Scotland scrum-half Ali Price is determined to keep inspiring the nation following their rare victory at Twickenham.
Price revealed he and his team-mates were driven by the chance to brighten up a locked-down nation when they recorded Scotland’s first away win over England in 38 years.
Gregor Townsend’s squad are not resting on their laurels after their opening Guinness Six Nations triumph though with Wales visiting BT Murrayfield on Saturday.
Price said: “First and foremost we are doing it for each other but there’s a lot of people stuck at home who can’t get out and about, go to the gym, go and meet up with their friends.
“We are there to inspire and make people smile. We want to give someone who is sat on their couch on a Saturday afternoon a reason to be proud, a reason to smile, to suddenly have some positivity if they have had a week where they have not seen anybody.
“We wanted a bit of that in us when we played and I hope we replicated that, especially in defence with that dogged side a lot of Scots carry.
“We want to make people proud and hopefully Saturday was a great start in lifting the mood.”
The Glasgow player added: “From the final whistle we were together on the field and we spoke briefly about enjoying the night, enjoying the moment, because it’s so rare, 38 years, you have got to enjoy these moments.
“But then at the same time it’s game one of five games and you very quickly have to realise you have got another massive challenge ahead that you have to prepare for. We can’t get ahead of ourselves, and the group is well aware of that.
“We have got off to the best possible start and it’s about using that momentum back at home and trying to back up what we did. Because if we don’t, then as great as Saturday was, then it means nothing.”
While the lockdown plight of supporters is providing motivation, the Covid protocols in their own camp are pulling Scotland together.
After a disappointing World Cup in 2019 and two narrow defeats at the start of last year’s Six Nations, Scotland have now won four consecutive games in the competition.
And Price feels the restrictions have had a silver lining.
“We are a tight group but this forces you to be even tighter,” the 27-year-old said.
“We are definitely trying to put as positive a spin on the situation as we can.
“We don’t come in here and it’s rugby, rugby, rugby, meeting, and go back to the hotel and talk about rugby.
“We know each other on personal levels and this is coaching staff, support staff, players. Everyone mingles together and it’s more than just work, it’s more than just turning up and playing a game of rugby.
𝗦𝗰𝗼𝘁𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗱 𝗨𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲
➡️ 𝗜𝗻: George Taylor, Charlie Shiel & D'arcy Rae.
⬅️ 𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗯𝘀: Ewan Ashman, Blair Kinghorn, Jamie Dobie & Rufus McLean. pic.twitter.com/WYLcbnN8px
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 8, 2021
“It’s a massive change that has happened over the last year or so where we are all good friends with each other. You put it in a lot more when times are tough when you are doing it for one of your boys. I think that’s the biggest change.
“As a Glasgow player I used to be able to drive home on a Tuesday night and come back into camp on a Thursday. None of that is allowed any more so we have to spend time together and you get to know guys you have met once or twice.
“Cam Redpath, who I had never met, suddenly I am thrust into six or seven weeks of being with him day in, day out. You make bonds a lot quicker. I think that adds to connections and relationships on the field and hopefully performances come with that.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh pair George Taylor and Charlie Shiel and Glasgow prop D’Arcy Rae have been called into Townsend’s training squad with Jamie Dobie, Rufus McLean, Blair Kinghorn and Ewan Ashman released back to their clubs.