Scrum-half Ben White believes Scotland can learn from the disappointment of their early World Cup exit and mount a Six Nations title challenge.

White, a mainstay of the side since his try-scoring debut in the Calcutta Cup triumph two years ago, is in contention to play Wales this weekend despite a shoulder injury picked up playing for Toulon at the weekend.

If he gets the opportunity to play at the Principality Stadium, it would help White put behind him a difficult World Cup that ended with the 25-year-old left out of the team for the pool decider against Ireland.

His preparations for that tournament had not been plain sailing either, with an ankle injury picked up playing for London Irish - White's final game for the club before it collapsed into administration - casting doubt over his fitness. 

The scrum-half returned in time for the World Cup training camp, but a recurrence of the problem in the first warm-up fixture against Italy made the Leicester Tigers academy product a doubt for the global showpiece. 

However, he returned to play in the final preparation match against Georgia, with 50 minutes there enough to earn a place in the final squad.

READ MORE: Scrum-half Ben White named in Scotland starting line-up

Nevertheless, he admitted it had been a “frustrating” spell. "I got injured in the last game for London Irish, worked hard to get back fit during pre-season, and 20 minutes in [against Italy] I did the same thing again.

“That was a bit of a kick in the teeth, but that’s the nature of the beast – you have ups and downs. I didn’t have the perfect preparation, but it’s made me realise that I have to just enjoy the opportunities I get.”

For much of the past two years, White has usurped 2021 Lion Ali Price in the scrum-half pecking order, with George Horne largely confined to a specialist impact role from the bench.

Having started every match of last season’s Six Nations, White could not have envisaged his World Cup comprising just 113 minutes.

A starter in the defeat to South Africa, White then kept the role for the win over Tonga. He was left out of the side for the 84-0 hammering of Romania, all of which pointed to involvement of some kind in the showdown with Ireland.

But it was not to be. Ali Price, the starter against the Romanians, kept the number nine shirt and with Horne again asked to bring his trademark high-tempo game from the bench, White had to watch on from the stands.

“It was disappointing not to play against Ireland. I wanted to do everything I could to get the win for the team,” he admitted.

White didn’t have long to dwell on that disappointment. The collapse of London Irish saw the scrum-half snapped up by three-time European champions Toulon and following Scotland's early World Cup exit, he was straight to work on the French Riviera.

Scotland Rugby News:

“I was in Toulon the day after the Ireland game and I trained on the Monday. It was about what I could get better at and I just wanted to get going again.

"Moving clubs, I also wanted to show them I was ready to learn the way they wanted to do things.

"It’s been a busy couple of months, but it’s been exciting. It was great not to dwell too much, but to reflect and move on.”

Now he believes Scotland have put their World Cup heartache to rest and can learn from their mistakes when they kick off their Six Nations campaign against Wales in Cardiff.

“We’re confident of our ability and we’ve been playing some great rugby. “Coming up short against those big teams at the World Cup is going to put us in a great position to take on Wales at the Principality.

“We know it will be a big challenge – we haven’t won there for a while – but I think the disappointment of the World Cup has given us extra motivation to make sure we start this campaign well.”

Scotland have won their opening match of the championship for the past three years, and White knows getting off to a good start – and ending the 22-year wait for a win in Cardiff – is essential if Scotland are to mount a title challenge.

Scotland Rugby News: Scrum-half Ben White crosses for a try on his Scotland debut against England in 2022. Scrum-half Ben White crosses for a try on his Scotland debut against England in 2022. (Image: SNS Group)

“Momentum is so important in any competition, but especially a Six Nations where it’s only five matches. If you don’t start well there’s not that much recovery time."

Scotland go into the championship looking to build on a third-place finish last year. White believes this can be the year Scotland mount a serious title challenge. 

“We wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t think we had a chance of winning it. Success for us is winning the tournament."