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Ashe calls for Glasgow mentality

Published 19/08/2015

Scotland's Adam Ashe believes the national team must find the mental strength which took Glasgow to glory
Scotland's Adam Ashe believes the national team must find the mental strength which took Glasgow to glory

Adam Ashe believes Scotland must match the mental strength that took Glasgow to Guinness Pro12 glory if they are to get back to winning ways.

While the national team have lost all six of their Test clashes during 2015, Ashe's Warrior side showed they were made of sterner stuff as they claimed their maiden league success.

The Scotstoun outfit swept RBS 6 Nations champions Ireland's four provincial teams and the four Welsh regions aside on their way to glory.

But despite forming the backbone of Vern Cotter's Scotland line-up, those same players have so far been unable to repeat that winning formula in Dark Blue.

However, number eight Ashe - named in the squad for Saturday's World Cup warm-up clash with Italy in Turin - claims the strength of character which allowed Gregor Townsend's men to triumph is gradually seeping into the Scotland set-up.

Asked to explain the contrasting results of club and country, the 22-year-old said: " I don't know why that happens really. I feel that during the autumn last year we did step up for Scotland.

"The same kind of feeling we had at Glasgow after winning the first eight or 10 games of the season was repeated here.

"I don't know what happened during the Six Nations but there certainly wasn't as much of that feeling. It was a little bit more edgy. Everyone was getting on each other's toes a bit more.

"The feeling has come back a little bit, though. After winning the league with Glasgow, the boys from there have all started to believe we are good enough to be up there with the best teams and beat the likes of Ireland or England.

"The only thing we can do as individuals is look at things the way we do with Glasgow."

And Ashe revealed Cotter has been working his players' mental reserves just as hard as their bodies during their eight-week build-up to next month's World Cup.

"Vern has put us under a lot of pressure," he explained. "We've had quite a few training sessions out there where we've made a mistake and then a couple of minutes late made another.

"He's said: 'Look, we are doing 20 line-outs and I want you to win 85 per cent of them. If you don't, we're not going inside'.

"Basically we're told if we don't get it right, we're not finishing. Things like that have helped.

"Personally, I use a sports psychologist but that is off my own back. I've been going to see a psychologist since I was about 16, just to work on techniques for getting over mistakes, preparation and that sort of thing.

"I think it is a really good thing. Speaking to someone who is totally impartial I find really beneficial."

Ashe's ability to cope with personal disappointments has been tested to the limit since he was d ropped for the Pro12 final victory over Munster in Belfast by club boss Townsend.

While his team-mates celebrated becoming the first Scottish side to lift silverware he was left crestfallen by his omission .

But that disappointment has made him only more determined to clinch a place in Cotter's 31-man squad for next month's tournament in England.

"It was a tough time being left out of the Pro12 final," he said. "We had a couple of weeks off after that before we came back to Murrayfield, so I had time to take my mind off it and have a think about what I wanted.

"I've come back really hungry to kick on, develop and grow from what happened. I feel like I'm in a good place now and I'm looking forward to the weekend.

"David Denton played well against Ireland last week and he has set the bar high. I t is going to be tough competition for a World Cup slot. I'm the youngest of the three number eights and up against two highly experienced players.

"Having Josh Strauss in there too doesn't make life any easier either. I don't think he will be playing in the warm-up games because he qualifies after that, but that's a good thing for me as I get a chance to play and show what I can do."

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