Blair Kinghorn admits scoring Scotland’s first ever Six Nations hat-trick may not be enough to keep his place for next week’s showdown with Ireland.
The Edinburgh full-back was asked to stand in for injured Saracens wing Sean Maitland as Gregor Townsend’s team kicked off their campaign in style.
And the 22-year-old took to the unfamiliar role like a natural as he ran in three tries for the Dark Blues’ first Championship treble since Iwan Tukalo achieved the feat in a Five Nations clash with Ireland back in 1989.
But with Maitland battling to shake off the hamstring strain that kept him out of the 33-20 triumph over the Azzurri at Murrayfield, Kinghorn is not taking it for granted that he will be given the nod by Townsend to face an Irish outfit ranked number two in the world when they visit Edinburgh on Saturday.
Kinghorn said: “It was awesome to score three times. I’m over the moon.
“To score any try is brilliant. I was just lucky to be on the receiving end of some great passing and a great kick from Finn Russell. Is the jersey mine to keep now? No, not at all. It goes week by week. You just have to train hard week by week and if you get selected put your best foot forward.
“It’s cool to have my name up on Scotland’s list of hat-trick scorers though.
“It’s nice to be named among them.
“But I’m mainly just over the moon with the result.”
Playmaker Russell created the opener when he booted the ball straight into Kinghorn’s grasp after 12 minutes before adding a second nine minutes later.
Scotland took their foot off the gas for the rest of the first half but they were motoring once the second period got under way as Hogg got the faintest of touches to a Russell grubber to add try number three.
Kinghorn wrapped up his treble and the bonus point after a brilliant run by Jamie Ritchie before substitute Chris Harris climbed off the bench to score his maiden Test try.
But the hosts allowed Guglielmo Palazzani, Edoardo Padovani and Angelo Esposito to score three tries in a sloppy final 10 minutes after Simon Berghan had been sin-binned.