Rugby World Cup 2015: Vern Cotter says qualifying will be tough

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Scotland play Japan first in the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Scotland play Japan first in the 2015 Rugby World Cup
2015 Rugby World Cup
Host: England Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC Radio Scotland, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter says it will not be easy to qualify from their group at the World Cup.

Scotland's first Pool B match is against Japan on 23 September.

"Doing well is qualifying." Cotter told BBC Scotland. "We know that it is not going to be given to us and we are going to have to work at it.

"We will need a little bit of luck as well. We are hoping to get a bounce of the ball we didn't seem to get much at the Six Nations."

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The other nations in Pool B with Scotland are USA, Samoa and South Africa - with the top two teams qualifying for the quarter-final stage.

Scotland ended up with the Wooden Spoon in the 2015 Six Nations tournament after losing all five matches, but Cotter believes the squad are now determined to put on a show that will make the country proud of them.

"There is a very strong burning desire within the group to do well and to go as far as they can," said Cotter, who became Scotland's head coach in 2014.

Scotland have burning desire for success - Cotter

"The Six Nations you need to put in context. It was brutal and we needed to look at it with total honesty which I think we have.

"Those first two games (against France and Wales) could have been won. We could have won the Italian game as well and that would have changed a lot of things.

"What it did do was expose some of things that we weren't controlling during games. The Six Nations was in fact, as much as it hurt, a good chance to look at ourselves and say this is what we need to do to move forward."

The last time Scotland played Japan was in November 2013 when the home side won 42-17 at Murrayfield, but Cotter has warned against thinking it will be an easy game this time.

"There are no guarantees in this competition," he added. "The boys want to start well and if we do start well that would be a good thing.

"There is resolve and there has been some high standards set at training. I thought we saw some good things in the four warm up games but we are still not entirely happy with what we are doing. I think we can improve in all sectors and we will need to."

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