Blair Kinghorn hopes his best form in a Scotland shirt is still to come as he prepares to win his 50th cap in Saturday night’s box-office World Cup showdown with Ireland in Paris.
The 26-year-old Edinburgh back made his debut in February 2018 and will bring up his half-century in the Stade de France in a match the Scots must win either with a bonus point or by denying their opponents a losing bonus if they are to reach the quarter-finals.
“It’s cool,” he said of the prospect of making his landmark appearance in the biggest game of his career to date.
“I’ll be very honoured to get my 50th cap at the weekend. It was something I probably felt wouldn’t come. Then all of a sudden it has crept up on me so I will certainly enjoy the experience.”
Kinghorn has scored 14 tries since making his Scotland debut five-and-a-half years ago.
His versatility has meant he has been deployed on the wing, at stand-off and at full-back throughout his international career, although he now appears to be settling into the number 15 jersey vacated by Stuart Hogg, who retired earlier this year.
Kinghorn admitted he has not yet hit the heights he expects of himself on a consistent basis for the national team.
“Peaks and troughs, I think,” he said when asked to reflect on his Scotland career so far.
“When I got my debut in that first Six Nations, I was having a really good time and covering maybe just wing.
“That summer tour I moved maybe more to full-back, then found myself starting on the wing for a little period of time then Duhan (Van Der Merwe) came along and kind of ruined that for me!
“There’s been up and downs. I’ve moved position a couple of times. I went to 10 for a bit but I feel like I’m really at home now back in that 15 jersey.
“I feel like I have not really showed how good I can be in my first 50 caps. I don’t take any cap for granted but I’ll certainly be looking to prove what I can do for the next wee while.”
Kinghorn is confident Scotland can get the result they need to prolong their World Cup campaign beyond this weekend.
“We don’t have a choice, it’s win or go home,” he said. “Everyone is pumped for it.
“You want to be playing in the biggest games possible and this is one of the biggest game possible for us.
“It’s a great opportunity. There are nerves about it, but it will be great atmosphere, great evening.
“We have got to be defensively sound as we know Ireland have a very good structure the way they play. We have got to get our attack clicking as I feel when we do, we can beat anyone.
“We need to do our thing and what better place to do it if we do?”
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