Hamish Watson feels clubmate Blair Kinghorn is ready for his big day in Dublin and that Scotland will compete with Ireland in their final Six Nations game.
Watson has seen Kinghorn adapt to his new position at Edinburgh this season and has no doubt he can translate that to the international arena.
‘We all know what Blair can do’
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“I’m not surprised,” he said of the selection. “We all know what Blair can do.
“He’s a great player, he’s an exciting player and one the fans are going to really enjoy watching.
“Everyone at Edinburgh knows what he can do. He’s similar to Finn in certain ways. It’s a great opportunity for him and hopefully he can put his form with Edinburgh onto the field tomorrow.”
A disappointing campaign finishes up in the Aviva Stadium and while Watson concedes the Scots haven’t performed as they’d hoped or expected, there is still scope for a strong finish.
“It’s a mixed bag, isn’t it?” he said. “It started really well, on a positive note, but we didn’t manage to back it up against Wales and that really hit confidence.
“I don’t think we’ve played at our best. It’s now about trying to put our best game on the field and a performance that we deserve to put in for the fans as well and for us as players.
“We need to try and work on our consistency and put it all together. We have seen glimpses of what we have been capable of but we haven’t been able to transform it into a full 80 minutes.
‘You have to be at your best for 80 minutes’
“To beat teams like Ireland and France you have to be at your best for 80 minutes so that is the task tomorrow.”
Consistency comes with continuity, and Dublin will be the first time they’ve put out the same back row in the championship.
“In a Six Nations you need to be very lucky with lots of things, like injuries and with Covid,” said Watson.
“We did get that consistency last season but then again this season the guys who have come in have shown how much depth we have in the back row, an area which is never really a problem for Scotland I think.
“Rory Darge has come in and done an amazing job. I saw that in him at Edinburgh. We always used to play the club highlight reels, so we could see what players could do at club level.
“You could see that he was going to be a very good player. But that’s just the way it works sometimes with young players, especially in Scotland where you’ve only got two clubs.
“I’m really happy that he decided to make that move because he’s obviously gone to Glasgow, got a shot, and done really well.”
‘We were in a very similar situation last year’
Ireland will be gunning for a big win knowing they can win the title if France slip up against England,. But Watson recalls that Scotland did okay under similar circumstances last year.
“We were in a very similar situation last year against France, weren’t we?” he said.
“They had to go out there and get a big score and thump us, and we saw what happened there.
“It will be a tough game for both teams because we have to play our own games. I don’t think that is something they will go out chasing straight away.”