Wednesday, 2 February 2011
BLOG: Andy Nicol's Scottish 6 Nations preview
The 2011 RBS 6 Nations is shaping up to be one of the closest tournaments for years. Here at ENS, we have got an expert's opinion on each of the Home Nations' chances, starting with ex-Scottish International scrum-half, Andy Nicol.
"Scotland should go into this year’s RBS Six Nations with a good deal of confidence. They have won five of their last six Internationals against top class opponents, including wins over the Springboks, Samoa, Argentina twice and Ireland in Dublin at the end of last year’s 6 Nations.
This year, we have three games at home against Italy, Wales and Ireland. I think this season’s tournament will be one of the most closely fought in recent memory and Scotland should certainly be aiming to win all of their home games.
Dan Parks will of course have to play a crucial role if Scotland are to be successful. At his best, Parks can be a match winner but if he begins to sit too deep in the pocket, he can bring a lot of pressure onto his teammates.
The fact that we have enjoyed such success recently, despite only scoring 7 tries in 13 Internationals, speaks volumes about our defensive capabilities. However, I would like to see more tries and attacking threat from Scotland in this year’s competition and Parks will be crucial to that.
The Scottish scrum-half debate is an interesting one. It is a luxury to have so much strength in depth in such a key position. Rory Lawson has been selected for Saturday’s opener in Paris and, in my opinion, deservedly holds on to the shirt following his impressive displays during the Autumn Internationals. However, Mike Blair seems to be getting his spark back following a difficult year and he could make a big impact from the bench.
Every year we seem to begin the tournament with high hopes only for them never to materialise. However, this time Scottish hopes are not unfounded but based on results in our most recent fixtures. The players should be confident of a very successful campaign".
Posted by Steve Munford at 11:45