Greig Laidlaw closes in on Gavin Hastings record but would rather beat Ireland

Scotland's scrum-half Greig Laidlaw. Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Scotland's scrum-half Greig Laidlaw. Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
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Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw needs only ten points to move past Gavin Hastings and become the country’s second-highest scorer but insisted that he would “take a 3-0 win” in Saturday afternoon’s Guinness Six Nations meeting with champions Ireland at BT Murrayfield.

In a match set to take place in extremely windy conditions as Storm Erik hits hard, the Scots are looking to make it two wins out of two after beating Italy seven days ago, while the Irish are looking to keep their title defence alive following their home defeat by England.

Scrum-half and goalkicker Laidlaw is currently on 658 points, which is nine behind Hastings’ Scotland tally of 667, although the legendary full-back also has 66 for the British and Irish and Lions to take his Test total to 733. Chris Paterson retains a strong lead at the top with 809.

“If it comes, it will be nice. But it’s not my focus at all. It’s about winning the game,” said Laidlaw, 33, who wins his 68th cap today.

“We’d take a 3-0 win if somebody gave us it right now. It’s going to be a tough game against a really strong Ireland team, so records being broken don’t really matter – as long as we get the win, first and foremost.”

Scotland are looking for an eighth straight home win in the championship but Laidlaw concedes that taking the scalp of the world’s No 2 ranked side, repeating their win over the men in green of two years ago, is the type of achievement needed to prove Gregor Townsend’s side are genuine contenders.

“That’s probably a fair comment, we agree,” said the skipper. “If we want to go on and take the next step, it’s games like this we need to win against quality

opposition.

“Ireland are certainly that, they’ve proved that over the last couple of years in the competition and are one of the best teams in the world. We have a lot of respect for them and if we want to win we’ll need to play one of our best games.”

Scotland assistant coach Matt Taylor, meanwhile, has stressed he is going nowhere after reports from Australia last week linked him with a post in the Wallabies set-up.

“I’m contracted until 2021 and I’m really happy in Scotland,” Taylor said.