Luke Crosbie insists Scotland are determined to prove they are genuine Guinness Six Nations title contenders as they aim to make up for a disappointing World Cup.
Gregor Townsend’s men exited France 2023 at the group stage after losing to South Africa and Ireland and although competing in one of the tournament’s toughest ever pools, they feel that as a “world-class” side they had more to offer.
The theme of underachievement extends into the Six Nations with third place in 2023 their best performance since finishing in the same position five years earlier.
It is an unsatisfying return for a group of players considered among the best ever produced by Scotland and Crosbie insists there is a desire to end an era of mediocrity.
“As a group we know we’re a world-class team but we need to put those results on the board in the Six Nations,” the Edinburgh flanker said.
“We’ve taken our learnings from the World Cup, we’ve processed that individually and collectively.
“Now it’s time to prove to the nation what we know ourselves – that we’re a world-class team. It’s about getting the results, it’s as simple as that.
“We know the talent we have in our group individually. We know that on our day we’re one of the best in the world. Now it’s about putting that into practice.
“We look at the quality of our camp already, everyone has shown an appetite to show what they can do as an individual and as a collective.
“We fell a bit short at the World Cup so as a collective we want to get better. It’s business time for us.”
If Scotland are to mount a meaningful challenge for the title they must end their long wait for victory in Cardiff – which now stands at 22 years – when they face Wales on the opening weekend.
They have flattered to deceive in the past, toppling England at Twickenham for the first time in 38 years in 2021 only to then falter by losing to Wales and Ireland.
It is this inconsistency that has proved so costly and for Crosbie the key is to ensure they adopt the right attitude in every one of the five matches that will define their post-World Cup outlook.
“If you turn up to a game at international level thinking you might lose, you’ve lost already. So when you turn up you have to know that you’re better than your opposite man,” he said.
“We have to walk into every game thinking we’re going to win because if you don’t think like that, you’re going to lose and there’s no point turning up.
“That’s the mentality we’ve got. We need to start strong and get the result in every single game.”
Once Wales have been negotiated, France and England visit Murrayfield in matches that will dictate whether a first Six Nations title remains a credible objective.
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