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Heat, Underdogs, History, And A Rivalry As Scotland Faces Italy

Heat, Underdogs, History, And A Rivalry As Scotland Faces Italy
As Scotland and Italy prepare for a historic test match on Saturday in Singapore, both teams are simply trying to ensure they won't wilt in the weather when they kick off at 8 PM local time (5 AM PT).

Following a stifling week in the Southeast Asian city, temperatures are expected to be in the 80s at Singapore's National Stadium, creating a challenging environment for a pair of teams that are both blooding new players on this trip.

Scotland, which beat Italy 29-0 during the Six Nations at Murrayfield this spring, is also missing three athletes who are with the British and Irish Lions tour.

Despite the notable absences, Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend expects his team to play a quick game. The Scots, which are ranked No. 5 in the world, ahead of France and South Africa, would also love to get a big win over No. 15 Italy in order to chase fourth-ranked Ireland.

Italy head coach Conor O'Shea, who was a rival of Townsend's when both played in the 1990s, said his team is an underdog.

"People tend to look at the result at the end of matches, but from where we are, we look at little things within matches that can be huge game changers," O'Shea told Newstalk Radio in Dublin. "That can range from the first scrum of the match which sets the tone or if a score is taken at a certain time in a match."

The Azzurri may be the underdogs, but they are also ready to make some history, playing in Singapore's magnificent stadium.

Scotland vs. Italy will be shown LIVE on FloRugby Saturday, June 10, at 8 AM ET (5 AM PT)

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