Barclay challenges players

Skipper John Barclay says Scotland must not be overawed by New Zealand when they take on the world champions at Murrayfield on Sunday and pointed to their win over Australia in June as evidence they can match the top sides in the world on their day.

“We played well over there,” Barclay said of Scotland’s upset 24-19 win over the Wallabies in Sydney.

“We had a pretty good tour and that game sticks out. We played with good intent that day, with a lot of accuracy. That was the main thing and those will be the key things this weekend.

“It’s funny, everyone was saying while we were over there, ‘Oh, Australia aren’t very good anymore’, and they beat the All Blacks a few months later so they’re obviously not that bad.”

New Zealand have never lost to Scotland in a run stretching back 112 years and Barclay said it was important to take the game to the All Blacks.

“We have to go and play with intent, be aggressive and try to impose ourselves on them as well,” he added.

“I think if we sit back and are in awe or are inspired by a team then something’s probably quite drastically wrong with our mindset.”

Scotland beat Samoa 44-38 in a match with 11 tries last weekend at Murrayfield in the first of their three November internationals. They face Australia on November 25. The All Blacks arrived in Scotland yesterday after narrowly beating a France XV in Lyon on Wednesday.

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