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Scotland want to unleash their beast

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Sportal.co.nz     11 Nov 2012     Getty Images

Visser burst on to the international scene in Scotland's mid-year clean sweep in Australasia, after qualifying under residency rules, and now has the chance to transfer his Edinburgh club form to a dark blue jersey.

Visser has been the top scorer in the RaboDirect Pro12 for each of the past three seasons and Blair knows how lethal the Dutchman can be from their years together at Edinburgh.

Blair, who moved to Brive in the off-season, said: "He's a phenomenal finisher and it's up to the team to put him in positions where he can finish.

"He can't do it all by himself. If you look at the amount of times he has scored for Edinburgh there has been some creativity that have given him those opportunities and we need to do exactly the same.

"It's harder at international level but we need to give him those opportunities."

Attack coach Scott Johnson joined the Scotland set-up at the same time as Visser but the Australian was already painfully familiar with his talent - Visser once scored a five-minute hat-trick against Johnson's Ospreys team.

Johnson said: "You only have to look at him; you can't put in what God left out and he was standing at the front of the queue when it came to athletic prowess. He's a gifted athlete.

"He will have an impact, there is no doubt about it. He has had a good start to his international career, but Tim's got to keep working on his strengths and take them to a new level because if he wants to be an international rugby player at the level we intend to get him, he's got to start developing and increasing his skills.

"He has got some gifts that I can't coach. But trust me, I'll take the credit for him when they do really well."

Johnson helped lead Scotland to victories over Australia, Fiji and Samoa in June after leaving Ospreys, but he believes the inner confidence of the players was the crucial factor in improving from a team that had lost all of their Six Nations games.

"Confidence is a funny thing in sport," Johnson said. "We had a remarkable win against Australia. Conditions suited us but it was really, really brave and that gives you impetus.

"Sometimes people can think about doing something, or it becomes instinctive. That little fine line is the difference between crossing the line or not doing so.

"So the reality is confidence. It's about completing. This team needs to complete, this team needs to be in competitions well into the game.

"We need to keep fighting and what was good about the summer is there were times when we went behind but we were always in the competition and we chanced our arm a couple of times and got the results.

"It's about understanding that you belong out there and understanding that when you're out there you can complete.

"You can't do it any other way - there is no magic wand."

One of those heavy defeats Johnson referred to was a 49-3 thrashing by the All Blacks on their most recent visit to Murrayfield in 2010, when Scotland conceded three tries from their own mistakes in the opening quarter.

Blair will win his 84th cap on Sunday but he will be no less on edge as he bids to help Scotland to their first victory over the tourists.

"Every game you play for Scotland there are nerves, there is excitement, there is wanting to do your country proud and wanting to do your family and friends proud, and that doesn't change," the former Scotland captain said.

"It doesn't change where you are playing or who you are playing against. When you have that Scotland jersey on, that's the drive behind you and it doesn't change no matter how many caps you have got."