The Australian saw his first match end in a lacklustre 23-10defeat by Wales in Cardiff last weekend while reigning Six Nations kingsEngland began their bid for back-to-back Grand Slams by sweeping aside Italy 50-9in Rome.
But Williams tried to diffuse a growing mood of nationalpessimism, not helped by the Scottish soccer team's 4-1 defeat against Wales onWednesday, by insisting his squad had not given up despite the predictions on bothsides of the border that they were in for a Calcutta Cup thrashing.
"We're really looking forward to it and we're going to takeit on," Williams said ahead of his first match on 'home' soil.
"Every Scottish supporter leaving the ground on Saturday willknow that we have given every drop of desire, passion, sweat and blood, ifnecessary, to win the game.
"The English are world champions but of course I believe it.If I didn't believe it I would get out of here."
Fine words but it is hard to make a case for anything other thanan England victory. They have won 23 of their last 24 Tests and 13 of their last 14Calcutta against Scotland. The odd one out was Scotland's 19-13 win at Murrayfield in 2000which denied England a Grand Slam.
But Clive Woodward's side are tougher now and more adept atadjusting their game to the kind of appalling conditions that confronted them inEdinburgh four years ago.
Scotland, by contrast, rebuilding after a host of World Cupretirements, have few genuine game-breakers in their side. Even David Sole, Scotland's captain when they denied England aGrand Slam at Murrayfield back in 1990, could not see how the present side mightrepeat history. "In all honesty, the head says England by 20points."
However the fact that Scotland are such overwhelming underdogs mayjust give them inspiration to prove the doubters wrong. Their defence, which at times was conceding overlaps on both sidesagainst Wales will, however, have to be vastly improved if they are to stopthe likes of fleet-footed England centre Jason Robinson, who ran in a hat-trickof tries against Italy.
But Woodward was refusing to take anything for granted sayingEngland had to hit the ground running: "We need to start strongly - theopening is very important."
Woodward has made just one switch for the latest edition of rugbyunion's oldest internationalk fixture with Chris Jones replacing injuredflanker Joe Worsley. Jones, who came off the bench against Italy to mark his Test debutwith the last of England's seven tries, is rated so highly by Woodward he hascontinued to omit World Cup-winning flanker Neil Back.
Williams can only dream of such rich playing resources. But theScottish public are likely to keep faith with the new man just so long asthere is a marked improvement from last week. Victory though would not just be the biggest upset in rugby unionsince France came from behind to beat New Zealand in the 1999 World Cupsemi-final. It would be one of the all-time great sporting shocks.
Scotland: Ben Hinshelwood (Worcester/ENG); Simon Danielli (Bath/ENG), TomPhilip (Edinburgh), Brendan Laney (Edinburgh), Simon Webster (Edinburgh);Chris Paterson (Edinburgh, capt), Chris Cusiter (Borders); Simon Taylor(Edinburgh), Cameron Mather (Glasgow), Jason White (Sale/ENG); Stuart Grimes (Newcastle/ENG), Scott Murray (Edinburgh); Bruce Douglas (Borders),Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow) Tom Smith (Northampton/ENG) Replacements: Robert Russell (Saracens/ENG), Gavin Kerr(Leeds/ENG), Nathan Hines (Edinburgh), Allister Hogg (Edinburgh), Mike Blair (Edinburgh),Dan Parks (Glasgow), Andrew Henderson (Glasgow)
England: Iain Balshaw (Bath); Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Will Greenwood(Harlequins) Jason Robinson (Sale), Ben Cohen (Northampton); Paul Grayson (Northampton),Andy Gomarsall (Gloucester); Lawrence Dallaglio (Wasps, capt), RichardHill (Saracens), Chris Jones (Sale); Ben Kay (Leicester), Danny Grewcock(Bath); Phil Vickery (Gloucester), Steve Thompson (Northampton), TrevorWoodman (Gloucester) Replacements: Mark Regan (Leeds), Jason Leonard (Harlequins),Simon Shaw (Wasps), Alex Sanderson (Sale), Matt Dawson (Northampton), OllyBarkley (Bath), Henry Paul (Gloucester)
Referee: Pablo Deluca (ARG)
AFP - 2004