Scotland’s leap ahead shows the way forward for Wales and South Africa | Paul Rees

The improvements made under Vern Cotter and continued by Gregor Townsend augur well for the Six Nations and offer significant lessons for others, not least the duo who meet in Cardiff on Saturday

Two results stood out at the weekend. Scotland’s 53-24 victory over Australia may have been achieved against a side that was reduced to 14 men after 39 minutes, but it was only the second time a tier-one nation from the north had put a half-century of points on one of the old Tri Nations countries.

The following day, Glasgow won 47-6 in the Pro14 at Ospreys, seven tries to nil, despite being without 14 players involved in the victory over Australia. The region that for years was Wales’s flag-carrier may have slumped this season, but they had 10 Wales internationals in their 23, and exactly a year before they had won 22-5 in Glasgow.

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