PETER Murchie says the looming RBS Six Nations campaign has extra significance for Scotland.
The Scots lost all three of their fixtures in the Autumn Test Series, against New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga, which led to the resignation of head coach Andy Robinson.
It came on the back of a a victorious three-Test summer tour of Australasia which hinted at a return to better times for Scotland after a horrific Six Nations campaignwhich saw the Scots lost all five fixtures.
With new interim head coach Scott Johnson talking up the Scots ability to upset England at Twickenham in Saturday's Championship opener, Murchie is optimistic this could be the start of a bright new dawn for the Scotland team.
The Glasgow full-back said: "The opening game of the RBS Six Nations is a huge game in its own right.
"But I don't think there is any doubt Saturday's game with England has extra significance.
"It is well documented how disappointing the Autumn Test Series was, and although we had done well in Australasia in the summer we suffered a whitewash in the Six Nations .
"Before that we failed to get out of the group sections of the World Cup for the first time, so it has not been a good couple of years for Scotland in internationals.
"But now we have a new head coach in Scott Johnson and have a lot of young guys coming through and there is a determination to make this Six Nations the start of something positive for the international side.
"We are well aware of how tough that will be and the fact that the last time England ran out at Twickenham they beat the world champions New Zealand.
"However, if we focus on what we do and produce an 80-minute performance we will give ourselves every chance of getting off to a winning start.We have to be optimistic"
Murchie is a secure pair of hands under a high ball for Glasgow and admits that his hopes of making his first start for Scotland are likely to depend on his ability to get the better of Warriors colleague Stuart Hogg in the battle to secure the No.15 jersey.
That said, it is clearly a competition he is relishing.
The Warriors star said: "Hoggy and I have ambitions to get the No.15 shirt and obviously if you nail it for the first international in the Six Nations and do a good job, you give yourself a great chance of holding onto.
"But I think whoever is in at 15 can expect to field a few high balls as the English are very good at the kick-and-chase aspect of the game.
"With both of us being comparatively new at the international stage they will want to test us.
"But that's part and parcel of the international game and for me this week will be about doing everything I can to get in from the start and I know it will be the same for Hoggy."