White: Scotland are ready

Scotland captain Jason White has played down his injury worries and insisted his troops are ready to go to war with the Springboks. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Scotland captain Jason White has played down his injury worries and insisted his troops are ready to go to war with the Springboks.

The back-row hero admitted he had been feeling the signs of wear and tear in the wake of a demanding season for club and country.

But the British & Irish Lion declared himself fit and in the mood to lead the Scots to their first ever triumph over South Africa on enemy territory when they square up in the first Test in Durban on Saturday.

White explained: "I have been experiencing problems with my back. It is not 100 per cent – and it is never going to be.

"However, at the moment it is as close to perfect as it is going to get.

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"I don’t think the warm weather in this part of the world has helped particularly and I just have to accept the fact that it will flare up from time to time and the medics are great at sorting it out."

Putting his own situation aside, White is utterly confident that Scotland have devised a gameplan which will enable them to at least compete strongly with the Boks.

He continued: "We have had a tremendous week’s training and I think we have adjusted well to the conditions.

"The priority for us is to take our Murrayfield form to other venues.

"With the World Cup in mind, it would be wonderful to prove ourselves capable of winning at places like this and two strong performances against South Africa would certainly give us a massive confidence boost.

"It is a totally different scenario to playing and beating Italy at the end of the Six Nations.

"The Springboks’ record and international rankings speak for themselves and the fact that they haven’t lost a home Test for two years shows what a challenge we face.

"We have no option but to front up. South Africa pose different threats compared to other top nations in that they are very direct and their attack and blitz defence cause a lot of problems.

"As a developing team, it is good for us to learn how to cope with these specific components of their play.

"There are lots of components about this tour. We want to win but we also want to develop for the World Cup, and we want to mature as a squad.

"You always have one eye on the present and one eye on the future."

The captain also underlined his faith in the rejigged back row, with Ally Hogg switching to number eight in place of the injured Simon Taylor.

He added: "It will be difficult for Ally because he has not played there a lot recently, but he is a great footballer and he did get a run there against the Barbarians which gave him the chance to build more confidence.

"The Springboks have a very strong back row. They are a set-piece orientated side with a good lineout and we are sure they will try to scrum us out of it.

"The timing of the game is good for us as we are at the end of a very positive season. They had their game last week and there was quite a negative over-reaction to the way they played.

"I am sure that the players who were involved in that will be going out wanting to get that out of their systems."

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