not featuring yet during a summer tour which opened with an A international win overt Chile, Gregor Townsend praised Watson for having a key role off the park.
With forwards such as Fraser Brown, Stuart McInnally and Jamie Ritchie absent from the tour along with Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell, Watson is playing an enhanced role in the leadership group.
“I have really enjoyed it,” the British and Irish Lions international said. “We have a great leadership group who have been there for a couple of years under Gregor in the Six nations, but obviously a few of those boys are away.
“Gregor asked me to step up into that group and it’s something I have really enjoyed, trying to help out with the off-field stuff.
“Obviously I wasn’t part of the Chile game or the first Argentina game but it still meant I could get involved with the group.
“My mindset will always be the same on the field. I’m not a massive talker in huddles but I talk during the game and try to keep the comms up during the game and try and help the boys out. I don’t think my role will change on the field.”
Watson has helped keep spirits high despite the opening defeat.
“It’s actually been pretty upbeat this week,” he said. “We know we didn’t play well at all at the weekend but with the little ball that we had, we still created some really good opportunities and scored two tries and had one chalked off. We tried to see the positives in it.
“Our attack at times when they had the ball did look good and we made it look easy at times but it was just flooded with too many errors and maybe a few penalties at crucial times. We didn’t control the game well.
“So there are a few positives to take and everyone in camp has been upbeat because we have a good team culture.
“We have been trying to stay upbeat but it stands for nothing if we don’t get the win this weekend.”