Scotland prop Pierre Schoeman (right) in action against France in the 2023 Six Nations
London (AFP) - Scotland prop Pierre Schoeman says the team are in a strong position but will focus on “fine-tuning” after the Six Nations as they gear up for the Rugby World Cup in France.
Gregor Townsend’s men started the Six Nations with wins against England and Wales before defeats to France and Ireland, the world’s top two sides.
The Scots are in a tough-looking group at the World Cup later this year, with South Africa and France among their opponents.
Only two nations will qualify from the five-team group at the tournament, which starts in early September.
But South Africa-born Schoeman, said Scotland had reasons to be positive.
“We have to believe that we have the cohesion, we have the players, team and management as well as the experience to go in against these teams… We have to go for those first two spots, first or second (in the World Cup group).”
The 28-year-old added: “We know what happened in France and against Ireland, who are the best team in the world at the moment, so there are things we need to problem-solve on the pitch.
“We will reflect after this (Six Nations) campaign on what we need to fine-tune for the World Cup.”
Scotland were in contention early in the game against Ireland in Edinburgh on Sunday before the visitors pulled away for 22-7 win that kept them on course for a Grand Slam.
“We can learn a lot from that,” said Schoeman. “We are in the same World Cup pool as Ireland and we are really looking forward to that game now.
Victory at Murrayfield on Saturday over winless Italy will likely mean Scotland finish third in the Six Nations.
“They (Italy) are very passionate, so we have to be on it like never before in this Six Nations,” said Edinburgh front row Schoeman. “We need to finish strong.”