SCOTLAND skills coach Stevie Scott accepts victory against England this Saturday would be seen as one of the biggest shocks since the inception of the 6 Nations 13 years ago.
But the Galashiels-born former hooker says the squad has the belief to secure the country’s first win in 30 years at Twickenham.
“I am sure the public will see it that way after we lost to Tonga and England beat New Zealand in our last games,” admitted Scott.
“They will see a massive gap between the sides, but the 6 Nations is a tough competition and we think we can cause a shock, with the help of the Scotland support.”
The 39-year-old was previously Scotland’s line-out specialist coach until he made the switch to Sale Sharks in 2010 to take control of the club’s forward pack.
However, he was removed from his post in September as the Sharks experienced a dismal start to their season.
Scott, who earned 11 caps, returned to Murrayfield this month to work with interim head coach Scott Johnson for the 6 Nations campaign, along with former England international Dean Ryan.
While Johnson polarises opinions in the game, Scott is positive about the brash Australian’s talents, in particular the psychological aspect of his coaching.
Scott told us: “He wanted to give a chance to a young Scottish coach and I am delighted to be able to develop my career further.
“Scott’s knowledge of the game is very good and he is a great character. He is trying to get the best out of the players.
“Myself, Duncan Hodge, Massimo Cuttitta (both specialist coaches) and Dean do a lot of the coaching and Scott oversees it.
“He sees the mental side of the game as part of his role and he is always chatting to the players, when they come off the training ground, in the gym or in the eating area.
“He always wants to know the background of each player.”
While Scott’s playing experience at Twickenham will not fill any of his countrymen with confidence – a place on the bench in a 43-3 defeat in 2001 – he was part of the management team which saw Scotland A thump England Saxons 35-0 at Netherdale last year, with Stuart Hogg’s incredible 70m try leading to his call-up to the senior squad.
Scott said: “The team was outstanding that night – it just shows if you are mentally right you can cause upset.
“It has been great to see these young boys make the step up from the A to the senior side – that is what it is there for.”
Alongside Hogg, the Borders is represented in the Scotland starting XV by captain Kelly Brown of Melrose and vice-captain Greig Laidlaw of Jedburgh, while Kelso’s Ross Ford and Galashiels’ Geoff Cross start on the bench.
Meanwhile, Gala pair Russell Anderson and Chris Auld start for Scotland under-20s against their English counterparts tomorrow night, while Hawick’s Louise Dalgliesh and Melrose RFC’s Lauren Harris are in the women’s squad to face England on Saturday.
Scotland: S. Hogg, S. Maitland, S. Lamont (all Glasgow), M. Scott, T. Visser (both Edinburgh), R. Jackson (Glasgow), G. Laidlaw (Edinburgh); R. Grant, D. Hall (both Glasgow), E. Murray (Worcester), R. Gray (Sale), J. Hamilton (Gloucester), A. Strokosch (Perpignan), K. Brown (Glasgow), J. Beattie (Montpellier). Subs: R. Ford, G. Cross, D. Denton (all Edinburgh), M. Low, A. Kellock, H. Pyrgos, D. Weir (all Glasgow), M. Evans (Castres).