Glasgow coach Sean Lineen says his team can put a much-needed smile back on the face of Scottish rugby if they beat Saracens in their Challenge Cup quarter-final.
Scotland ended up with the Wooden Spoon in the RBS Six Nations, which included gifting Italy a first ever win away from home in the Championship, while several top name internationals will be leaving Scottish domestic rugby next season.
Edinburgh and the Border Reivers struggled to make an impression in the Heineken Cup, but Glasgow have reached the quarter-finals in the European Challenge Cup where their reward will be a third meeting this season with English Premiership side Saracens.
“The guys are really focussed on that game because we are representing Scotland in Europe, which is massive. It is great to get there but now that is not good enough – now we need to make sure we can give a good account of ourselves,” said Lineen.
“We need to make people stand up and take notice of Scottish rugby and the only way we can do that is on the pitch so we will have to give it our best shot.
“That is what we have to do. There is no easy solution at the moment, we have not got the playing numbers, the money or the facilities.
“They are a quality team, lots of big players and well coached, so it will be a big ask. But Scottish teams like being underdogs and that is what we are going to be so we have a lot of work to do.
“That game is everything to us so we have to put everything we can, all our resources, into giving a good account of ourselves.
“We are going down to win it with a huge belief. We have some good players and we have to make good decisions under pressure and enjoy it – but you only enjoy it if you do yourselves justice.
“I honestly believe we can beat them and the guys believe that as well so we have to go all out to do that.”
The Warriors lost 28-23 at Vicarage Road on the opening weekend of the European season, before drawing 6-6 at Hughenden to confirm qualification for the quarter-finals as one of the best runners-up.
Those two results are part of the reason why Lineen is so confident. “We could have taken them there,” he said.
“We scored two outstanding tries and they scored one from a penalty try and one from a scrum, so that was a bit frustrating for us.
“We’re really targeting this one, it is a huge game for us against one of the giants – a big club with lots of money and huge facilities and here we are coming up against them.”