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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 06:29 GMT
Scotland 'can win Triple Crown'
By Pranav Soneji

Chris Paterson shows off the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield
Scotland will defend the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham
Former captain Gavin Hastings believes Scotland can go on to win the Triple Crown if they end 24 years without a victory at Twickenham on Saturday.

Scotland play three successive matches at Murrayfield - against Wales, Italy and Ireland - after facing England.

"Scotland would gain so much confidence from a victory at Twickenham," Hastings told BBC Sport.

"Even a rampant Ireland side would find it difficult against a Scottish side on a run of three games without defeat."

He added: "If they manage to nick that match (against Ireland) then they've got the Triple Crown.

SIX NATIONS BLOG
BBC Scotland's John Beattie

"They would go then to Paris looking for the Grand Slam. It would be incredible, while also fanciful for some."

Scotland have not beaten England at Twickenham since 1983, when Jim Aitken led his side to a 22-12 victory.

Although the Scots will be without inspirational captain Jason White and first choice scrum-half Mike Blair, Hastings is confident Frank Hadden's side still have the capacity to produce results when they matter.

"England are not playing the greatest rugby they have ever played," said Scotland's record points-scorer.

Dan Parks in action for Scotland
Dan Parks is likely to start at stand-off against England

"They (Scotland) can give England a good run for their money and have a go - I would hope and expect them to do that."

Hastings queried Hadden's decision to persist with Dan Parks at stand-off, rather than give more responsibility to captain Chris Paterson in the pivotal role.

"I would just love to see Chris given an extended run because I think he's the best stand-off Scotland have at their disposal," said Hastings.

"I'm not convinced he is offering any more playing full-back or wing. But he can offer something that the other people who play at 10 can't offer.

"He's also just about the most consistent goalkicker in the whole of the Six Nations. He is an important cog in Scotland's wheel."

Paterson, who started his career at fly-half before moving into the back three, is cautious over the possibility of a reverse switch.

"If I am asked to play there I would do it," he said. "But I haven't been playing there for my club (Edinburgh, where Phil Godman is the number 10)."

Hadden, meanwhile, feels Paterson's ability to step into the stand-off role during a game already benefits the side.

"Chris is such a good footballer that even when he is at wing or full-back he finds himself at first receiver," Hadden said.

"I don't rule out Chris playing in a number of positions. We will just have to wait and see what is best for the team on the day."




SEE ALSO
Scots aim to 'over-achieve' again
25 Jan 07 |  Scottish
Cusiter return hope for Scotland
23 Jan 07 |  Scottish
Scots expect tough England test
23 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union
Paterson retains Scots captaincy
22 Jan 07 |  Scottish
Six Nations player watch
21 Jan 07 |  Rugby Union


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