Laidlaw and co are looking to prove doubters wrong

02/02/15'SCOTLAND TRAINING'BT MURRAYFIELD STADIUM - EDNIBURGH'Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw gets on the ball in training

02/02/15'SCOTLAND TRAINING'BT MURRAYFIELD STADIUM - EDNIBURGH'Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw gets on the ball in training

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This is a moment for pause, a period of calm before battle and Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw is serene as he looks ahead to the Six Nations campaign.

Scotland have been building impressive momentum, coming agonisingly close to defeating New Zealand for the first time in 109 years, while beating USA, Canada, Argentina and Tonga over the summer and autumn.

They are ranked eighth in the world and face France, who sit just 0.88 ranking points ahead of them in seventh, at the Stade De France in their first game of this year’s tournament on Saturday.

The game will not be straightforward, but Scotland feel more streetwise these days. The lights, the crowd, the occasion: Laidlaw insists they will be ready for it all, but the experienced Jedburgh scrum half knows too much about rugby to make any grand predictions.

“We played well in the autumn but we’re not going to get carried away with ourselves,” he said.

“Our feet are firmly on the ground. We’ve got a very tough start away to France, and then a massive game a week later at home against Wales.

“We are of course trying to push on and win the Six Nations like everyone else is, but we need to keep working hard and doing our basics well. If we do that I believe we’ve got some good enough individuals within the team to cause the other sides a lot of problems.”

The 15-year absence from Six Nation’s relevance has started to diminish the notion of Scotland as contender in the big competition, but with players scattered across Europe all performing well, Laidlaw is looking to prove doubters wrong.

“There’s a great buzz around the squad off the back of the autumn performances,” he added.

“We’re probably not that highly rated by the other teams in the competition, but there is only one way to fix that. We need to put in performances and win matches. People always have their opinions about what happens out on the field, but what’s gone is gone.

“We just need to look to the next game because you can’t keep going over what has already happened.”