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Scotland captain on Bok scrum: 'It doesn't smell good'

SPOTLIGHT: It seems that Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie is not looking forward to competing in the scrums against the Springboks.

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The Scots open their World Cup campaign against the reigning champions in Marseille on Sunday and they will be the underdogs heading into the encounter.

Those two teams are in Pool B, which also features the No.1 ranked team in the world in the form of Ireland.

Gregor Townsend’s side will be bracing themselves for a huge challenge against a powerful Bok forward pack and Ritchie is bracing himself for some unpleasant smells.

“I can confirm it doesn’t smell good,” said Ritchie when he asked about what it is like in the scrums against the Springboks.

Ritchie’s teammate, prop Zander Fagerson, is excited to get into the thick of things during scrum time against the Boks.

“It’s the best place in the world. It’s a dark art. You have to have something slightly not right with you to really enjoy those moments,” said Fagerson.

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“They definitely are one of the best in the world. They pride themselves in that area. They’re big men and they’re all pushing the same direction.

“It’s gonna be a big battle at the weekend but one we’re definitely up for.”

The story continues below…

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An opening game against the world champions will be a daunting task, but it is something the Scottish side is embracing.

“This is why you play the game. These are the moments that when you’re a kid, all of us strive towards,” Ritchie explained.

“So, it’s important that you enjoy these moments and you do look forward to them because if you let it become fear and things like that, then the moment gets away from you.

“At the end of the day, we’re not paid to train, we’re paid to play and that’s what we all enjoy doing.”

On being seen as underdogs, Ritchie added: “Our motivation is completely internal. We have self-belief, we know that if we perform on the day that we can beat everyone in this group.

“We’ve done well with an underdog tagline but I don’t think we need it. I fully believe that if we perform to the best of our ability, we can win all our games in this group.”

Additional reporting: @WorldRugby

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