With the 6 Nations edging ever closer we get the thoughts of three of our Web Columnists – Matt Horsman (MH), Stephen Brunsdon (SB), Stuart Rutherford (SR) – ahead of the big event:

Which Scotland forward will make the biggest impact?

MH: Jonny Gray will continue to further his claim for a Lions place.

SB: Zander Fagerson – the prop is new to international rugby but has already made a big impact.

SR: Zander Fagerson will be expected to step up and he should make a significant impact at the tight-head position in all five matches.

Which Scotland back will make the biggest impact?

MH: I think Huw Jones will continue his scintillating form from the Autumn.

SB: Stuart Hogg is difficult to look past at the moment in either the colours of Glasgow or Scotland.

SR: Alex Dunbar had a somewhat unheralded Autumn campaign – but his steadfast position at inside centre played a crucial role in the breakout performances of Huw Jones.

How many wins do you think Scotland will put on the board?

MH: Ask me again after we see which Scotland show up at BT Murrayfield at the weekend. I think they’ll win two – Italy and Wales.

SB: Realistically, Ireland may be a step too far ahead but Wales and Italy are must win matches with the possibility of a scalp in Paris.

SR: I’m sure Vern Cotter’s men will go into every game with the belief that they can win, however, realistically, three wins would be a fantastic achievement.

What is your prediction for Scotland v Ireland?

MH: A tight match. Ireland to win by less than 10.

SB: BT Murrayfield is a daunting place to play for any team, but Ireland should edge it.

SR: Scotland to start with a victory, but it won’t come easy. Vern Cotter’s side to win a tight one 26-20.

Which Irish player do Scotland have to be most wary of?

MH: CJ Stander. The big ball carrying South African can wear down the most dogged of defences.

SB: Conor Murray – the scrum-half pulls the strings of the Irish side right now.

SR: After Ireland’s historic win over New Zealand in November, Brian O’Driscoll labelled Conor Murray as “the best nine in the world”. Scotland should be fearful – the Munster scrum-half’s ability to read the game is masterful,

Who will be the star player, from any nation, in the tournament?

MH: If Ben Youngs continues his incredible 2016 form, he will lead England to another Grand Slam.

SB: Baptiste Serin – slightly left field, but the Bordeaux scrum-half is tipped to fill the equally petite shoes of Morgan Parra.

SR: Stuart Hogg will be the jewel in Scotland’s crown once again. The full-back will look to continue to his sensational international form and will surely secure his place in the Lions Test side.

Zander Fagerson is pictured and could be key in the coming weeks

‘Keep It SCRUM’ for all the news and views about the upcoming 6 Nations tournament – and read SCRUM 91 here

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