Chris Paterson is hoping Scotland will revel in their underdog status when they travel to take on a Welsh side who are on a high after a thrilling victory over England.
Scotland went into this season’s RBS 6 Nations with high hopes, having enjoyed a level of stability in recent seasons that the rest of the competing nations have not been able to match.
But a highly disappointing defeat to France last Sunday means that they face an uphill struggle if they are to avoid the wooden spoon for the second season in succession.
Paterson, who is recalled at full-back, said: “It’s always a big ask to go to Cardiff and win, and after last week’s results it’s an even bigger ask.
“We’re underdogs, which we like. There will be huge anticipation for Wales to play well and perform – from themselves and the fans. So, we’ll have to frustrate that.”
Paterson has been promoted to the starting XV after after being dropped to the bench for the France game and is happy to fill in anywhere he is asked to play, as long as he gets a chance to make his mark in the match.
“I just want to get my hands on the ball. I want to have as big an impact and run with it as much as possible,” he said.
“But the opposition and your own team dictate when you get your hands on the ball, so you just have to wait and see when the opportunities come.
“It’s no secret that everyone prefers to start. I’m delighted to be back in. But I’ll prepare this week as I prepared last week, because I knew I could have been on after 30 seconds.”
Paterson has been an extraordinarily consistent kicker for Scotland in recent seasons, but there is a growing fear that this aspect of his game has begun to mask a greater failing in the Scotland team as a whole.
Scotland have managed to score only one try in their last four outings, and that is a statistic which Paterson admits to being concerned about.
“There’s many things we have to improve upon, but that has hung over us for a while now,” he said.
“People want to see tries, and when you are up against good opposition it’s tries that win you the game.
“What we have to do is stick to what we’re doing and execute it better. What we do has given us tries in the past and it will give us tries again on Saturday, if we get the first phase right and everything is done well.”
Saturday will see Paterson make his 83rd appearance for Scotland, taking him past Gregor Townsend’s tally of 82 caps and making him the most capped Scottish back of all time.
“I suppose it’s a milestone. It’s a great feeling, but something that seems just to have crept up on me,” said the 29-year-old, who was first capped for Scotland back in 1999.
“I can remember playing with Gregor and thinking that I would just love to get anywhere near the number of caps he had. When he retired I thought I would never get close to that, but it seems to have come around pretty quickly.
“It’s something that’s a nice achievement, but it’s just a number really. It’s really about performing on Saturday and getting a result.”
Paterson needs only 11 more points to surpass Gavin Hastings’ record as Scotland’s leading points score in the history of the championship.