Scotland legend Gavin Hastings believes Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors are helping to restore the Scottish pride that has been lost on the international scene.
With Glasgow Warriors right in the mix for a place in the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs and Edinburgh in the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup for the first time, Scottish spirits in the club scene have never been more buoyant.
In stark contrast, Scotland’s fortunes at international level are as low as they ever have been after a group-stage exit in the World Cup along with a whitewash in the Six Nations.
But while the two Scottish clubs once suffered at the highest level, Hastings believes they are now a match for anyone and helped to restore the feelgood factor entering the business end of the season.
“I came back from the rugby World Cup and said there were a lot of wrongs to be put right by the Scottish players,” Hastings told the Scotsman.
“They have not been able to do it at international level but what I have seen in Glasgow and Edinburgh is a belief to be able to compete in domestic and European competition.
“Over 37,000 came to see Edinburgh-Toulouse and a lot of Borderers travelled to Murrayfield. Now Glasgow have an opportunity to build towards the 2014 Commonwealth Games that city hosts with an event to be seen in that context.
“Edinburgh’s efforts in beating London Irish and Racing Metro home and away in Europe as well as Toulouse shows that pro rugby can engender great support, atmosphere and loyalty whether at Murrayfield or at the sevens in Glasgow.
“It has taken Edinburgh too many years to be able to compete on a regular and consistent basis but now that they have the manner and style of dynamic rugby they play has ultimately made for a fantastic support.
“The team are only 80 minutes away from a Heineken Cup Final and who would have forseen that at the start of this season?”