Six Nations 2022: Scotland expectations high because squad depth is greatest in my time here, says SRU chief Mark Dodson

SRU chief Mark Dodson believes it’s time for Scotland to mount a serious challenge for the Six Nations Championship.

The tournament kicks off a week on Saturday, with Gregor Townsend’s side hosting England at BT Murrayfield in their opening match.

Scotland impressed last season, beating England and France away in the same year for the first time since 1926.

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However, they ended up fourth in the final standings despite three wins from five. Scotland have never won more than three games in a season nor finished in the top two since Italy joined and it was rechristened the Six Nations in 2000.

Scotland coach Greg Townsend with SRU chief executive Mark Dodson. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS

In that time England have won the title seven times, Wales six, France five and Ireland four. Dodson thinks Scotland now have the talent to compete at the sharp end.

“If you ask Gregor, and I think he said so at the press conference on Wednesday, that he goes into these tournaments looking to win,” said the Scottish Rugby chief executive.

“The squad depth is the greatest in my time here, and I’ve heard other respected commentators and even some of you say that this is the strongest squad in depth terms we’ve been able to put on the park in a generation, so our expectations are high.”

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Asked about a specific target, Dodson said: “We want to see progress. We played incredibly well last year and didn't end up in the position our performances deserved. I think we have the ability to be competitive in every game and we would like to see games being won in clusters.

“I think we have the same ambition as Gregor has. They want to push on and they know that ahead of World Cup ’23 this is an ideal platform to deliver on the promise of the squad.”

Townsend is contracted by Scotland until next year’s World Cup and Dodson said there had been no talks yet about extending the deal. He also non-committal on his own future.

“I haven’t really had any conversations with the board about that,” he said. “I enjoy this job and while I continue to do it, I’ll do the very best I can. I don’t please everybody all the time as you probably realise, but I enjoy the job.”

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