Scotland's new defence coach Matt Taylor eyes title for Glasgow

Media playback is not supported on this device

Interview - Scotland and Glasgow defence coach Matt Taylor

It would be difficult to categorise Scotland's international form under head coach Andy Robinson as a model of consistency.

Caught between the rock and a hard place of the Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup, Scotland's promise in both tournaments has failed to materialise, disappointing fans and those connected with the Scotland set-up.

Outside of tournament rugby, the contrast is startling.

In 2010, Scotland won both Tests on their summer trip to Argentina - the first time they had secured a winning tour to the Southern Hemisphere.

They have beaten South Africa and Australia at Murrayfield and again this summer, secured a winning tour down under against the Wallabies, Fiji and Samoa.

Those startling results, particularly against Australia and South Africa, have been down to impressive defence.

In all three games, they have been subjected to immense pressure and, on all three occasions, they have toughed it out with the world's best.

While many may bemoan the perceived lack of a swashbuckling edge when it comes to attack, there is no doubt Scotland are a tough side to break down.

Now the responsibility of continuing that Scottish obstinacy has passed to a new man.

Matt Taylor played for Scotland A and has left the Queensland Reds to take up the role of defence coach with Glasgow Warriors and Scotland.

So, what's the secret in keeping the world's best at bay?

"Work ethic, for me, is number one. I've always felt I've put teams in a pretty good position in terms of knowing what's coming at them," he said.

Last season, Glasgow secured a place in the play-offs of the RaboDirect Pro12 and, under then head coach Sean Lineen, they proved to a be a tough proposition, especially at Firhill.

Tommy Seymour is out of reach of Exeter's Ian Whitten in Glasgow's 15-6 pre-season victory
Tommy Seymour is out of reach of Exeter's Ian Whitten in Glasgow's 15-6 pre-season victory

Taylor believes team spirit is a vital factor. "They're a team that really pride themselves on defence," he said. "As I'm getting to know the group, I can certainly see why.

"It has a lot to do with how well the players enjoy one another's company and how much they buy into the club.

"Scottish players are inherently tough and they get stuck in. They don't give an inch.

"That helps you defensively. Sometimes attack takes a bit longer to tweak."

While Taylor may be new in post, he has bought into the current optimism that surrounds Scotland's professional teams ahead of the new season, particularly from a Glasgow point of view.

"Last year, the Warriors did a great job making the semi-finals," he said.

"As a group, we've talked about taking a step on from that and winning the competition.

"We've got the squad to do that and hopefully we can achieve that.

"From a Scotland point of view, we want to do well in these upcoming Tests and in the Six Nations."

Top Stories