Six Nations 2015: Adam Ashe focused on Scotland improvement
Glasgow Warriors forward not thinking about Dark Blues' influence on Super Saturday as they look to avoid whitewash
Adam Ashe insists that Scotland are not getting caught up in how they can impact on the RBS 6 Nations title race on “Super Saturday”.
The 21-year-old Glasgow Warriors back-row forward makes his first start in the championship at BT Murrayfield against Ireland, who can still win the title, while the Dark Blues are still going in search of a first win.
It’s not been a good year for us, so we are not thinking about spoiling anyone’s chances of winning.
Adam Ashe on Scotland’s final match against Ireland
Points difference separates England, Ireland and Wales going into the final round of matches, staggered across the day, and the margin of victory or tries scored could decide which country lands the tournament’s new trophy.
But Ashe and his team-mates have their focus set solely on trying to end the tournament on a high after four defeats from their opening four matches.
“Having a say in the race for the title doesn’t really give us any extra motivation,” Ashe said.
“We are focusing on ourselves completely; we need to get this campaign back on track.
“It’s not been a good year for us, so we are not thinking about spoiling anyone’s chances of winning.
“To be honest, I’ve not even thought about who might win.
“I’ve only been thinking about what this games means to us and the country.”
Ashe, who made his Scotland debut last summer against South Africa, started their first two Test matches against Argentina and New Zealand in November.
A neck injury ruled him out of the final match against Tonga and the start of the Six Nations missed, but came off the bench for his first appearance in the championship in Scotland’s defeat to England at Twickenham last week.
Head coach Vern Cotter has rewarded him with a start at blindside flanker in place of his Warriors colleague Rob Harley, who has owned the six jersey for club and country in recent times.
And the youngster admits that support from the staff at his club and conversations with Cotter kept him motivated to overcome his injury set backs.
“It was tough being out and missing those first three games,” he added.
“I came to the Wales game here at Murrayfield and it was hard to watch.
“There is nothing you can do about it. You just need to focus on yourself and making sure you get back out the pitch.
“The staff at Glasgow were really great at keeping my head up, and I just took it a week at a time.
“Making sure I got back for the Six Nations was a big aim.
“Vern also kept in contact with me to make sure I was okay. I spoke to him a couple of times on the phone.
“It was good to know the coaches still had me in the back of their minds. It does motivate you to get back.”
Despite the promise shown in November, Scotland have yet to reach the same heights so far in the championship, with the home defeats to Wales and Italy notable sore points.
I don’t know if one win would salvage the championships, but it would certainly mean we finish on a positive note.
Adam Ashe on Scotland’s Six Nations campaign
There have been promising spells in all four defeats, both in attack and defence, but the Dark Blues have yet to put together a complete performance, while indiscipline has also proved costly at the wrong moments.
Saturday’s match against the side ranked number three in the world is their penultimate home match before the Rugby World Cup in six months’ time, and Ashe believes the current squad are better than their results so far.
“We believe as a group of players we are better than the results have showed, and that we shouldn’t be in this position,” he said.
“There is almost an anger about it.
“We would give everything to get this win, and that is the way it should be.
“I don’t know if one win would salvage the championships, but it would certainly mean we finish on a positive note.
“It’s a big year coming up to the World Cup so we want to finish on a high and move on.
“We’re hurting as much as everyone else is.”