The seagull ran a good dummy line for the Scotland attack at Scottish Gas Murrayfield

There was an unexpected intruder as Scotland got their first World Cup warm-up underway with a 25-13 victory over Italy at the newly-named Scottish Gas Murrayfield on Saturday. A flock of seagulls dominated the Edinburgh sky and one seagull made Scotland v Italy their home, even lining up in the Scottish attack and almost tripping up scrum-half Ali Price.

Perhaps it was the fact Scotland were playing in their alternate white strip that confused the seagulls but they certainly made themselves at home. Seven minutes in the offending ‘gull landed on the middle of the pristine pitch and it was soon getting amongst the action.

Price delivered a pass to fly-half Ben Healy and the seagull zoomed in and under the former Munster man’s follow-up ball before almost taking the Glasgow Warriors scrum-half by the ankles.

At first the crowd seemed to enjoy a new form of entertainment and were cheering the seagull but the cheers turned to gasps when it became apparent it was struggling to exit the field of play and a nasty collision looked like it could become an inevitability.

Luckily, security staff were able to wrap the seagull in towels and escort it safely from the playing arena.

Related: Scotland Rugby World Cup squad

On the pitch, the action continued and Gregor Townsend’s side came out on top over Kieran Crowley’s Azzurri thanks to two tries from returning wing Darcy Graham.

Graham missed the Six Nations through injury but made his return to the international stage in style, collecting one score from Healy’s bobbling cross-field kick and a second on a switch off Price before burrowing over.

Italy scored through their own returning wing in Melbourne Rebels star Monty Ioane, who at one point stood up and rounded Graham, but Scotland had the last say as replacement Josh Bayliss showed off some nifty footwork to score in the corner and get their Summer Nations Series campaign up and running with a 12-point victory.

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