RBS Six Nations 2013 - Scotland preview
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC. Last Updated: 28/01/13 2:55pm
Scotland fans can rightly feel bemused by their country's form over the past 12 months.
They entered the Six Nations last season with high hopes of success, however they suffered a spectacular slump in form as they ended up with the wooden spoon after losing to Italy.
The side responded brilliantly in the summer with three straight wins, including an historic victory in Australia, only for further disappointments to follow in the autumn.
Loses to New Zealand and South Africa were perhaps not unexpected, however the defeat to Tonga was the final straw for head coach Andy Robinson who stepped down in the aftermath.
It is now up to interim coach Scott Johnson to turn things around, with the Australian quickly freshening things with 10 new faces in his first squad as well as the recall of some experienced performers.
The appointment of Dean Ryan as forwards coach perhaps gives an indication of the way Scotland will now play - with a physical approach up front to provide a platform.
They certainly have the players to work to that plan - with Dave Denton, Kelly Brown, Jim Hamilton and Richie Gray - however they also have some firepower outwide.
Tim Visser has made an immediate impression on the international stage - including two tries against the All Blacks - while a lot is expected from New Zealand-born Sean Maitland.
Interim coach: Scott Johnson
Captain: Kelly Brown
Key man: Tim Visser
Last season: 6th
SkyBet Odds: 33/1
Prediction: 6th - It is all change among the Scotland squad following Andy Robinson's exit as coach, with Scott Johnson and Dean Ryan facing an uphill task of rebuilding the side's confidence. Wooden spoonists last season and beaten by Tonga in the autumn means there is plenty of work to do. A host of new players - predominately from Glasgow - will also come into the squad and with limited time to prepare it could be a tough challenge for the Scots.