Six Nations 2019: Stuart Hogg - Scotland 'on right path to something incredibly special'

Stuart Hogg runs with the ball against Argentina
Hogg has scored 18 tries in 65 Tests and twice been voted Six Nations Player of the Year
Six Nations: Scotland v Italy
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 2 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One; listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online & BBC Radio 5live sports extra; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Stuart Hogg says he "truly believes" Scotland can win the Six Nations and end a 20-year wait for a title.

Gregor Townsend's team open their campaign against Italy on Saturday with the first of two successive home games at Murrayfield, with champions Ireland to follow on 9 February.

Hogg, 26, is confident the Scots can build on last year's third place.

"I think we are on the right path to achieving something incredibly special," said the full-back.

"We have been working really hard over the last few years to get to where we are.

Graphic of Scotland's Six Nations fixtures

"I truly believe we can win the Six Nations but as players we are just looking at the first game against Italy and making sure we get off to the best possible start. They are a fantastic rugby team and will come to Murrayfield and make it really difficult for us.

"Attack-wise we need to make the most of every opportunity and defensively shut them down as early as possible. Everyone is excited. There is a lot of work to be done but we are ready to rock and roll on Saturday."

Hogg believes playing three games at Murrayfield, where they have won 10 of their last 12 Tests, including against Ireland, Wales and Italy in the 2017 Six Nations, offers "huge opportunities" for Scotland.

But to win the title they will need to secure either a first win in Paris since 1999, or a first win at Twickenham for 36 years, or both if they come unstuck in any of their home games.

"Every single game we go into, we are looking to win," added Hogg. "If you are not saying you are going to win the Six Nations, then what is the point of being there?"

'We have talked about it just about every day'

Italy have not won a Six Nations match since beating Scotland in Edinburgh in February 2015.

They almost ended that 17-Test losing run in the tournament in Rome on the final day last year, before Scotland squeezed home 29-27.

Defence coach Matt Taylor insists Scotland, who won the last Five Nations title in 1999, will not be complacent as they seek to avoid the sort of opening-day mishap that befell them in Cardiff 12 months ago, losing 34-7 to Wales.

"We have got to turn up with the right attitude and mentality and make sure we put in a good performance to get a good result," said the Australian.

"Last year we probably didn't do that and it was touch and go whether we were going to win. We will pay them the respect they are due and front up.

"You have got to make sure you win all your home games; that is crucial in the Six Nations if you are going to win it, and we are capable of doing that. We have talked about it just about every day. We want to be the first Scottish team to win the Six Nations title.

"It starts on Saturday. Two home games is a really good start. Then we have to go away to France and England and get victories in tough places like that."

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