Scotland: Ben White thanks Gregor Townsend for trust shown in him in Six Nations openers

Ben White for Scotland Credit: Alamy
Ben White for Scotland Credit: Alamy

Scotland scrum-half Ben White has thanked Gregor Townsend for the trust he has shown in him as he flourishes in this year’s Six Nations.

White, 24, has been in dazzling form in the opening three matches as Scotland sit in second position on 10 points, five behind pace-setters, Ireland.

The London Irish scrum-half was a surprise choice ahead of Ali Price for their opening clash with England and has continued to be backed thereafter.

Honoured to start for Scotland

White claimed a try in the away win over the English and also impressed against Wales and, most recently France, despite the result going against them.

“It’s been a huge honour to get to pull on the nine jersey for Scotland in the first three games,” the scrum-half said. “I thank Gregor a lot for the trust he’s shown in me, and I hope I can repay that.

“I love being out there, I love every minute of it. It’s amazing, you have to pinch yourself sometimes when you’re out there on the pitch. I just want to keep improving my game and keep moving forward every week.”

White’s start over Price was one of the talking points of the Round One selection, with the Exiles man hailing the competition for places in the squad.

“There’s always competition,” he said. “We have three very good nines, and that’s what it is at this level.

“You always have good players around you pushing you on, and you have to be at the top of your game every week to keep the shirt.

“Having that competition is only going to drive us on to be better as individuals and then collectively as a team so it’s good having that competition in training, knowing you have to be on your game. I love the challenge, I love the competition.”

Scotland, like all their Six Nations rivals, are currently on a fallow week, with Townsend’s troops set to take on Ireland at BT Murrayfield in Round Four.

They will come into that fixture on the back of a defeat to Les Bleus, but White is encouraged by their performance, as their consistency is improving.

“I thought we showed a lot of courage to come back from being 19-0 down and give ourselves a chance to win at the end,” he said. “I’m really proud of the performance in terms of how we stayed together as a group after the early red card.

“It could have gone completely the other way, but we dug our heels in and grew back into the game. I thought we played some really good rugby. I felt France were there for the taking in the second half.

Positives in defeat for Scotland

“We had them on the ropes, but we just weren’t able to capitalise on that opportunity, which is frustrating, but it’s also good to know we missed chances to take the game against a side ranked number two in the world. It shows we’re there and thereabouts.”

Despite the loss in Paris, there’s still plenty on the line for Scotland, as a win over Ireland would seal the Triple Crown and keep their title hopes alive.

“We have a lot of belief that we can win the championship,” said White. “Being back at Murrayfield with our fans behind us is something we’re really excited about and the challenge of playing Ireland for the Triple Crown is awesome.

“We’re a good team and we’re confident in our ability so we’re really excited.”

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