Winning in Ireland and securing qualification for next year’s Rugby World Cup would be huge for Scottish Rugby.  

Before we qualified for the last World Cup, it had been 12 years since a Scotland team had made it, and that meant a whole generation of players never got the chance.  

When the squad set goals before the tournament, qualifying for the World Cup would have been one of them, so I’m sure it has been on people’s minds, but leading into the game, they can’t be thinking about that – it has to be all focus on the game.  

The first half of last week’s game in Italy was tense, and in previous Six Nations they might have let that overwhelm them, but they stuck to the gameplan and a couple of bits of individual brilliance with Lisa Thomson’s kick and Chloe Rollie’s try helped them get over the line.  

READ MORE: Five things we learned as late tries help Scotland to win in Italy

To get a second away win of the campaign was really positive.  

You’re never going to have a perfect performance – sometimes it is about finding a way to win. In previous years Scotland didn’t know what that was but they seem to have found that. Winning is a habit and we’re seeing that with the Scotland team.  

It’s impressive that Emma Wassell is back in the squad this weekend. After the couple of weeks she’s had, she’ll be playing from the heart. She’s a real leader within the group and I know they’ll be pleased to have her back.  

Scotland Rugby News: Emma Wassell will make her return against Ireland following the death of her motherEmma Wassell will make her return against Ireland following the death of her mother (Image: SNS)

People produce their best performances when they are playing for reasons other than just winning. They’ll be really happy to have her back in.  

Chloe Rollie misses out through suspension, and she will be frustrated. There’s no malice in the clear-out but the laws of the game are such that it was a red card.  

They’ve also lost Rhona Lloyd in the back three, but Coreen Grant has played well this Six Nations and Meryl Smith is back at 15, so those are not changes they won’t be able to cope with. 

READ MORE: 'Brilliant' Emma Wassell under no pressure, says Bryan Easson

Ireland are coming into this game off the back of a big defeat [88-10 to England], but Scotland will know, having been there in the past, that doesn’t define a team and it will only have lit a fire in Ireland’s belly.  

It also came off the back of a really good Irish performance against Wales which shows what they are capable of. It’ll be down to who performs on the day. 

Scotland Rugby News: Ireland were hammered by England at Twickenham, but will look to bounce back at home against ScotlandIreland were hammered by England at Twickenham, but will look to bounce back at home against Scotland (Image: PA)

If Scotland get the performance right, the other stuff will take care of itself. It would be a lot less stressful if they could qualify on Saturday than the way we did it through a series of play-offs, and I am expecting that to happen.  

When we were at the last World Cup, we could really feel a rise in the interest levels outside of the immediate women’s rugby community. We’ve got some incredible players and they deserve to be at the World Cup.