Kenny Logan believes that if Scotland’s pack can get parity up front versus South Africa, then they have “a better, more inventive set of backs” that can cause problems for the opposition in their Rugby World Cup meeting on Sunday.
The showpiece event begins on Friday evening when France take on New Zealand in Pool A in Paris, but all Scottish supporters are focused on the Pool B clash with the reigning champions in Marseille.
South Africa are heading into the meeting as favourites having put New Zealand to the sword on August 25 at Twickenham and they are number two in the world with Scotland at five.
Head coach Jacques Nienaber named his Springboks matchday 23 early on Wednesday and it is looking very strong with No.8 Jasper Wiese, centres Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel and winger Cheslin Kolbe coming into the starting XV that did for the All Blacks.
It will take some effort for Gregor Townsend’s men to win, but Logan, who played in three World Cups and earned 70 caps for his country, told TRU: "If we can match them up front, I feel that Scotland have a better, more inventive set of backs.
"The likes of Finn Russell, the centre pairing of Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones and the back three of Duhan van der Merwe, Darcy Graham and Blair Kinghorn are at the top of their game and when they get on the front foot, Scotland can now play with a lot of flair.
"I really liked the way that Finn led things during the warm-up matches. He looks as settled and as confident as he has ever been, while Blair offers something different at full-back now and the way that he runs onto the ball at pace and comes into the line is really good to see.
"However, there is no getting away from it. South Africa do look very impressive, what they have added to their real power game is the ability to offload.
"That makes them even more dangerous than before. They are not going to fall away lightly in any match and they have strength in depth, so Scotland will have to put in their best performance.
"We do know that this Scotland team can beat anyone on their day if they click though, so there is certainly a chance and that would give them great momentum going into the rest of the tournament.
"To get anywhere in big events like this one you have to beat the best, so why not do it in the first game? Like everyone else, I am just massively excited about this tournament.”
Scotland may have the task of South Africa on their hands, but Logan himself is preparing for another challenge.
The 51-year-old former winger is gearing up for a 700-mile walk and cycle from Edinburgh to Paris with others - including a number of celebrities - between October 1st and 7th in a bid to raise £555,555 for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.
Logan and Doddie Weir’s wife, Kathy, are then set to deliver the match ball ahead of the Scotland-Ireland Pool B clash in the Stade de France.
"It will be tough, there is no doubt about that, but we want to raise as much money as we can in Doddie’s memory and we are very focused,” Logan said ahead of Kenny Logan's Rugby World Cup Challenge.
"When Doddie first told me about his MND diagnosis, I got really emotional and he said; 'Hey, it’s me that’s supposed to be upset!'
"I told family and some friends about my cancer [he was treated for prostate cancer last year], but didn’t feel I could tell Doddie. I felt too guilty, I thought why can my cancer be checked for and removed and his MND can’t?
Still got it ??— My Name'5 Doddie Foundation (@MNDoddie5) August 8, 2023
At halftime during the Scotland vs France match, @KennyLogan popped on his (fairly vintage) rugby boots to slot 4/5 placekicks - raising funds as part of his World Cup Challenge.
More about the challenge ??https://t.co/qcwwPPUKOc
?? - Scottish Rugby pic.twitter.com/ySFDXGbdPt
"When I did tell him, Doddie was annoyed at me for keeping it a secret, then he asked if I was going to be okay, and that was it.
"Doddie [who passed away in November 2022] and another great pal Tom Smith [the former Scotland player who passed away with colon cancer last April] had an incredible mindset in the toughest of circumstances.
"When you get hit by something like cancer or MND, you lose confidence and positivity, but they cracked on and didn’t let it affect them. Doddie was larger than life and that’s why he touched so many people all over the world.
"He was stubborn, but as soon as he realised he wouldn’t be able to help himself, he dedicated his time to helping others.
"This challenge is all for him and his memory and whenever I am struggling during it, I’ll think of him, dig in and have a smile.”
Logan’s cross-English Channel challenge will see him cover about 100 miles a day, with he and fellow fundraisers alternating between walking and cycling.
To find out more about Kenny Logan's Rugby World Cup Challenge and to donate, visit: http://kennylogansrwcchallenge.com/