Allister Hogg has urged his Scotland team-mates to keep on smiling despite the huge challenge they face when Brian Ashton's England side will arrive at Murrayfield for this season's Calcutta Cup clash.
Scotland have endured a tough start to this season’s RBS 6 Nations campaign, having lost all three matches played so far by an average of nineteen points per game.
However, Hogg is a firm believer in always looking on the bright side of life.
“Everything does seem a bit harder when the results are going against you, but you’ve got to keep being positive or you are never going to improve things,” said the happy-go-lucky flanker.
“Obviously the challenges keep getting bigger – England at home is a massive occasion – but you play international rugby because you want to test yourself against the best players and the biggest teams.
“We want to give the fans something to cheer about, and we want to do it for ourselves as well. We want to go out and prove that we are a good rugby team by playing quality rugby.
“It’s a one-off game this weekend, just as we will play a one-off game against Italy the following weekend. We’re not going to challenge for the championship now, so we are playing for ourselves, our friends, our family, and our supporters as well.
“Like any rugby match, there are only two teams that can win this game – and I see no reason why we don’t have a chance,” he added.
While there is no such thing as a low-key Test match, Hogg agreed that there is something special about lining up against England.
“It’s always a great honour to represent your country but to represent your country against England is a massive thing. It adds a little bit extra for everybody – the fans and the players,” he said.
“We just want to go out there and put a good show on, and prove to ourselves and everyone else that we are good rugby players and that we are a good team. There is no better game to do that in than this one against the World Cup finalists.
“It is also a chance to play for a bit of silverware. The Calcutta Cup is the only trophy we’ve got a realistic chance of winning this year, and it is something we can look forward to.”