Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Visser forgets grim Six Nations

Scotland winger Tim Visser insists Vern Cotter's side have left their disappointing RBS 6 Nations campaign fully behind them as they focus on the World Cup.

Scotland lost all five matches in Cotter's first Six Nations tournament to deflate his positive start to life in charge of the team and spark some serious soul-searching around the squad.

But both Edinburgh and Glasgow provided major boosts for Scottish rugby in the following months and the national team have a swift chance to make amends when they take to several English venues in September and October.

Visser, who is moving from Edinburgh to Harlequins this summer, said: "Of course we were down in the dumps after the Six Nations, but you never can be for too long because everyone goes back to their club teams.

"Glasgow went on to win the Pro12, we got to the final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup and Saracens did well - so everyone had to concentrate on club matters.

"Of course in the back of our minds we knew that the Six Nations was disappointing and when we came back together as a group we talked about it, but you have to leave that kind of stuff behind you, especially when you are going in to something as special as a World Cup.

"We are now focusing on the physical side of things, making sure that we will be one of the fittest sides at the tournament and then in the next few weeks we will start playing more rugby."

Scotland have four warm-up games before the action begins for real and Visser recognises that they will need to be at their best to get out of a group that contains South Africa, Samoa, Japan and the United States.

"I guess we do have something to prove," the Dutchman said. "Every team wants to make it out of the group stages and we are no different.

"We are just trying to get the physical stuff out of the way first and then I'm sure we will sit down and try and set out our goals and look at what we want to do.

"As a team we cannot look too far ahead. We have some really tough warm-up matches and then we cannot look further than Japan.

"If you look at world rugby nowadays there is no easy opposition. Italy used to be the team in the Six Nations that you that could hope for a win against, but we have had a tough time against them in the last couple of years. Ireland are on top of their game, France are getting back to where they were and they will all be tough games.

"Japan under Eddie Jones have come on leaps and bounds and they're a completely different team to the one we saw here four years ago. They are quick and dynamic and for the World Cup everyone will be raising their game.

"The USA - although we won over there last year - have a good team and good players and they will be ready for us.

"It is a different ball game now. I think our group is tricky and that is why you cannot look further than one game ahead.

"Samoa maybe five or six years ago you may have expected to beat them, but now they are tricky. We have beaten them twice and lost once in the last couple of years and they are a good team especially when they have their European-based stars back. There are no easy games."


From Belfast Telegraph