Scotland hooker George Turner is determined to end a largely positive year on a high after making a swift recovery from injury.
Turner suffered a rib injury early on in Scotland’s victory over Australia and subsequently missed last weekend’s defeat to South Africa.
The injury was a major blow as Turner was looking to cement his place as Scotland’s number two after seizing his chance earlier this year when injuries opened up opportunities.
The Glasgow player started in the wins over England and France and was looking to continue his and the team’s progress this autumn.
Scotland did so by beating the Wallabies before losing out against the world champions.
And Turner is looking to make sure they quickly get back on track against Japan on Saturday.
“It was a great relief, not being out for a while,” the 29-year-old said.
“After the injury I was told it could be six to eight weeks but it settled down quite quickly. The next day it wasn’t too bad, I did what I was told and it settled itself down.
“It was actually in the scrum, it fell apart a bit, they kept going and my head got shoved down pretty hard and I felt my rib going. I was running around and it was going in and out, flopping about, so I had to call the medics.”
New competition for the number two jersey emerged when Ewan Ashman came in for Turner and marked his debut against Australia with a try.
“I really wanted to play in these games,” Turner said. “I was gutted I had to come off early.
“There’s a lot of hookers around, Ewan came on and had a great game. I definitely could not have finished that try the way he did.
“I am relieved not to be out for long but I was gutted to miss most of the Australia game and the South Africa game.
“They are world champions, a massive Test, it would have been amazing to play. But I got over that quickly and made sure I would be able to play this weekend.
“The boys want to right a few wrongs and smash this game.
“As a team we were talking about that earlier. We really feel we have come on a long way and we are in a good place and we know we can do better and push on.
“We want to do well at the weekend and finish the year well.”