Six Nations: Scotland head coach Scott Johnson warns over defence

Media conference - Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson

Scotland must improve defensively if they are to achieve any success in this year's Six Nations, according to interim head coach Scott Johnson.

"We've got to work hard on the things we need to improve before we start chasing rainbows," he said.

"There's a lot of contact, a lot of defence in this game, and, if we don't get that right, the scoreboard will be rattling against us."

Scotland endured a torrid championship in 2012, losing all five matches.

The Scots face England at Twickenham, where they have not beaten the hosts since 1983, in their opening Six Nations match, but Johnson stressed that effort would bring its own rewards.

"As long as we get a side that gets out there and competes," he said. "We do that, we prepare right, Scotland can be proud of the effort and the scoreboard will look after itself."

The Australian was also coy on the prospect of him retaining the Scotland head coach's job on a long-term basis.

"I took the job because I thought it was the right thing to do for the squad in a time that wasn't pleasant for us," he insisted. "I'm not auditioning for anything here."

"How long will I be here? I will make my decision in the best interests of what Scotland needs. If the board decide I'm the person they want and if that suits me, I will review it then."

Johnson also admitted that the small player pool meant he would be able to make limited changes.

"The reality is, we don't have a great pool to pick from," he said. "So we can't be too far out from what we've done before. There may be some that are different, we've certainly got an eye on the future."

Changes will be made at number nine, after the retiral of Mike Blair from international rugby, but Johnson stated he had not made up his mind who would replace the Brive scrum-half.

"When you lose a bloke with 80-odd caps, it is not easy to replace him," he admitted.

"It causes us a bit of grief but the reality is that we have to move on now. We have to find out who that next player is for the number nine jersey."

Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw is in the frame after moving from stand-off for much of the season, with Glasgow pair Chris Cusiter and Henry Pyrgos also in the frame to replace Blair.

"There has been some good signs from the boys ready to come in, and who's to say that the next guy won't become the most special nine that Scotland has ever produced?

"Greig will be there or thereabouts but there are others too. We are waiting on the injury update on 'Cus' and we will see how Henry is and the form of others as well.

"We will go with what we have got. That is all we can do."

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