What can Scotland expect from the 2016 Six Nations?

Rugby Union Scotland v France Six Nations Tickets

After a promising performance in the 2015 World Cup, Scottish rugby fans will be excited at their chances of causing a surprise or two in the upcoming Six Nations tournament. Scotland won three of their four group stage matches before a cruel, last-gasp defeat to Australia in the quarter-finals.

Looking ahead, Scotland have a plethora of young talent and will be difficult to beat in front of their home supporters at Murrayfield. We take a look at Scotland’s home fixtures and a brief insight into their wider chances in the tournament.

Scotland vs England

Despite their disappointing home World Cup, England are one of the leading candidates to win the Six Nations in 2016. They have finished second in each of the last three years and will be desperate to win the competition for the first time since 2011. Having said that, Scotland will be keen to win the Calcutta Cup this year – something that they haven’t managed to achieve since 2008.

Scotland will take great heart from their World Cup efforts and are likely to take the game to England on the opening weekend. On their day, Vern Cotter’s men are capable of beating the world’s best sides and could exploit England’s leaky defensive unit. With the likes of Greg Laidlaw, Stuart Hogg and David Denton in the side, they have plenty of game changers and are no longer toothless in attack.

Scotland vs France

Scotland’s second and final home game of the 2016 Six Nations will be against France. Many tipped the French for World Cup glory in October but they were destroyed by Julian Savea and New Zealand in the quarter-finals. In recent years, Scotland haven’t had a brilliant record against France. In fact, they haven’t beaten them at Murrayfield since 2006 – a run of four successive defeats.

If Scotland continue their good form into 2016, there’s absolutely no reason why Cotter’s side cannot spring a shock victory in this clash. The Murrayfield faithful will be raring to go and France’s inconsistency could come back to haunt them. If Scotland get over the gain line, they could draw a number of penalties against a very aggressive, ill-disciplined French side. Keeping the scoreboard ticking over will be crucial in this one and Scotland should take any opportunity they can to kick at goal.

Rest of the tournament

Scotland will travel to Wales, Italy and Ireland for their other three matches in the tournament and will be full of hope rather than expectation. Scotland’s away record in the Six Nations is dismal but Cotter’s side are improving and it would be foolish to fully rule them out. If they are going to pick up a victory, it will be against Italy in Rome. Both Wales and Ireland are very strong at home and Scotland will find it extremely difficult against those two teams.

Murrayfield Stadium

As the home of Scottish rugby, Murrayfield will be rocking for both the England and France fixtures. It truly is one of the great sporting stadiums and is a spectacular sight on match days. If you are unable to get to Murrayfield for one of Scotland’s games in the tournament, it’s well worth travelling to Edinburgh at some stage to embark on the stadium tour.

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