Scott Johnson started work yesterday, as the Australian Rugby Union’s director of rugby, charged with overseeing Wallabies’ coach Michael Cheika and helping to restore the sport and its national team to former glories in an increasingly difficult sporting landscape for the code Down Under.
You don’t have to be an incurable optimist to support Scotland but it helps. Year upon year of sky-high hopes being dashed when reality hit home could make even the most fervent fan start to wonder if that gleam they see in the distance is the light at the end of the tunnel or just another train coming to crush their dreams.
Ireland flew into Edinburgh last night with what head coach Joe Schmidt described as a “quiet confidence” that the players he will send into the RBS 6 Nations fray at Murrayfield tomorrow can ignore the hype surrounding Scotland and continue their winning ways.
Brian O’Driscoll was on the scene in Edinburgh four years ago when Paddy Jackson’s Ireland debut veered off script but the retired centre believes the Ulster man’s progress has been such there is no reason for Ireland to panic in Jonathan Sexton’s absence this Saturday.