Scotland: Andy Robinson eyes top scalps in autumn Tests

Andy Robinson says Scotland will go into their autumn Test series full of confidence despite facing two of the top three sides in the world.

"The great thing about the autumn Tests are that we are playing against two of the top three sides in the world.

"And for us to be able to challenge ourselves against New Zealand and South Africa and Tonga will show the progress we're making," said the Scotland coach.

"You want to go toe to toe with the very best and come through with a win."

Scotland play World Cup winners New Zealand on 11 November, South Africa six days later, then face Tonga in Aberdeen in the final EMC Test on 24 November.

Scotland's autumn Tests

  • 11 November: v New Zealand (Murrayfield)
  • 17 November, v South Africa (Murrayfield)
  • 24 November, v Tonga (Pittodrie)

The Scots, ranked ninth in the world, have never beaten the All Blacks, but a strong series of results would improve their hopes for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the draw for which will take place in early December.

"These games matter," said Robinson. "They are Test matches where we pit ourselves against some of the best players in the world and it's always been part of my psyche, whether as a player or a coach, to test yourself against the best and strive to win.

"They also matter because we want to continue our improvement in the IRB world rankings as that will affect the draw for the Rugby World Cup."

Robinson's side responded to the Six Nations whitewash and Wooden Spoon with Test wins in June against Australia, Fiji and Samoa and face three further southern hemisphere sides at home in November.

"So we will go in with a confidence and we'll go in with a belief, but it's about performing on the day," he told BBC Scotland.

"For us to be playing New Zealand in their first game in the UK since winning the World Cup is something that we are hugely looking forward to.

"With Scott Johnson, who has beaten New Zealand as a coach, and myself, who has beaten New Zealand as a coach, we have to put our understanding of how we can win that game together.

"We get back together at the end of October and, as a group, I'm looking forward to building on the successes that we had in the summer.

"One of the key aims of the summer tour was reignite the spirit of the team after the disappointment of the Six Nations and that spirit was really generated."