Nick Haining says Scotland are primed for more Six Nations success

Scotland will return to action on Friday after 229 days in cold storage – but Nick Haining reckons the team are primed to continue their Six Nations hot streak.

Gregor Townsend’s side were building up some momentum just as the championship was called to an abrupt halt by the coronavirus crisis back in March.

Victories over Italy and France were the perfect preparation as the Scots geared up for another attempt at breaking a 10-game losing streak against Wales in Cardiff, a run which stretches back to 2002.

But the brewing threat of the pandemic forced the cancellation of the game despite the fact Townsend, his team and thousands of Scottish supporters were already in the principality’s capital.

They will now make a second attempt at completing this year’s tournament a week on Saturday, with the curtain-closer moved to Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli.

Before that, Scotland will look to shake off the rust when they host Georgia at Murrayfield on Saturday night and Edinburgh forward Haining is confident his team will quickly rediscover their groove.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend (Ian Rutherford/PA)

He said: “I think we’re just going to roll straight into it. Training this week and last has been pretty seamless. We’ve come in and hit the ground running.

“We’re really happy with where we are at the moment so it’s about taking that momentum into this weekend.

“We’ll focus on Georgia first and foremost but then afterwards again it will be pretty seamless and continue on.”

Haining was a surprise pick earlier this year when Townsend named his squad for the Guinness Six Nations.

There were more raised eyebrows when the big number eight went on to start against Ireland and France ahead of Cornell Du Preez and Magnus Bradbury.

The Australia-born back-rower – who qualifies thanks to his Dundonian grandmother – is aware he might find himself back at square one in the battle for a Test jersey.

But the 30-year-old plans to make the most of the words of advice he has received from Townsend’s backroom team during lockdown.

He said: “My involvement with Scotland has been really exciting so far. It was probably a bit unexpected on my part but I’m really relishing and enjoying the opportunity at the moment.

“It was a bit of an abrupt end to the season for everyone and we all had to adapt to the new circumstances.

“But we’ve all been chomping at the bit and it’s good to be back in camp. Everyone is raring to go and you can see that in our training.

“Gregor and Steve (Tandy, defence coach) called us throughout the break just to talk us through a few things. We obviously had a wrap up after the Wales game was called off. We had a call to review how the whole Six Nations had gone.

“There was some good feedback. There was obviously a lot to work on for myself personally as well as the team as a whole.

“But there was a lot of positives as well which have held us in really good stead for those first few games. Hopefully we can continue that over the next two weekends as we look to finish off the Six Nations.”

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