Chris Paterson is optimistic Scotland can build on their encouraging autumn Test performances by taking a positive approach into the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations Championship.
The full-back is an important part of Frank Hadden’s plan to infuse an attacking instinct into a Scotland squad starved of success in recent seasons.
The Edinburgh Gunners player is convinced that attack is the best form of defence but after only one win out of three during the autumn, against Samoa, the former Gala stand-off knows Scotland must find a scoring touch to enjoy a better 6 Nations.
Defeats to Argentina and New Zealand highlighted the team’s failure to turn possession into points and Paterson knows that will not be good enough against the likes of France, England, Wales and Ireland.
He said: "Let’s be realistic and realise the teams we play against are all good and will score tries, but let’s go out there and play some good rugby off our own backs.
"The best form of defence is attack really, that’s evident in all facets of rugby nowadays.
"We were making chances in the autumn at Murrayfield but not really putting them away. But at least we were making them, in times gone by we haven’t.
"We created chance after chance and undoubtedly we have to take more of them.
"We were not happy with the performances in the autumn, encouraged by them but not happy with them.
"We now need to top that and get wins well to get the public supporting us again."
Despite being only 27, Paterson is now a veteran of the 6 Nations having participated in six championships since making his international debut in the World Cup win over Spain in 1999.
He insists the thrill of facing the other home nations, plus France and Italy, has not diminished through the years.
He added: "It’s good to be back training with the lads, especially at Six Nations time as it is exciting. It’s the pinnacle of your career really.
"I think this is my seventh Six Nations. The atmosphere changes year on year with personnel and a new set of coaches now.
"But I think now there is a genuine belief in the way we want to play and what we can do."