Pat MacArthur might have spent this week wondering whether his big chance had come and gone last weekend but there are more pressing matters on is mind.

In any case, full-time players are exposed to enough sports psychology these days to know that the last thing you would want to admit to was wallowing in any sort of disappointment when there was, as those involved in professional sport never tire of reminding us, a positive to be taken from it.

He might have looked pretty disconsolate at the time, then, but his account of standing on the Murrayfield touchline surplus to requirements as Ross Ford, whom he was understudying, and the rest of the Scotland side closed out their 34-10 win over Italy, only accentuates that which he reckons will stand him in good stead.

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"Last weekend was a great experience, to start with," said the 25-year-old. "To be involved with the national team, to get my first chance on the bench and to experience the whole atmosphere of winning at Murrayfield was great. I wasn't really expecting to get on. Fordy was going really well and the team was going well.

"Obviously, I wanted to get on and I will keep pushing and keep training hard to get my chance, but that is just the way I will have to look at it. It was an experience that means I will not be coming in from the cold to international rugby. I understand what is going on, the pressures and the noise that are part of an international game.

"As Scott Johnson [Scotland's caretaker head coach] says, caps are not going to be given away easily. Yes, you want the cap but you want to influence the game when you get your chance. The way I look at it is that, hopefully, I will play this week and impress enough that I might get a chance at some other point.