Macfadyen: Don't Count Us out of the Six Nations

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 23, 2005 | Go to article overview

Macfadyen: Don't Count Us out of the Six Nations


Byline: DAVID BARNES

DONNIE MACFADYEN has promised Scotland supporters that this year's Six Nations will be worth watching - even though he is dreading the thought of viewing the championship from the comfort of his sofa.

'I think it's going to be a very exciting Six Nations, with some good games and hopefully some good results for Scotland.

We will definitely improve on last year,' he told Sportsmail.

'In the games against Australia in November, we showed we were getting better and better, and getting closer and closer to beating them. It's worth remembering they went on to beat England the week after we ran them pretty close at Hampden.

'The South African game was a massive disappointment,' he conceded. 'But the players will use that beating as a motivation to never again play as badly as we did that day.

'I think that this year's Six Nations tournament is going to be as competitive as it ever has been,' he continued. 'The Celtic nations are the strongest they have been in recent years - Ireland andWales both had a fantastic autumn. Meanwhile, France struggled a bit and England lost to Australia.' Much has happened in the rugby world since November - especially in Scotland, where tension between two factions has erupted into civil war within the SRU's administration. But Macfadyen believes the Scotland team will be able to rise above the backstabbing and infighting which is taking place in Murrayfield's corridors of power.

'There's a lot of negative Press going around and I think the players want to create something positive for Scottish rugby,' he explained. 'We saw a bit of that last week when Glasgow were unlucky against Northampton and Edinburgh had a fantastic win over Perpignan.

THE guys playing for Scotland are probably even more aware of the need for them to do something positive for our game,' he continued. 'I think that's a major motivation for the guys to get some good results.' Sadly, Macfadyen will not be able to demonstrate the courage of his convictions. After a blistering nine months which saw the open-side emerge as a focal point in the Scotland team and a genuine contender for a place in the Lions squad which will tour New Zealand next summer, disaster struck two weeks ago when the 25-year-old felt his knee collapse during a contact drill with Glasgow.

'It was quite alarming because I heard a pop and, when your leg is in a funny position, you can tell there is something wrong,' he said.

' Bob Stewart, our physio at Glasgow, was fantastic. When it got worse the next day, he got me straight in to see a surgeon. There was no time for a scan so we just had to operate. We thought it was going to be a little tear on the cartilage which would have meant three to four weeks.

'That would have given me a chance of being back in time for the first Six Nations game.

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