Rugby Union: Murray bringing centre's eye to the wing

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The Independent Online
CAMMY MURRAY may have vacated centre stage for the time being but he shows no signs of fluffing his lines as he prepares for the latest role in his fledgling Scotland career tomorrow. The Hawick-born youngster will start on the right wing against Spain at Murrayfield as Jim Telfer's side look to further bolster confidence ahead of the Five Nations' Championship after last week's demolition of Portugal.

Although caps have only been awarded for five of them, it will be Murray's eighth international for Scotland in his third different position after winning a Test centre berth on the summer tour of the southern hemisphere. Since returning from Australia, however, intense midfield competition with the likes of Jamie Mayer and Alan Tait in the Edinburgh Reivers and Scotland squads have helped Murray forge a new career on the wing.

Shaun Longstaff looked to have installed himself on the left flank last season after an impressive debut against Wales, but Murray got the nod for the first three of this year's autumn internationals. And as he switches to the right to accommodate Kenny Logan's return to his favoured position against Spain, the 23-year-old paid tribute to the pair he has kept out of the side for their role in his own development. "I only changed to the wing with the Reivers at the start of this season and I am barely into double figures in terms of games there," he said.

"I am getting a lot of help from the guys in the squad who are used to playing there like Kenny and Shaun Longstaff. I am bringing a centre's eye to things but they have been great in giving me the winger's perspective. It has helped my game enormously having them there to help me out on the defensive angles and coping with the different demands of the wing."

Murray admits he is happy to perform whatever role asked of him when it comes to pulling on the dark blue jersey. "How many people get the opportunity to play for their country? I just count myself one of the lucky ones," he added.

The Scotland backs coach, John Rutherford, believes an ability to adapt to the more expansive approach now favoured by the national coaches is a valuable asset in his young protege's locker. "Outside the half-backs and inside centre, there is so much movement with the game we are trying to play that you want all your players to be comfortable whichever position they occupy outside them," he said.

"It is very important we have got wingers that understand that and it was pleasing to see Kenny and Cammy linking up well for one of the tries against Portugal. They are not flying machines but they are both physical, penetrative kind of players."

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