Scotland will forever be the Five Nations’ champions. But, following the introduction of today’s opponents Italy, the Six Nations has proved a struggle.
In 11 out of 19 competitions, Scotland has recorded one win or less. So some in the rugby world may have become used to writing off the team in dark blue.
However, Scotland showed last year that it has players who are genuinely world-class – the kind of players required to beat England at Twickenham for the first time in 36 years and France in Paris for the first time in 20 years.
Make no mistake, if Scotland is to win its first-ever Six Nations, they will have to be at the very top of their game.
In Ireland, Wales and England, they will face the teams ranked second to fourth in the world respectively.
And no one should underestimate today’s opponents. Last year’s match was a near-run thing with Scotland coming from behind, just, to win 29-27. Staring too closely at the ultimate prize risks stumbling over a more immediate obstacle on the way.
But the Scots must, above all, believe in themselves, that they can triumph, just like the heroes of ’99. Come on Scotland!