Jamie Ritchie declared Scotland were “ready to go” ahead of the World Cup after a largely encouraging summer campaign ended with a 33-6 win over Georgia.
Gregor Townsend’s team head to France next weekend for the global showpiece on the back of three home wins – all after trailing at half-time – and a narrow defeat away to the host nation from their four warm-up matches.
Captain Ritchie is now relishing the prospect of leading the Scots into the tournament, with their first game against South Africa in Marseille on 10 September.
“I’m really chuffed but probably the predominant emotion now is excitement – we’re just ready to go,” he said.
“I feel we’ve built well. We’ve not had a perfect performance yet but for me that’s a positive thing because we know there’s one coming.
“I’m glad we had a little bit of a tough test in that first half against Georgia. We had to manage ourselves through that and then we stepped up in the second.”
Despite their first-half struggles throughout the summer, Scotland scored 15 tries in their four summer Tests against Italy, France (home and away) and Georgia, with 13 of them coming in the second half.
“Positive,” said Ritchie, when asked to sum up the warm-up campaign.
“I think we’ve shown that we can play really well, we’ve shown that we can come back from adversity, which I think is a really positive thing, and we’ve played some really good rugby.
“We’ve shown how we’ve grown over this period in terms of how we’ve wanted to build when we’ve had this extended period of time together and we’re really clear on how we want to play.
“It’s not been perfect but we’ve had more positive results and positive performances than not and we’re really excited for this first game.”
For all that Scotland go into the tournament in good fettle, their first opponents South Africa have sent out an ominous warning with back-to-back destructions of Wales and New Zealand over the past two weekends.
Ritchie insists his team – who watched the Boks’ 35-7 annihilation of the All Blacks on Friday together in their hotel – will learn from having seen how the world champions are going about their business in the lead-up to the tournament.
“The main thing for us is it’s been great learning for us to see what they might bring to a game,” he said.
“It’s pretty clear how they want to play and for us, we’re looking to exploit that and match them in certain areas so these games have been great for us to learn from them.
“They’ll be riding high off the back of them but we do well with an underdog tag and I’m really excited for it.”