Wales toughest test yet, says Scotland captain Kelly Brown
SCOTLAND captain Kelly Brown says his players are preparing themselves for their toughest test yet of the 2012 Six Nations.
Scotland, like Wales, are still harbouring hopes of claiming the Championship title, although that will require a major English slip in the final two rounds.
Murrayfield wins over Italy and Ireland have provided a massive lift to a side more used to scrapping it out with the Azzurri to avoid the wooden spoon.
But the Saracens back-rower believes a Wales side bursting with British Lions stars will provide the sternest examination yet of Scott Johnson's revolution north of the border. "If you look at their squad, it's absolutely filled with Lions and world-class players," said Brown.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"I would say it will be our toughest challenge in the championship so far, but as a sportsman you want to be challenged by the top teams and there is no doubt Wales are one of those."
Scotland have not won three successive games in the tournament since it was the Five Nations — a 16-14 win over Wales in 1996 set up a Grand Slam chance against England, which they lost as their opponents clinched the title on points difference.
Victory over Wales on Saturday would again leave them in with a chance of winning the trophy on the final weekend, but Brown is not getting carried away.
"Everyone in the squad is very grounded," he said.
"There is no doubt we take a lot of confidence from the last two wins, but we know the performances were far from perfect.
"We have looked at those and identified the things we need to improve.
"We have been working hard to make sure that, when we take the field on Saturday, we are as well prepared as we possibly can be.
"Rugby is a relatively simple game.
"If you can do the basics exceptionally well when you are under pressure, then you will do pretty well. We sat down and we spoke about four key areas that we need to get right and we have been working on these every day in training.
"And you can see all of the guys becoming more and more accomplished in these areas."
The flanker played through a broken nose in the gritty 12-8 victory over Ireland.
"It was a little bit smashed when I got home and my daughter accidentally whacked it with her head on the Monday night as well, and it started to bleed again," Brown added. "But it's absolutely fine — it's one of these things that happen in rugby."