Gregor Townsend is in no doubt that his side will face the full might of the world champions when All Blacks arrive at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The New Zealanders have frequently fielded sub-strength teams against the Scots in the past decade and still won, however their schedule as well as growing respect for the way Saturday’s hosts have developed in recent years under their compatriot Vern Cotter, suggests a different approach this time around.

Reverting to what was once standard practice for visiting Southern Hemisphere nations but has become out-moded in recent times, the tourists are playing a midweek fixture against the French Barbarians.

That means the team that faces Scotland is likely to be very similar to the one that beat France by an impressive 38-18 margin in the Stade de France on Saturday, just hours after Scotland had held on to beat world 16th ranked Samoa 44-38.

“They’ve got a big group with them so I’m not sure anyone will play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, we’ll expect it’ll be their first team that plays against us,” said Townsend.

“They’re an excellent side, played a lot of games together over the last three or four months, against top quality opposition. We’re going to be at our very best to beat them.”

The former Glasgow Warriors head coach readily acknowledged that means performing a lot better than they did on Saturday when failing to capitalise fully on a 32-10 lead early in the second half in a match which yielded 11 tries and a Murrayfield Test record 82 points.

“Today we weren’t at our best but there’s a win, there’s confidence in how we played at certain points of the game. We’ve just got to work to make sure we’re better all-around,” he said.

While they have only a few days to sort things out Townsend suggested that Scotland’s failings at the weekend which allowed their opponents to cross their line five times, will help them in the build-up to their clash with the best in the business.

“We’ve seen that before when a team wins not playing to their best, it certainly sharpens the training,” he observed.

“I think we’d have had that anyway with our opposition this week. We’ll have to be at our very best, or NZ will score points against us, they score points against any defence.

“To lower our standards in defence will be disappointing for all of us, coaches and players. The players take pride in the way they defend, we’ll have to be better next week.”

However having watched his men score six tries of their own he stressed that there was plenty to draw encouragement from.

“There were a lot as aspects we did well, our kick pressure was very good, a couple of charge downs, they struggled to get out of their 22, which gave us opportunities to get our lineout drive in place, which was another positive,” said Townsend.

“Some of our attacks, individual and support play was very good we just didn’t see enough of it in that first half. Second half we didn’t have enough ball, Samoa had more ball and they made the most of it.”