Ellon’s Emma Wassell is hopeful Scotland will be a different proposition in this year’s Women’s Six Nations Championship.
The Scots, who take on Spain in their final warm-up match in Almeria tomorrow, finished with the wooden spoon last year after losing all five of their games.
But Wassell is confident there will be no repeat this time with the Scots getting their campaign under way against Ireland in Dublin on February 2.
The 25-year-old, who plays for Corstorphine Cougars, said: “I’m excited for the Six Nations and it is great to have the warm-up game against Spain before we start.
“This is a good opportunity to test ourselves and see where we are as a team.
“The Six Nations wasn’t a great tournament for us so hopefully we can see improvements this time around.
“We have been working hard so hopefully it shows.
“We didn’t win any of the games last year. Wales beat us in the last minute and we felt like we let ourselves down a bit.
“The previous year we recorded Scotland Women’s first away win for around 10 years.
“And the year before that we had won against Italy and Wales.
“France and England are leading the way. They are ranked two and three in the world.
“England are full-time professionals so we are just trying to close the gap.
“When we come up against these teams, we just need to try to play our own game.
“We know what we can do. It is all about executing it.”
However, Wassell says helping Scotland qualify for the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand remains the main objective.
She said: “We have a World Cup qualifier in September and that is the main goal.
“Everything before then is building towards that. We want to be at our peak in September.
“We will go into every game looking for a win but we will also be looking for noticeable improvements in all aspects of our game.”
Wassell, a trainee chartered accountant, won her 40th cap for her country against Japan in November.
She added: “I have played 40 consecutive matches for Scotland which made it more special.
“The target now is to get to 50.
“When I won my first cap, I definitely didn’t think I would play the next 40 games for Scotland. I feel incredibly lucky.
“The team is not professional yet but we are making great strides every year. I would love to see Scotland going professional.
“The right steps are being taken and we are on the right path.
“We are holding more training camps and you can see the improvement.
“Hopefully in the long run that will be something that happens for the Scotland women’s rugby team.”