IF Blair Kinghorn could replicate last year’s Six Nations performance against Italy this time around, there would be more than a few people queueing up to buy the 23-year-old a pint.

In last year’s tournament, Kinghorn scored three tries at Murrayfield as Scotland defeated the Italians 33-20 in comfortable style.

It was the first hat-trick of tries scored in the championship by a Scottish player in 30 years and it remains, he admits, one of the highlights of his career.

“It was a good day at the office,” he said of last year’s fixture.

“It was happy days as we won and a good day for my personally. I got a signed ball – it’s in my bedroom, on my chest of drawers.

“Personally, it was probably my best memory, apart from my debut that is.”

A repeat performance is just what the side could do with this weekend.

On Saturday, Scotland take on the Italians in Rome with Kinghorn and his compatriots desperately in need of a win.

Two losses in their opening two fixtures, against Ireland and England, have meant that victory in this weekend’s game is non-negotiable for Townsend’s men.

Scotland are yet to score a try in this year’s tournament, although captain Stuart Hogg came agonisingly close against Ireland, and while Kinghorn was reluctant to predict any more hat-tricks, he was quick to agree that a few scores in Rome would be most welcome.

“It’s disappointing obviously (to have scored no tries), but I think we’ve been more disappointed by the results,” he said.

“We could have scored a couple against Ireland and, against England, it was a bit of an anomaly game, it was tough for anyone to score tries because of the weather. We’re disappointed with our results but we’re confident this week.”

Kinghorn has started both of Scotland’s games this Six Nations, and looks in line to make the cut once again when Townsend names his side to face the Italians later today.

At his club side, Edinburgh, Kinghorn plays in his natural position of full-back but more often than not, Townsend has deployed him on the wing while on international duty.

That is as a result of battling Hogg for the full-back spot but Kinghorn admits that not only does he not mind being used as a winger, he enjoys it.

However, he is still focused on becoming the number one full-back for the national side.

“I have played more times on the wing than at full-back for Scotland. I really enjoy playing there, outside a firing back line,” he said.

“I feel I slot in on the wing very comfortably and feel I can create chances. A lot of it is down to back field coverage and playing so long at full-back at the top level means I can do that as full-back and wing are pretty interlinked. It is not difficult to deal with.

“But I am pushing for that full-back spot and competition brings out the best in people and I am gunning for (Hogg’s) spot.

“Hoggy has the experience, he is fast and a very talented player so I have to keep doing the basics well and be happy with that.

“He is working really well at the moment but I am a full-back. I enjoy playing on the wing but I have played most of my rugby at full-back at the top level and I am always gunning for that number one (full-back) spot.”

As much as Scotland are desperate for a win on Saturday, so too are Italy. Franco Smith’s side have played some solid rugby so far this tournament and they know their best chance of a victory is against the Scots.

Despite this, the Scots travel to Rome in confident mood and, says Kinghorn, are prepared for whatever Italy may throw at them.

“They’ve changed their game a little bit, they’re going to be a bit more expansive, we think. They like to offload the ball – they’ve got the most offloads in the Six Nations so far,” he said.

“They like to chance their hand a little bit in the 15 metre channel so we’re going to look to put pressure on their attack. So we’ll come ready for an attacking game.

“They’re a threat and we’ve looked at it and we’re ready.”