Graham ready to rumble
January 15, 2008
Scotland forwards coach George Graham cannot wait for the RBS 6 Nations to get under way.
With the February 3 home clash against France fast approaching, Graham believes the squad now have the ability and the self-belief necessary to become serious contenders for the championship.
``We had a relatively good World Cup, although I was bitterly disappointed with the performance in the quarter-final, and since then a lot of the players
``The confidence is building in the squad. So, without getting too carried away, I am looking forward to the challenge these boys are going to present in
``For a lot of them, this will be their second or third Six Nations under this management team. We know where we are with these players, and I'm really, really looking forward to this campaign.''
Graham was speaking at the end of the first day of Scotland's two day training camp at Murrayfield yesterday.
He believes the success of Scotland's two club sides in the Heineken Cup at the weekend has boosted confidence in the squad.
Glasgow ground out their first Heineken Cup victory on the road in over a decade against Viadana, while Edinburgh achieved a notable victory over
Graham said: ``I spent six years playing at Newcastle Falcons and only beat Leicester twice, and that was in the first year when we won the championship, so
``And Glasgow got a fantastic win - albeit a scrappy one - away to Viadana, which is great because to win away from home in the European Cup is a big ask -
``Our inferiority complex has diminished in recent years. A lot of our boys play outside Scotland now so they are used to winning regularly, and I think the
``That was especially the case during the scrummage session. There was boys who have tended to be quiet in the past stepping up and taking charge of
With so many players in fine form, Graham and his fellow coaches are going to have to make some tough calls when it comes to selection - but he has no
``We have got boys knocking on the door,'' he said. ``We've always had a lot of back-row (forwards), but now we have got young guys coming through in other
``These boys are making it very tough to pick the national side - but that's great.''
``In years gone by, we haven't had the depth of players, so we have maybe had to pick guys because we don't have anybody else.
``But now we have got two or three players in every position now who make us have to argue the point.
``I would rather have that headache of having too many, so that we don't rush into it. Selection meetings two years ago would maybe take 45 minutes to an
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league