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Watson: Scotland can win Autumn Nations Cup

Watson: Scotland can win Autumn Nations Cup

Watson: Scotland can win Autumn Nations Cup

Hamish Watson believes Scotland can be title contenders in the Autumn Nations Cup, as long as they improve their away form.

Scotland open their Group B campaign with a tough trip to Florence to face Italy on Saturday, before back-to-back home games with France and Fiji.

Winning at BT Murrayfield has not been a problem since Gregor Townsend became head coach in 2017, but away victories have been hard to come by – with just three from ten Six Nations games.

However, a first win away to Wales since 2002 was a fine way to finish the 2020 campaign last month and Watson believes that can be a springboard to success.

When asked if Scotland could win the Autumn Nations Cup, he said: “Definitely. Obviously each game is going to be tough and pose different challenges. We never have easy games against Italy, we know how tough they are sometimes so we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

“But we have quite a nice group and we have a good track record against France at Murrayfield over the last four or five years.

“We know how good they are as well but I think we can put ourselves in a very good position to top the group and let’s see what happens.

“Winning away from home, just like winning at home, is a habit. I know that in my time with Scotland it’s been tough, we have always struggled away from home, bar a few big wins in Australia, Wales the other weekend, and Italy.

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“All it takes is one or two results like that to start believing you can go to these places and win regularly.

“We know how good we are at Murrayfield and if we can get those away wins then we are going to be a real force to be reckoned with.”

If Scotland beat Italy on Saturday, it will mark their fifth straight victory – something they have not achieved since 2011.

And Watson says they have generated a great team spirit after a tough start to 2020, where they lost to Ireland and England.

“This is a great squad of boys, we are all very close,” Watson said. “With the coaching staff we have got we are in a very good position to make things happen.

“But at the same time in sport things can change very quickly. All it takes is one bad result for you all to start getting a bit of stick again.

“Look where we were at after the Ireland and England games. Some of the media were on our case a bit and saying this and that and saying the coaching staff wasn’t right. It just shows that sport is a fickle old thing sometimes.

“We just need to keep going, keep performing well. We know how good we are as a group and what we are capable of but we have to keep that at bay sometimes and prove it with results.”

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