Jonny Gray says the response to Scotland’s 20-17 Calcutta Cup win over England has been amazing, and says they just want to make the country proud.
Gray and his teammates on Saturday became the first Scotland team to win back-to-back Calcutta Cups since 1984, and have now won three of their last five games against England.
Former Glasgow Warriors and Cambuslang Rugby Club star Gray says the noise from BT Murrayfield even before the game was an incredible experience and wants more wins like those.
But he says Saturday’s clash with Wales at the Principality in Cardiff will be just as tough, if not harder than the obstacle England provided.
Gray, who is originally from East Kilbride, told Lanarkshire Live Sport : “It was such a special day, I think just to be back at BT Murrayfield.
“Having fans back at BT Murrayfield, you could see how special the atmosphere was, and it was unbelievable to get the win.
“Item [Murrayfield] it was surreal; a lot of players speak about that moment when the bus comes in, you get off, and you just hear this noise – and it doesn’t matter if you’ve got headphones in or not.
“It’s unbelievable, and it’s such a mixture of emotions. Just how proud, and knowing that it means so much to a lot of people.
“Scotland have so many passionate fans, and we always speak about that whenever we get together, that we want to make everyone proud and do our best for the jersey.”
Gray added: “It was just such an honor to be involved, playing for Scotland, to be in the set-up again, especially in a game like that.
“Every game is such a challenge, playing England with the depth and the talent they have, we knew how close it was going to be. It was such a physical game, so to grind out the result with just the way the game went, to stay in it and win that was brilliant.
“It meant so much to the team, to the group, because of how hard everyone worked – the players, the staff, the support staff – how much it meant to a lot of people, so we’re delighted.
“But we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves, because it’s going to be just as hard, if not harder, going down there to the Principality.
“I’m very happy, but looking at the game there are a lot of areas that we can improve on.”
Gray says nobody in the Scotland camp expects an easy time of it in any of their Six Nations encounters, and he certainly isn’t taking any of it for granted, personally.
He said: “It’s so hard to win any game in international rugby. We all know we need to get a lot better.
“Every game at international level we know we have to be at our best, and a lot of it’s fine margins. It’s going to be such a tough challenge.
“Last year we had a great win down at Twickenham but then played Wales at home, we were in the lead going into half-time, and we ended up losing that game, so we know we have to be at our best.
“They have such talented players, and it has been a long time, 20 years I think it is since we’ve won down there in Cardiff.
“We’re fully focused on Wales this week. Training has been going well, but we know we have to stay focused and do well to prepare for that.”
He added: “To be involved in this set-up, this competition… I’m so lucky, and if I get picked this week it will be absolutely unbelievable.
“I feel so lucky to be involved in this sort of stuff, so we just need to wait and see what the team selection will be.
“The whole squad have been in together, training hard, and it’s going to be a tough game coming up this weekend.”
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