Scotland have recruited a valuable spy to their camp ahead of this week’s Six Nations clash – according to Wales prop Rob Evans.
The Scarlets loose-head believes Dannny Wilson – who left the Cardiff Blues at the end of last season to become Scotland’s forwards coach – has a wealth of information on Warren Gatland’s squad.
The Scots have had a disappointing tournament so far, with a victory over Italy followed by back-to-back defeats to Ireland and France.
But Evans – who played under Wilson for Wales U20s – has warned that the input of a coach who knows all about the likes of Blues pair Josh Navidi and Gareth Anscombe, plus others studied as opposition over so many matches will make things difficult for Wales
“Every match is presenting us with a different test as you can see from the last three games,” says Evans.
“They’ve all been different. Danny Wilson is forwards coach with Scotland and he’s going to know a lot of our players pretty well. It’s going to be a tough challenge.
“It was a tough day for us in 2017. We didn’t come out the blocks and if we’re honest Scotland probably embarrassed us a little bit.
“We are obviously looking forward to the game, but it’s going be an incredibly tough one for us.
“We know what Scotland are like at home. They feed off the atmosphere there just as we do back in Cardiff. We’re not shying away from the fact it’s going to be a massive, massive game.”
Leigh halfpenny may have come through his second comeback game for the Scarlets at the weekend to put himself in contention, but Wasps openside Thomas Young has remained with his club for treatment after suffering a hip injury during his team’s defeat to Leicester.
Scotland, though, will still be without full-back Stuart Hogg for the clash at Murrayfield.
Hogg suffered a shoulder injury against Ireland in the second round of the tournament and remains under the joint care of the Glasgow Warriors and Scotland medical teams, with his rehabilitation progress and review ongoing.
But the Scots should be boosted by the return of Finn Russell who looks to have recovered from the concussion he suffered in February.
Russell missed Scotland’s loss to France after failing the HIA during Racing 92’s loss to Toulouse, however he produced a solid 65 minutes against La Rochelle on Sunday.
Scotland also welcome back five players from injury and head coach Gregor Townsend has also added three more players to his squad.
Flanker Hamish Watson and prop William Nel return from injury while lock Sam Skinner, hooker George Turner and centre Stafford McDowall, have also been returned.
Townsend has also called up London Irish prop Gordon Reid, as well as backrower Matt Fagerson and winger Byron McGuigan.
After downing England in Cardiff, a fallow week in what is northern hemisphere rugby’s greatest international tournament gave Wales the chance to recharge their batteries.
This week they will ramp up their preparations for Scotland with two big days of training on Monday and Tuesday before a day off on Wednesday.
Gatland will then name his team on Thursday before the squad depart for Edinburgh.
Evans added: “It’s great for us to have a captain like Alun Wyn Jones. I think if he sees any glint of complacency or anything like that he’ll just snap it out straight away,” Evans added.
“He’s a great leader. Another big thing about this group is everyone’s pretty grounded and we realise where we are at the moment. I know we’ve had three wins, but as I said this game with Scotland is going to be a massive challenge for us. They embarrassed us last time by quite a hefty scoreline.”