British & Irish Lions hopeful Sean Lamont has revealed his frustration at being unable to show his top form ahead of the summer tour to New Zealand.
The 24-year-old was retained in Scotland’s line-up to face Italy in the Six Nations by coach Matt Williams on Saturday despite many believing he would make way for the fit-again Simon Webster.
But Williams omitted Simon Danielli instead, preferring Lamont’s superior defence over the Borders flyer’s pace out wide for the bottom-of-the-table championship clash.
Lamont responded to this show of confidence from his coach with a fine all-round display of pace, power and hunger for the action in Scotland’s 18-10 victory.
Indeed, he was only denied a third try for his country by referee Stuart Dickinson, who ruled a pass had gone forward in the move leading to the wing’s 64th-minute touchdown at Murrayfield.
The former Dundee HSFP star said: "I know what I can do. I just haven’t been able to do it in the blue jersey.
"I got more ball on Saturday and enjoyed that. It wasn’t because I had a licence to go looking for it, I’ve had that all the time but just haven’t done it.
"We played much better in the second half and I got a fair bit to do and all I was trying to do was avoid the tackles and stay on my feet as long as possible. In a game like that, that’s what you’ve got to do."
Lamont admits he was devastated to see a first Murrayfield try ruled out, but did take satisfaction from the hard tackles he put in on a couple of the Italian backs.
The Perth-born wing man said: "It was annoying to say the least! I thought it was a good pass from Chris (Paterson) but maybe the referee had seen something before that.
"I was celebrating when I realised he’d chalked it off. It would have been nice to score to round off the day.
"The big hits were nice though. Jason White put in a couple against Ireland two weeks ago and I managed to get a couple in on Saturday."