Vern Cotter’s final challenge in his time as Scotland coach is to shake off the team’s reputation as better finishers to the year than they are starters.
The Scots completed an impressive autumn Test series in Kilmarnock on Saturday with a morale-boosting 43-16 win over Georgia to follow up on their 19-16 victory over Argentina. The only blotch on this year’s autumnal record was the 23-22 loss to Australia which, in itself, contained many positive signs.
Cotter is now looking ahead to the Six Nations, which start with a home match against Ireland on 4 February and will be his last act before handing the reins to Gregor Townsend and returning to France with Montpellier.
“It’s always seemed to be the catchphrase in Scotland that you have a good autumn and then a poor Six Nations,” said Cotter. “We want to show we are progressing and we’re conscious of what we do and how we perform.
“The players know Ireland and how they play. They are a very humble bunch and that is one of the qualities I enjoy from this group.
“They know Ireland are a top team and they need to be at the top of their game but we can improve.”