A new-look Scotland will approach the Guinness Six Nations with a clean slate as they attempt to bounce back from last year’s poor World Cup showing, says Jamie Ritchie.
Scotland failed to make it to the knockout stages in Japan, finishing behind the hosts and Ireland in Pool A and will look to bounce back at the 2020 Championship.
With stalwarts such as Greig Laidlaw, Tommy Seymour and John Barclay now retired, Richie feels the time is right for a refocused Scotland squad to push on.
“Something obviously had to change from the World Cup because we didn’t get it right. I think we have put the right ideas in place, it’s just about executing them,” Ritchie said.
“There has been quite a lot of change with guys retiring and some coaches moving on. There’s a lot of change in the group, which is good, and it is about everyone being on the same page and buying into the same standards.
“It is a bit of a clean slate and a chance for us to reset and take a good look at ourselves.”
While Scotland’s World Cup was one to forget collectively, Ritchie made big personal strides forward as he produced some impressive displays while in Japan.
The Edinburgh flanker will look to strengthen his importance in the Scotland pack with a productive Guinness Six Nations and at 23 still has plenty of room for growth.
While he has been pleased with his showings so far, Ritchie accepts that he is far from the finished article and is out to continue his development.
He said: “For me, it’s kind of selfish but I felt my performances were quite good. I was happy with the way I played but obviously it wasn’t enough for us to win.
“There are bits of my game I can improve on. There are always areas I can get better in. That’s why boys get to this level, because they criticise themselves and want to get better.”
Scotland will be looking for improvement as a team at this year’s Championship after they finished fifth in 2019.
Their solitary victory came against Italy last time out, but they did hold England to an entertaining 38-38 draw in their final outing.
Scotland begin this year’s campaign with a visit to Ireland, as they seek a first win in Dublin since 2010.