“We’ve got some really exciting young players but we’ve got to build our game around those experienced players and bring these young guys through,” – Scotland coach Matt Williams.
Scotland enter this season’s Royal Bank of Scotland Six Nations
with a new
coach in Australian Matt Williams and a new captain in Chris Paterson.
But whether they can combine to conjure up a recipe that will
Scotland’s two wins and fourth place in last season’s tournament
remains to be
Scotland struggled to reach the World Cup quarter-finals and have
lost five players to international retirement including former
scrum-half Bryan Redpath, fly-half Gregor Townsend and wing Kenny
But Williams, who took over from Ian McGeechan, is heartened by
players coming through the ranks.
“We’ve got some really exciting young players – Nikki Walker
Morrison (centre) and Chris Cusiter (scrum-half).
“The trick is that you don’t want to throw a young man in and
burn him so
he loses his confidence but he has to be blooded.”
Williams pleaded for patience on their behalf, saying his team
be judged on results alone.
“We need to make sure we put a process in place so that these young guys can succeed. Success for them might not necessarily be always scoring more points than the opposition.
“We always want to win but we want these young guys to focus on processes,”
Williams, the former coach of Irish province Leinster, added.
“We’ve got a very experienced forward pack that can cope with any international team. We’ve got to build our game around those guys and bring these young guys through,” explained Williams, of a pack where
Taylor has been consistently impressive.
And in a sign of his distinctive approach to the job, Williams
stand-off Paterson is set to share the captaincy with experienced
Scotland open their campaign away to Wales on
Saturday, February 14th, a
match both sides will believe they can win.
But six days later comes the match all Scottish rugby fans relish
any other when world champions England arrive at Murrayfield for the
instalment of rugby union’s oldest international fixture which dates
Already some supporters are trying to draw parallels between now
when Scotland defeated then world soccer champions England who had
World Cup the year before.
That match took place at Wembley but Scotland have the advantage
England – who could be without injured fly-half Jonny Wilkinson – at
“The great days are when you take on great teams and beat
what you remember for the rest of your life,” added Williams.
If they do just that against England, any mutterings about
first foreigner to coach Scotland, will soon disappear.