Letter: Cause for hope at Six Nations

AS WE approach the start of the Six Nations Championship, hope springs at least temporarily, if not eternal, in the breasts of Scottish rugby fans. Sadly, past experience tells us that that poor specimen of hope rarely escapes the first weekend unscathed.

Watching the two recent Edinburgh v Glasgow matches filled me with optimism and concern in more or less equal measures. The strength of the Glasgow set-piece and the inventiveness of some of the Edinburgh backs provides the prospect of better times ahead and I relish the day when we can see Tim Visser in a Scotland jersey.

However, the fact that Glasgow won the encounter by playing some pretty turgid rugby failed to inspire me. Their pack provides the sort of steady platform that is needed, but they recycle ball in such a tortoise-like fashion that the phases can be measured by a calendar rather than a stop-watch. Edinburgh, while lacking the power of the Glasgow forwards, at least keep the ball moving. So, Andy Robinson, if you’re listening, I hope you’ll be able to pick a set of forwards who can provide a solid platform but can also recycle ball quickly. Without this, our chances of improving on recent championships will be negligible.

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Overall, I am mildly encouraged by what is happening in Scottish rugby at the moment. At my age I should probably know better, but I just hope I still feel the same level of optimism after 4 February.

David Hamill, East Linton