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Scotland captain claims Bok forwards not the most pleasant smelling bunch

By Ian Cameron
Faf de Klerk of the Springboks prepares to feed scrum ball during the Rugby Championship match between the South Africa Springboks and the Australian Wallabies at Cbus Super Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie isn’t a fan of scrummaging against the Springboks, suggesting that they’re are not the best-smelling bunch.


The Scots are in a formidable Pool B alongside the two highest-ranked teams in the world, Ireland and South Africa, whom they face in their opening match on Sunday.

If facing the defending champions wasn’t hard enough already, Ritchie says the smell emanating from scrums involving the South Africans are not to his taste.

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“I can confirm it doesn’t smell good,” said Ritchie when asked about scrummaging against South Africa at a press conference at the Stade Velodrome on Friday. In defence of the Springboks, it may well be that no Test scrummaging scenario smells good to the Scotland skipper.

Gregor Townsend’s side go into the tournament in good fettle, however, and Ritchie expects them to thrive on the magnitude of the occasion rather than be inhibited by it.

“Definite excitement just now,” said the skipper. “That is why we play the game, these are the moments when you are a kid all of us strive towards and set our goals for.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JULY 15: South Africa leaves the field after warm up session before The Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and South Africa Springboks at Mt Smart Stadium on July 15, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

“It is important you enjoy these moments and you look forward to them.

“If you let it become fear, the moment gets away from you. The most important thing in any environment is enjoying it and this has to be enjoyed.”

Scotland have pulled off some big results in the past when perceived as “underdogs” but Ritchie believes they are now operating at a level whereby they are entitled to fancy their chances of defeating any side in the world.

“Our motivation is completely internal,” he said. “We have self-belief. We know that if we perform on the day we can beat everyone in this group.

“For us we have done well with an ‘underdog’ tag but to be honest I don’t think we need it. I firmly believe if we perform to the best of our abilities we can win all the games in this group.”


additional reporting PA




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FEATURE Dan Biggar prepares to relinquish Welsh jersey on a high Dan Biggar prepares to relinquish Welsh jersey on a high