HARRY Potter author JK Rowling has conjured up a magical source of inspiration for Scotland's rugby team ahead of today's Six Nations game against Italy.

Edinburgh-based Ms Rowling has posted a magical tale on her website in which she claimed lock Jim Hamilton, back row Kelly Brown and full-back Stuart Hogg have links to characters in her best-selling Potter series.

Mr Brown, the writer said, could be a cousin of witch Lavender Brown, while Mr Hamilton bore a "strong resemblance" to the much-loved giant Hagrid.

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The author believed she did not need to give a reason for the suspicion of Mr Hogg, simply saying "enough said".

Ms Rowling apparently hopes her fable will win the worldwide backing of Potter fans for Scotland ahead of this afternoon's Six Nations clash with Italy in Rome. She claimed a failed 19th century wizard from the Scottish Borders turned his hand to rugby instead. But after being outed as non-magical, Angus Buchanan used his spell-dodging skills on the rugby field, leading Scotland to victory over England in 1871.