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Gregor Townsend: Scotland need to live up to favourites tag on travels

Gregor Townsend: Scotland need to live up to favourites tag on travels
© Reuters
Gregor Townsend: Scotland need to live up to favourites tag on travels

Gregor Townsend does not believe Scotland have got a problem winning away from home – but he admits they do struggle when they are forced to live up to a favourites tag.

The Dark Blues kick-off their autumn campaign against Wales in Cardiff – a city where they have not won since 2002.

They have similarly poor records against the majority of their Six Nations rivals. Their last win against England at Twickenham came in 1983, Paris has not been a happy hunting ground since 1999 and you have to go back to 2010 for their last triumph in Dublin.

But Townsend has already notched up notable wins against both Australia and Argentina on foreign soil since taking over last year and believes there is no reason why the Scots cannot replicate that form against their European neighbours.

However, where he does see room for improvement as he looks ahead to next year’s World Cup in Japan is when his team go up against some of world rugby lesser lights while on the road.

“Every game is a challenge,” he said. “We have bigger challenges and obviously the stats show that in the Six Nations we’ve not done nearly as well away as we have at home.

“I don’t believe there is an away game approach and home game approach in which our performance differs.

“But I do believe there is a performance change when we’re favourites.

“If you look at our wins and losses, we’ve had great wins away from home. We won in Sydney for the first time, we got a record win in Argentina and that shows the team can front up in different environments.

“But our poorest performances have been when we are the favourites, away from home especially. That’s something we will look to address.

“We’re not the favourites this week so it’s more about the challenge of taking on the number three team in the world.

“But it is something in the back of my mind that we must be better.”


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