Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Jacobsen issues Samoa warning

Allan Jacobsen

Scotland must perform at their very best to end their autumn campaign on a high against Samoa, according to prop Allan Jacobsen.

Edinburgh loosehead Jacobsen will win his 50th cap in Saturday's meeting with the Pacific islanders in Aberdeen, aware Scotland will face a stern challenge in the third EMC Autumn Test as the tourists seek to improve on narrow losses to Ireland and England.

"They have proved the last couple of weeks in their matches that they're a very good side," Jacobsen said. "Everyone knows they love to tackle, they're big, strong, but I think their whole game has improved. They've got a lot of guys playing in Europe now and I think that's got a lot to do with it. If we don't turn up to Pittodrie with our A game we'll be in trouble."

Jacobsen and winger Sean Lamont will both win their 50th caps this weekend in a Scotland team showing one enforced change from the victory over South Africa, with number eight Richie Vernon replacing injured second row Scott MacLeod.

Jacobsen is proud to have reached the milestone, more than eight years after his debut.

The 32-year-old added: "It obviously means a lot to me. I've played for a long time and it's eight years since I got my first cap. A lot of people say it's just a number, but it's been a big target for me in the last couple of years.

"I feel happy that I've done it, but it won't really mean anything unless we go out there and beat Samoa on Saturday - that's the main focus this week."

Wins over Australia, Ireland, Argentina (twice) and South Africa in little more than a year have ignited belief that Scotland could mount a challenge for the RBS 6 Nations title in the new year.

Jacobsen, though, insisted the squad are focused only on the immediate challenge, with victory on Saturday securing a fifth win in six Tests.

"All we're thinking about is Samoa," added Jacobsen. "We're aware of the fact that if we don't play well as an individual and as a team and play near to our potential every time we play for Scotland we won't win matches. We've got to be up there every time."