Scotland coach Matt Williams has arrived in his native Australia for the summer 'development tour' with a stark warning for the country's success-starved supporters.
"Don't expect miracles,'' he said, after landing in the second wave of Scottish arrivals ahead of next Saturday's tour opener against the Queensland Reds.
Williams took over as coach following Scotland's World Cup quarter-final defeat to Australia last November and presided over a dispiriting, winless RBS 6 Nations campaign.
Although he saw the early shoots of a recovery at Murrayfield during Scotland's 40-33 defeat to the Barbarians, Williams is acutely aware that developing a successful Scotland side will be a long, painstaking process and he today called for patience.
"It is not going to happen overnight,'' he said.
"There will be tough times along the way because the average age of the squad is young, but we are working very hard towards developing the side.''
Williams has brought 40 players Down Under, the largest touring squad Scotland have assembled, for the Tests against Samoa in Wellington and Australia in Melbourne and Sydney.
He also arranged traditional midweek fixtures against the Reds, NSW Country and his old Super 12 side the NSW Waratahs, all of whom will provide his players with high quality, experienced opposition.
"This is a bit of a development tour,'' he said.
"I am trying to build a side because we lost a lot of players after the World Cup through retirements and we are looking towards the World Cup in 2007.
"Every player, every one of the 40, will play in one of the first three games. Every player in the squad will have their chance to try and battle for that jersey.''
Scotland's Australia-reared hooker Robbie Russell, who was in the first batch of players to arrive Down Under, insisted the squad was beginning to move in the right direction under Williams and former All Black Todd Blackadder.
"The World Cup was obviously the last time we won a Test, against Fiji in the final pool game,'' he said.
"Obviously we've been through quite a transition since then with new management, Matt Williams taking over as coach and bringing in new coaching staff.
"A lot of players have retired and it is a very young squad that we've got at the moment, full of ability and enthusiasm.''
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.