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Scott is not playing catch up as his side chase after points

Alan Solomons, the Edinburgh head coach, toes the Murrayfield party line when he says that club rugby is the servant of the international game, and it is certainly true as far as Matt Scott is concerned.

Matt Scott is recalled
Matt Scott is recalled

Since the start of the season, the centre has turned out in six games for Scotland: exactly twice the number he has played for the capital side.

In fairness, Scott's strange selection pattern comes down to the timing of three injuries rather than disdain for domestic duties. To begin with, he tore his ankle ligaments in Edinburgh's first pre-season game last August. Then, he broke his hand playing for Scotland against Japan in November. Finally, while recuperating from that hand problem, he also managed to tear his hamstring, turning an expected six-week lay-off into a three-month absence.

Small wonder that the 23-year-old midfielder should now be champing at the bit to get some club games under his belt. An away trip to Treviso is one of the better outings in the RaboDirect PRO12 - Venice is just a few miles down the road and travelling teams have been known to delay their returns - but Scott's delight at being back in the Edinburgh starting line up does not rest on anticipation of a pleasant after-match stroll through the Piazza San Marco.

Scott's return is certainly timely. With confirmation that league placings will have a bearing on European involvement next season, there is a powerful incentive for Edinburgh to improve their current position. Eighth in the PRO12 table at the start of this weekend's round of games, Solomons' side have the luxury of two games in hand, albeit both of them - against Newport-Gwent Dragons and Glasgow - will be away from home. Instead of coasting to the season's end, there are strong reasons why Edinburgh should now be upping the pace.

"I am dying to play for Edinburgh," said Scott. "I have only played a handful of games for the club this year and it has been bugging me. So I'm delighted that I am allowed to help push the club towards the top six.

"It has been really good coming back into the set-up this week. It has been like a breath of fresh air. Being in the Scotland camp these last two months you spend a lot of time in hotels and you are under a lot of scrutiny, so it is nice to get back to normality and see all the guys again.

"The boys are in a really positive mood. Off the field there is a lot of joking going on and guys getting on really well. On the field, the training is really good. Everyone seems to be seamless with all the attacking and defensive systems. It is something that I have noticed without being prompted."

It is just as well that Scott has slipped back in so easily, as he will be in the relatively unfamiliar berth of outside centre, rather than his customary position at 12.

"I'm quite comfortable there and I actually quite enjoy it," he said. "You get a good amount of space and a good amount of ball, which is good for me. It doesn't change your mind-set too much. It's slightly different defensively, but you are pretty much doing the same role as you do at 12; you are carrying the ball up and organising the forwards. So it is very similar and it has not taken too long to get my head round it."

The esprit de corps around Edinburgh is in stark contrast to the mood at Treviso, who have yet to confirm that they will reverse their decision to pull out of the PRO12 next season.

That move was provoked, in part at least, by the funding imbalance between themselves and Zebre, but its effect on the players has been stark. Treviso have lost their last five games, a sequence that included a 75-7 thumping by Ospreys. To their credit, the Italian side did steady the ship a little with a solid performance in the course of their 14-3 loss to Munster in Limerick last weekend.

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