Knock over Ireland in game one and be in the box seat to progress.
That’s Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie’s message to Scotland ahead of the Japan World Cup in the autumn.
Rennie was speaking as the Warriors trained on the brand new artificial surface at Aberdeen Sports Village yesterday.
Several of Rennie’s squad are in camp with Scotland ahead of the tournament next month, and the New Zealander thinks fans have plenty to be excited about.
He said: “(They can be) very optimistic. They’re in a pool with Ireland first up.
“If they can do a job on them, they’re in the box seat.
“However, they get through, they’re going to end up playing the All Blacks or the Springboks, so it’s not easy.
“But they’re preparing really well and will have a really good side.
“It’ll be interesting.”
The Scots will also meet Russia and Samoa in Pool A.
However, it is hosts Japan – ranked just outside the world’s Top 10 – who are being tipped to test the mettle of Gregor Townsend’s side.
Rennie added: “They (Japan) have been preparing for a long time. Jamie Joseph’s had the squad together through Super Rugby.
“A lot of them were slow starters in Super Rugby, but they’ll be well-oiled and fit as.
“They’ll play a high-speed game, but Scotland are really fit, too, and play a similar brand of footie.
“In the end, we’ll see what the results are.”
Glasgow are without household names like Ali Price, Tommy Seymour and Jonny Gray because of the World Cup, but their Aberdeen visit saw them continue to prepare for the Pro-14 season which starts on September 27.
Rennie said: “We’re working hard. We’ve got 22 guys involved in World Cup preparation and we’ll be without most of those.
“But we’ve got nine of our academy boys training full-time with us, half a dozen sevens boys, so it’s still a big squad.
“We’ve got 40-odd at the moment and eight injured.
“That’s the nucleus for the first six to eight weeks of the comp.
“We’ve done well, really well, over the last couple of years blooding good young kids.
“With having a lot of international players, they’re away a lot, but it creates opportunities for the young ones to play. They’ve performed really well, so we take a lot of confidence from that.
“We’ve then got enough old heads to lead the way.”
Warriors lost out to Leinster in the Pro-14 final last term, while also getting deep into Europe.
The aim for the new campaign? To continue to play their exciting brand of rugby while making progress on both fronts.
Rennie said: “We were disappointed (after the 18-15 reverse to Leinster). We’re a better side than we were on the final day. But we’ve made good strides. We’ve established massive depth and there’s genuine competition for places.
“There are a number of Scottish internationals who are constantly under threat for their position each week.
“We’ve got a mantra you’ve got to earn the right to play through how you play and perform.
“We’re playing a really good brand of footie and have a much better understanding of the game we’re trying to play.
“The last six weeks of the comp, we were really happy with the performance, effort and so on.
“But Leinster are tough.
“It’s the first time the club’s made the play-offs in Europe and Pro-14, so we’re moving in the right direction.”
Glasgow’s trip to the north-east also included a coaching session with kids at Aberdeen Wanderers yesterday afternoon.
Rennie – who was full of praise for the £250,000 elite-level replacement surface at ASV – thinks it’s important Scotland’s two professional teams, Glasgow and Edinburgh, remain visible in and engaged with this part of the country.
He said of the pitch: “It’s good. We’ve got a similar one at Ravenscraig when we train indoors when it’s snowing in winter.
“The surface is great.
“Aberdeen’s part of our region – we make a real effort to engage with the community right across the region.
“On the way up, the boys had a bit of a road trip and did a few challenges, which gave them a chance to interact with a lot of people throughout the journey. Especially for the guys who aren’t from Scotland, it’s a chance to learn about history.
“The guys then had a coaching thing with some kids and work with sponsors.”
He added: “I’ve been here once to have a quick look, but it’s the first time I’ve spent any time here.
“It’s really good. It’s important we understand we have a great lot of support around our area.”