Six Nations: Jim Hamilton seeks Scottish legacy

Jim Hamilton in action for Scotland against France
Jim Hamilton is excited about the potential in the Scotland squad
RBS Six Nations: Scotland v Ireland
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 21 March Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Veteran second-row Jim Hamilton is keen to ensure his legacy endures through Scotland's locks of the future - Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist and Tim Swinson.

Hamilton spoke of the "huge role" he and his experience must play in the junior players' development.

"In five years' time, when I'm not wearing the jersey, and Jonny Gray is, there's a piece of me in there that'll have helped him," said Hamilton.

"Hopefully the skills I've given Jonny, Grant, Tim will rub off on them."

The 32-year-old became Scotland's 1000th capped player when he made his debut against Romania in 2006, and this Six Nations campaign is his eighth championship.

Despite suffering many difficult defeats during a challenging time for Scottish rugby, he feels the current squad bears more potential than any he has been part of.

"I remember the years before where we've played extremely well and we've not got the results," said the Saracens lock.

"It does feel very different now, in terms of the players we've got, the age of the group, having Vern Cotter in charge - I've learnt so much from him in the short time he's been here.

"The most positive thing for Scotland is the young guys coming through - Jonny Gray, Adam Ashe, Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell - there's many more, that's something we haven't had before.

"We've had individuals that have been good, we've had experienced players, but now we've got some unbelievable talent coming through that are starting to do the business."

Jonny Gray carries against England
Jonny Gray is one of the hottest prospects at Vern Cotter's disposal

Scotland sit bottom of the tournament standings, having lost all four of their fixtures in this year's campaign. But 60-cap Hamilton's enthusiasm for the squad's future is undimmed.

"It's a different level to anything I've seen before," he said.

"If I was watching the game as a supporter or analysing Scotland, you could pin your hat on what is a Scotland player now. Jonny Gray was 21 at the weekend which makes me feel old - the stuff he's done in the little time he's been here - now you can identify Scottish players.

"I've got a huge role to play in the experience I have winning for Scotland and losing in helping these young guys come through. Jonny's a fantastic player but he's nowhere near the finished article, and there's bits of my game I can give him that will help him develop.

"I don't want to be 60, 65, 70 caps down the line and not give anything back to these boys."