Scotland v Italy, Six Nations, February 28
Hadden bolsters Scotland ranks
February 23, 2009
Scotland's Scott Macleod claims a lineout ball, Wales v Scotland, Six Nations Championship, Millennim Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, February 9, 2008
Lock Scott MacLeod is one of four players called up into the squad ahead of the clash with the Azzurri © Getty Images

Scotland head coach Frank Hadden added four players to his depleted training squad ahead of their latest Six Nations match against Italy at Murrayfield.

Lock Scott MacLeod and flanker Alan Macdonald (both Edinburgh), prop Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors) and hooker Scott Lawson (Gloucester) joined the team at Myreside this afternoon.

Ten players, however, were unable to take part in the latest session - Dougie Hall (ankle and shoulder), Craig Hamilton (ankle), Kelly Brown (head), Scott Gray (ankle), Allister Hogg (ankle) and Jim Hamilton (shoulder) were among the absentees from the forwards.

Euan Murray and Simon Danielli were both rested having played for their respective clubs, Northampton and Ulster, yesterday, and Simon Webster is still working with the physiotherapists following his head injury against Wales.

Prop Geoff Cross, who was also injured against Wales, saw orthopaedic surgeon Graham Lawson at Spire Murrayfield Hospital today. No surgery will be required for the knee injury he sustained in that game and he is to continue his rehabilitation.

Hadden has played down suggestions that there is added pressure on his shoulders ahead of Saturday's match. Scotland have lost their opening two Six Nations matches, but Hadden stressed there is always pressure to win with the national side.

"What the fans need to see is that we continue to make progress we've made in the last two games," he told BBC Sport. "There's always an enormous amount of pressure on us to deliver and that's the way we like to approach it.

"The players need to understand how important it is to win for their country and they understood that last week - and we got the sort of response we wanted last week. We're expecting more of the same this week."

Scotland have won just three times in the last 12 months under Hadden and could face the prospect of the wooden spoon if they fail to beat the Italians. However, Hadden insists he is not feeling any personal pressure.

"That's not something I concern myself about," he said. "Ultimately, the most important thing is to get ourselves off to a good start, get the crowd behind us and hopefully that will set the tone for a famous day.

"It's vital that we play in a way that gets the crowd behind us and we'll do everything we can to play in a way that the Scotland crowd expect us to."


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