Scotland captain Kelly Brown is determined to prove his team can build on their RBS Six Nations showing.
The Saracens back row led his country to a creditable third in this year’s Six Nations tournament and Brown is hopeful that will provide a solid base as they prepare for the opening match of their tour of South Africa against Samoa on Saturday.
“I’m absolutely desperate to show that finishing third in the Six Nations was very the start of something special,” he said.
Brown is aware their third-placed finish has been played down in some quarters, and says that if the team are to prove it was neither a fluke nor a flash in the pan they have to produce big wins, starting with this weekend’s clash with the ferocious Pacific Islanders.
Brown and the rest of the Scotland squad went shark diving on a rest day earlier this week, perhaps giving them a taste of the size of the task they face in the next few weeks.
“It was an awesome experience,” said Brown.
“We had trained very hard too, so it was great to get a bit of down time and to see the country because it is an incredible place. Now it is all about the game, and the players are really up for it.
“We have looked at a lot of footage of Samoa and see they are incredibly physical, so we need to go out and impose ourselves on them – we have some big, strong guys as well.
“We need to get stuck in and make sure we stop them on the gain line so that when we have the ball we can play our game.”
Brown missed last year’s narrow win in the humid heat of Apia, but he has faced the Pacific Islanders before.
“I played against them in Aberdeen two years ago when we won with the last kick of the match. So we know it is going to be tough and it is going to be tight, but it is the sort of test we really want and we will see, as a side, how much we managed to grow through the Six Nations,” he said.
“During the Six Nations, I felt we really improved as we went on. Now it is a case of making sure that we keep on improving.”