Stuart Hogg wants the shot at New Zealand he was denied through injury in the summer but admits if Scotland stand back and admire the All Blacks they could be in serious trouble.
Scripted by BT Murrayfield’s clever marketeers, Saturday’s opening Autumn Test of 2017 could hardly have gone better.
Scotland got an almighty scare and were given a physical lesson by Samoa in the opening Autumn Test, barely holding on for a win in the highest-scoring international ever played at BT Murrayfield.
It’s maybe not quite reached the official passing of the torch yet, but there’s still an element of a changing of the guard as Scotland take on Samoa in the opening Autumn Test of 2017 at BT Murrayfield today.
Gregor Townsend has packed his pack with Edinburgh players and his backline with Glasgow Warriors for Scotland’s Autumn opener against Samoa – but quoted some fairly authoritative precedents for his decisions.
"How many tightheads do you want?" I once asked Vern Cotter. "As many as you've got," he replied.
Darryl Marfo, up until last year a career fringe player in the English Premiership, will win his first cap for Scotland against Samoa in Gregor Townsend’s first home game as head coach.
Stuart McInally has taken his time to be a frontline starter since he moved from backrow, but Richard Cockerill’s endorsement seems to have him squarely in the Hookers’ Guild.
Samoa have given Scotland plenty scares in the past and don’t expect anything different on Saturday, warns wing Tommy Seymour.
Scotland captain John Barclay says his case is exactly the reason why rugby’s system with dealing for concussion is “flawed”.