Gregor Townsend believes his Scotland side are ready to challenge England’s supremacy in the Six Nations after they threw down the gauntlet to Eddie Jones’ holders with a record-breaking 53-24 victory over Australia at Murrayfield.
It means England will go into the Six Nations having won 22 of their 23 games under the Australian and Jones challenged his players to create history by becoming the first side to win the title for three successive years, while also urging squad players to use the next two months to show they deserve to be part of “a World Cup winning side”.
“I’m not excited about Scotland winning,” said Jones, whose side scored seven tries but were frustrated for long periods by Samoa.
“I’m excited about the Six Nations as we’ve got a chance to create history. We always think we can win the Six Nations. I don’t need to see the autumn Tests to think we can’t win the Six Nations.”
Townsend, though, is adamant his side can win their first Six Nations title since 1999 after they followed up last week’s impressive performance against New Zealand by defeating Australia with a record winning margin.
Wales will also believe they can challenge for the title after putting up a brave display against New Zealand, with the All Blacks’ superior finishing skills proving decisive as they won 33-18, their 30th successive victory over the Welsh.
Gregor Townsend, MBE, is a Scottish rugby union coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of the Scottish national team having previously been in the set-up as an assistant coach between 2009 and 2012 and represented them, winning 82 caps (twice as captain).
He is a former coach of club side Glasgow Warriors and was a player-coach for Border Reivers. He has also played club rugby in Australia, England, France and South Africa.