Jim Telfer sums up how far Scotland are from peaking

Ireland face his nation in the opening Six Nations clash of 2017

BY Raf Diallo 21:19 Wednesday 1 February 2017, 21:19 1 Feb 2017

Scotland's Stuart Hogg with Robbie Henshaw of Ireland ©INPHO/Colm O'Neill

Former Scotland player and head coach Jim Telfer feels the current Scottish rugby team are two years away from hitting their stride.

There is a growing confidence around Scottish rugby after many difficult years.

However, Telfer, who joined Off The Ball on the line ahead of his nation's opening Six Nations clash against Ireland on Saturday, believes they are still some way off maximising their full potential despite recent progress.

"I think Scotland are two years away from being a very good team if they keep the players together there that they have at the moment especially in the back division," he said.

"And where I think they have a little bit over Ireland is they have genuine game breakers like Ireland maybe had in the past with Brian O'Driscoll and players like that. I think Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell are exceptionally good players on their day. It's a better Scotland squad than it was last year and I'm just a little bit disappointed that [head coach] Vern Cotter is going at the end of the season. But the Irish team, they are very experienced."

Jim Telfer in 1997 ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

And Telfer feels there is a burgeoning confidence within the Scottish ranks, although he still fancies Ireland to edge the encounter.

"The press here have been very upbeat and it gets through to the players and the fact that we did reasonably well in the Autumn Series - nearly beat the Australians, but we didn't - the players have emboldened themselves, I think, that they can beat Ireland," he said.

"As the week goes on, I started off in the beginning of the week being more confident than I am now because then reality hits you a couple days before the game and more so on the day of the game. I'm not as confident as I was.

"I think Scotland have a chance but I think Ireland will still be favourites."

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