Blair Kinghorn doubts that his hat-trick of tries for Scotland in yesterday’s win over Italy will silence his critics, but he insisted that he really does not lose any sleep over all the chatter from outside the camp about whether he is a better option at stand-off, full-back, wing or as a replacement utility-back for the national team.

“People will still be hating but it’s a five-point win,” he retorted, when asked if he felt he might have silenced the debate.

“I don’t listen to any of that stuff. I’m confident in my own ability wherever I get picked. I know I can go out there and play my best and hopefully add to the team which I think I’ve done in this Six Nations.”

When asked for his own preferred position, he replied: “Just wherever in the starting team is really good; 10 or 15 is probably my preference but I’m just happy to be in the starting team.”

Kinghorn started five Test matches on the trot at stand-off for Scotland between the final game of last year’s Six Nations and the opening match of the recent Autumn Series and was also deployed in that role by Edinburgh during that time.

However, the return to the fold of Finn Russell at international level and being required to cover wing for Edinburgh due to a spate of injuries meant he had not started a game in the No.10 jersey since, coming into this match.

In Scotland’s four previous matches of this campaign, he came off the bench to covering either full-back or wing, but says he had no problem getting up to pace yesterday.

“You want to be starting and have the opportunity,” he continued. “I have confidence in myself, and the team have confidence in me, so I felt really good going out there. Having an early kick-off in the sunshine just makes you feel a bit better and play a bit better. I didn’t feel rusty out there but it has been a while since I got decent minutes at 10.

“I felt really comfortable. I’ve trained a lot there this campaign and I feel like I’ve been in pretty good form coming off the bench, so it was nice to get some more minutes in the shirt at 10.

“It’s quite easy to slot in when you’ve got people in great form around you like Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones. They’re constantly talking and that makes your sure life is a lot easier, so I felt good out there.”

Kinghorn’s final, bonus-point securing try, was a beauty scored deep into injury time. It came from a scrum on Scotland’s line, with Kinghorn sending Duhan van der Merwe on a 45-yard rampage up the left touchline before he appeared again on the big winger’s shoulder to finish off the move.

“We had a penalty advantage from the scrum, I think it would have been a bit risky to run it from there if there had been no advantage! But the space was there so we took it,” he reflected.

“It’s always nice to score tries and I managed to get myself on the end of three, so happy days, but more importantly we got a five-point win against a really good Italian team, probably the best Italian team we have faced in recent years.

“I got a hat-trick against Italy at Murrayfield in 2019 as well so it was nice to repeat that. But you don’t get carried away with the personal accolade. You score points for the team, so you don’t really think about it until post-game.”

In terms of the team, performance, Kinghorn admitted that it fell below the standard the team sets itself – particularly in the second half – but was generally satisfied with getting the job done.

“You’ve just got to be red-hot on certain things,” he said. “We knew that they like to throw the ball around so our defence would have to be really good, and we talked a lot about our discipline but in certain areas of the game we kind of stacked penalties, and that gave them a foothold in the second half.

“There were a couple of line-outs that didn’t go our way. We know the Italians like to play from everywhere, they’re dangerous from everywhere, and our discipline probably didn’t help that.”