Scotland captain Mike Blair hopes his seasoned pack can provide the perfect balance alongside their youthful backs line-up against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Blair is looking towards the veteran campaigners such as Nathan Hines, Simon Taylor and Jason White to provide a counter-measure to the exuberance of the likes of Ben Cairns, Nick De Luca and Thom Evans.
Scotland toured Argentina during the summer with a squad bereft of some of its most experienced personnel who were injured or not released by their clubs for the trip.
Despite this they still managed to win the second Test in Buenos Aires and that achievement provided the team with some invaluable confidence.
But Blair recognises that there is no substitute for experience when it comes to being consistently successful at the top level.
“Obviously there are a lot of similarities in this team to the squad we had in Argentina during the summer, but the additions to the team are notable. With Simon [Taylor], Jason [White] and Nathan [Hines] back there is now a really good blend to the squad,” he said.
“The squad we took to Argentina was a very young one and we still have those young guys there, but they are being complemented by these older and wiser players.
“With the young guys there is obviously a lot of talent, but at times the anxiety can show through a bit.
“To have these older guys back brings a calming influence on the squad – they are guys who have been there and done it, and they know what to expect. Their experience will hopefully rub off on the other guys.”
New Zealand have also picked a new look side, but Blair reckons that the element of surprise is very much in Scotland’s favour, given how much easier it is for them to fly under the radar.
“We do a lot of analysis on opposition teams and both the NPC and Super 14 are very available to us over here, but I don’t think there is too much Magners League rugby on telly in New Zealand,” he pointed out.
“We’ve got a fair idea of their side, there are some guys I don’t know too much about – but you don’t have to do any analysis to be aware that any side they pick is going to be very, very talented.”