Gray excited by ‘buzz’ in the camp

Scotland lock Jonny Gray is excited by the ‘buzz’ in camp ahead of what he described as a ‘huge challenge’ against Wales in Cardiff this Saturday (3 February) in Scotland’s opening round of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations.

The Scots travel to the Welsh capital off the back of an impressive autumn and with Six Nations success against the men in red at BT Murrayfield fresh in the memory, however the paucity of Scottish success in Cardiff (the last win in Wales for Scotland was in 2002) is such that no-one in the camp is taking the prospect lightly.

He said: “It’s massively exciting. There is a huge buzz and has been for the last week with all the guys coming together.

“The training’s been good, intense and competitive, which you want in the first game up away to Wales.

“It’s [The Principality Stadium] such a special place. Seeing games there growing up and having been fortunate enough to play there once, it’s an incredible atmosphere. We know how tough it is going to be, a huge challenge against some top opposition.

“Up front they are very physical and dominant and at the back they have runners that can play from anywhere, so we know it’s going to be a huge challenge.”

Walking out onto the pitch in Cardiff can be a daunting experience for all players but Gray believes the team will relish that atmosphere.

“Every venue is very special and slightly different," he added.

“When you look at the atmosphere in Wales, just how passionate their supporters are, it’ll be amazing to play if I get selected.”

The team received huge praises for the way they played in the autumn tests, however Head Coach Gregor Townsend has said repeatedly the team need to be better to compete at the top end, a sentiment echoed by the young lock.

“I think he was right in saying we played some positive rugby but looking back on it, week-to-week, we knew we have to make some improvements.

“Some of these are individual for myself, units or partnerships, and as a group we know we have to get a lot better.”