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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 January 2006, 07:46 GMT
Scotland coach sets sights high
By Bryn Palmer

Scotland coach Frank Hadden
Hadden is in confident mood
Scotland coach Frank Hadden believes a shock win over France may transform his side into Six Nations contenders.

"I think in our history we have enjoyed one or two periods of tremendous over-achievement and we are hoping this might be the start of one," he said.

"But we can't afford to get too far ahead of ourselves. Our entire focus is on the first game against France.

"If we are successful as we would hope, that can generate tremendous momentum. I have no doubt we are capable of it."

Hadden already has three wins from his first five matches in charge, the same tally his predecessor Matt Williams managed in the entire 17 matches of his ill-fated reign.

We will go into the France game with some expectation and a high level of confidence
Frank Hadden
Sceptics might point to the fact that Scotland have won only two matches in their last three Six Nations campaigns, both of those against Italy.

But Hadden takes encouragement from his side's performances in the defeats against Argentina and New Zealand in their autumn series, which also featured a scratchy win over Samoa.

"We have a wee bit of momentum coming into the Six Nations and there is no doubt the long-suffering Scottish supporters will be expecting more this time around," he told BBC Sport.

"I think it is a good time to play France first. They have generated a level of consistency over the last half-dozen games that has perhaps been missing in the past and we are aware of their formidable array of talent.

"But we think we have a pretty good side too and we will be going into the game with some expectation and a high level of confidence.

"It is an extremely young side and that gives me tremendous confidence with the next World Cup looming in 2007.

"I have watched these young men get better and better over the last few years - and there are one or two others really knocking on the door."

Leading the charge for a first major Six Nations victory since 2002 will be captain Jason White, who took over in the autumn and revelled in the role.

"Jason has had a tremendous impact," added Hadden. "His own performance was so exceptional in the autumn there was no doubt he coped well with the extra responsibility.

"He carries so much respect among the players, coaches and fans and is very much the right man in the right place at the right time."




SEE ALSO
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