Godman glad of friendly faces

Scotland stand-off Phil Godman has revealed how thankful he was to have familiar faces around him as he made his first start in the RBS 6 Nations Championship. [more]

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Scotland stand-off Phil Godman has revealed how thankful he was to have familiar faces around him as he made his first start in the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

The young half-back was selected ahead of Glasgow’s Dan Parks by Frank Hadden for the crunch clash with Wales at Murrayfield.

And the Edinburgh playmaker responded with a composed display as Scotland carved out a crucial victory following the heavy defeat at the hands of England at Twickenham on the opening weekend of the new campaign.

Godman’s inclusion ahead of Parks, Hadden’s favoured stand-off for the large majority of his reign, was something of a departure from the Scotland coach’s tried and trusted formula.

With Chris Cusiter at scrum-half in place of the injured Mike Blair, Hadden’s preferred number nine, Scotland fielded an embryonic half-back pairing for their pivotal match in the Six Nations.

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And Godman was pleased to have Edinburgh team-mates Rob Dewey and Marcus Di Rollo outside him in the centre positions, as well as Chris Paterson on the wing and Hugo Southwell at full-back.

The 24-year-old said: "It’s definitely nice to have guys like Rob and Marcus playing on my shoulder.

"Because I’ve played with them at club level you have a much better idea of their running lines and what they are likely to do when they get the ball.

"It just helps to make things run more smoothly and is reassuring when you’re making your way in international rugby.

"I thought I had a decent game and I just hope I’m involved in the match-day squad for the game against Italy, who we know will be robust and physical.

"There was a brilliant atmosphere inside Murrayfield and of course everyone wants more of that once they have experienced it once.

"Thankfully we got the win we needed so that game will be one we all look forward to now. We’ll prepare for the challenge in good spirits.

"There was definitely pressure on us going into the game and it was definitely a lot different from my previous start against Romania in the November Tests."

The former Newcastle player feels Scotland must now target a clean sweep of their home games in the 2007 championship – and hope for a bonus win away in France.

Beating Italy and Ireland at home would enable Hadden to repeat the winning ratio of last year, when two home victories against France and England were followed up with a welcome away success against Italy.

Godman said: "Our target now is to win our remaining games at Murrayfield. If we do that I think we can say we have had a good championship.

"We will also be determined to get a result in Paris and showed last year that we could compete with France.

"We just hope we can keep up the momentum from last season and then the autumn Tests.

"We had to win against Wales to do that after the defeats against Australia and England and that’s what we did."

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