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Gordon Reid urges Scotland to stand up against Wales' front row

Gordon Reid has urged Scotland to stand up to Wales' front row this Saturday or face being bullied.

The Dark Blues will hope to get their RBS 6 Nations campaign back on track when Rob Howley's side visit Murrayfield.

Glasgow prop Reid knows they cannot afford to let the visitors get the upper hand at the set-piece after allowing Ireland and France to boss them during their opening two clashes.

The Scots' pack came under pressure against the Irish but had their free-running backs to thank as they snatched a narrow victory.

There was no such let-off against France last weekend when Les Bleus dished out a lesson in scrummaging, powering their way to a 22-16 triumph.

Reid reckons Wales will try to do the same this weekend - but insists Vern Cotter's forwards have been putting in extra homework to ensure they do not have their faces rubbed in the mud once again.

He said: "There's still a load for us to work on. Teams will be targeting our scrums and line-out. They weren't performing that well against Ireland and France.

"But I think we're getting there. We've done a lot of work on it in the past couple of weeks so hopefully we'll be hitting form by the weekend.

"What have we done to fix it? A sh*tload of scrums.

"We've been working on technique because we know what Wales are going to bring. We've scrummaged against these guys before. Most of the guys have come up against Scarlets, who Samson Lee and Rob Evans play for.

"We need to front up. Wales are going to come out and try to bully us up front - mentally bully us. We just need to stand up for ourselves and stand up for Scotland."

It has long been said that Scotland's failure to master the dark arts of scrummaging has left them at a disadvantage when going up against rugby's top Test sides.

But Reid claims there is still a place for playing hard and fair at the highest level of the sport.

Asked how he would describe the Welsh scrummaging style, he replied: "Erm, interesting. Yeah, interesting.

"We always look to be legal and do everything by the book. It's just the Scottish way.

"We don't look to take shortcuts - we grit our teeth and do things the hard way.

"Is that the wrong thing to do when you compare it to some of the methods used by other sides? Not really. We just need to work a bit harder. If there is a problem, we'll get there."

Howley's men were slow out of the blocks in their Six Nations opener with Italy but eventually came through for a 33-7 win.

However, Elliot Daly's late score for England 10 days ago leaves them level on five points with Cotter's men.

It is not a start that has left Reid shaking but the front-rower is full of respect for Saturday's opponents.

"I didn't think they did too well against Italy but to come away with a win in the way they did shows they are a good team," he said.

"We're looking for a reaction after the France game and they will definitely be looking for the same after their defeat to England. We're expecting big things from them."

Reid is hopeful Scotland's scrum struggles will offer him a chance to start his first ever Six Nations clash.

And he has also lodged a cheeky suggestion with Cotter that he should take over the captaincy in the absence of injured skipper Greig Laidlaw.

The head coach will reveal who will lead out the team when he names his side on Friday, but while Reid expects to have his application rejected, he does believe a collective approach to leadership will ensure Scotland are not left short.

"I put my hat in the ring but I don't think that's possible," said Reid with a wry grin. "I'm not sure who will be captain but everybody in the team is a leader."


From Belfast Telegraph