Blair - Scotland 'moved on'
Scotland captain Mike Blair believes that his side will now be able to cope with the pressures of the Six Nations.
Last Updated: 06/02/09 3:25pm
Scotland captain Mike Blair insists it will be an improved Scotland side that lines up against Wales at Murrayfield on Sunday.
Last year Scotland entered the Six Nations with high expectations, but failed to deliver, losing four of their five games in the competition.
However, the Edinburgh scrum-half is adamant the current side is better equipped to cope with the pressure.
"We are in a similar situation to the one we were in last year," he said.
"But we've got a bit more experience in the squad now and our performances in the autumn show that we have moved on from where we were in the last Six Nations.
"We are under no illusions as to how good Wales will be. For the last 18 months, they have played consistently well in every game they have played and that is why they are where they are.
"But we are expecting to put in a very consistent performance of our own and to put a lot of pressure on them."
Blair is aware his side will go into the clash against the reigning Grand Slam winners as underdogs but believes that with a good start and a consistent performance they can emerge victorious.
He added: "Wales like to play a lot of rugby. They are one of the better teams to watch in the championship.
"They've got a pack that works incredibly hard, while in the backline they have some potent attackers and strong finishers, so they are a very good all-round team and that's why they are favourites for the tournament.
"To get the better of them, the first thing we've got to do is maintain consistency in our performance - which is something that hasn't been there in the last couple of years, when you've not known which Scotland team was going to emerge from the tunnel.
"At the start of the game, we are going to have to put pressure on them and make them play some rugby.
"They'll want to move the ball around, so if we can keep them in good positions on the pitch then they'll start forcing things. And when they make mistakes, we have to make sure we capitalise."