Last season’s men’s Six Nations was a momentous one for Scotland as Gregor Townsend’s side ended long winless runs in England and France.
On the opening weekend Scotland earned their first Calcutta Cup win at Twickenham since 1983 and followed that up six weeks later with a first victory in Paris for 22 years.
Those results are proof of the improvements made during Townsend’s reign, but their Championship challenge was undermined by narrow home defeats to Wales and Ireland.
As Townsend begins his fifth Championship in charge, he will hope his squad can turn that promise into silverware.
🎙️"As soon as I got home I called all my family. I actually filmed all their reactions which is an incredible memory"@AndyChristie43 on sharing the special news of his Guinness Six Nations call-up with his family— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) January 23, 2022
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Scotland v England, Murrayfield, 5 February (kick-off: 16:45 GMT)
Since Townsend took charge of his country, Scotland have lost just one of four Calcutta Cup matches, winning two and drawing the other.
That sole defeat came at home two years ago, though, when Ellis Genge’s try 10 minutes from full time proved the difference in a 13-6 win for England.
Having finally overcome their auld enemy at Twickenham 12 months ago, the hosts will be keen to maintain their momentum in the fixture and kick off this season’s Championship in style.
Wales v Scotland, Principality Stadium, 12 February (KO: 14:15 GMT)
Scotland were left to ponder what might have been last year as Wales staged a comeback to win a close match 25-24 after Zander Fagerson had been shown a red card.
It is now 20 years since Scotland beat Wales in Cardiff, a 27-22 victory in which Townsend lined up at fly-half.
However, they won on their last Six Nations visit to Wales during the 2020 Six Nations, winning 14-10 behind closed doors in Llanelli. Can they now end their long wait for a victory at the Principality Stadium?
Scotland v France, Murrayfield, 26 February (KO: 14:15 GMT)
Townsend has not lost a home Six Nations match against France as Scotland head coach, but Les Bleus will be out for revenge following last year’s result in Paris.
Although France have not won a Championship match at Murrayfield since 2014, they were victorious on their last visit to Edinburgh, during the Autumn Nations Cup in November 2020, when a Virimi Vakatawa try helped Les Bleus beat Scotland 22-15.
Fabien Galthié’s side have their sights set firmly on the Championship this year and they will know they must end that wait for a Six Nations win at Murrayfield if they are to win the title. The hosts, of course, will be in no mood to let their own form in the fixture slip.
Italy v Scotland, Stadio Olimpico, 12 March (KO: 14:15 GMT)
There was a time when Scotland fans dreaded trips to Rome, watching their team lose four of their five Championship matches in Italy between 2004 and 2012.
However, Scotland have since gone unbeaten at Stadio Olimpico and scored three tries and 17 unanswered points on their last visit to the Italian capital two years ago.
Stuart Hogg, Chris Harris and Adam Hastings crossed the whitewash on that occasion and if Scotland are serious about mounting a Championship challenge, then this is a match that they must win.
Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium, 19 March (KO: 16:45 GMT)
Dublin has not been a happy hunting ground for Scotland in recent times, winning just once in the Irish capital in the last 24 years.
That victory came in 2010, when Johnnie Beattie crossed the whitewash and Dan Parks kicked 18 points to secure a 23-20 win.
Townsend’s side did earn a losing bonus-point on their last visit to the Aviva Stadium as Johnny Sexton scored all of Ireland’s points to help the hosts to a 19-12 victory.
Scotland’s Six Nations 2022 fixtures (all times GMT)
SCOTLAND v England, Murrayfield, 5 February, 16:45
Wales v SCOTLAND, Principality Stadium, 12 February, 14:15
SCOTLAND v France, Murrayfield, 26 February, 14:15
Italy v SCOTLAND, Stadio Olimpico, 12 March, 14:15
Ireland v SCOTLAND, Aviva Stadium, 19 March, 16:45