Six is most definitely the magic number. This time of year is like Christmas, your birthday and honeymoon all rolled into one. The excitement is brimming over and, being a Scottish Rugby supporter, the hope is back. 

France and Ireland are still out in front as favourites, England and Wales are looking for a new era to begin, Italy are no longer taken for granted and Scotland? Well, we can, we could, we should, and we will see!

We all know that Lionel Messi is waking up on Six Nations Day wearing Finn Russell pyjamas, but can he deliver this year with the captain’s armband to match the Argentinian number 10? I think this is the year of the Finn. Rather than weigh him down, we’re about to see Finnball taken to a whole new level and he’s ready to fly. He has always been a leader, but now he gets to call the shots, with Toony’s blessing.

It’s no secret, the forwards have to generate ball to let him play, but I think Finn has got more. He can kick on poorer ball and he’ll find himself in the backfield to return kicks and bring others into the game when the field is broken up. He’ll have the freedom of knowing, the buck stops with him. I think he’ll play 80 minutes unless the result is decided before the whistle goes. It might take till the last play, but I guarantee, it’ll be a Finn highlights reel we’ll be watching to fill our time until Round two.

The back row looks like it has a lot of devil in it. Although Rory Darge is missing, I’m delighted to see Luke Crosbie start. The way he goes about his business is quiet, menacing and with a thirst for confrontation. He’ll be up for the battle at the breakdown, along with Jamie Ritchie. That will win penalties and create turnover ball for the backs to get excited and run at a disorganised defence. Matt Fagerson will get to be destructive with the ball in his hands and get the attack on the front foot.

READ MORE: Gary Graham laments the game that ended his Scotland career

The Greatest Schoeman is ready to produce a big performance in the Six Nations. He prides himself on his physicality and intensity and this will give energy to the pack. The scrum is like steak and red wine to the big man and he will need to get it right to apply pressure and win penalties but also ensure that Scotland can relieve pressure in their half. When he gets the ball, the crowd anticipates and the call of ‘SHOOOO’ is like fuel to the beast. I think he needs to get his hands on the ball close to the ruck and running off 9 to make a dent in the defence and open up time and space for Ben White and Russell to dictate the play.

Cardiff on a matchday is a special thing and the pilgrimage South from all points of Scotland has had me green with envy as I see social media flooded with pictures. But these are the best of times.

As has been the case for many years, the Under-20s kick off the Friday night and it is exciting to see so many talented players ready to burst onto the scene.

I predict a bright future for many of them, but I will be watching with particular interest (and pride) the progress of three lads I’ve known since they were at school. Robbie Deans at loosehead prop could, and might still become, a doctor or rocket scientist. But he’s chosen rugby. He’s benefiting from the mentoring of Pierre Schoeman and he loves the chores of a prop in only the way a true prop can. I don’t think props are made, they’re born.

Tom Currie at number 8 is following in the footsteps of his older brother Matthew at both Edinburgh and with Scotland. His appetite for work on the field is relentless. He tackles like a battle-hardened 60-cap back row and gets back to his feet ready to go again before the attack has time to consider what just hit them. A real student of the game and his leadership qualities will continue to grow as he absorbs everything with a quiet, considered determination.

He’s not Finn Russell or Lionel Messi, but he’s Isaac Coates. An incredible sportsman, his skill level is up there with Finn and he has a left boot like Lionel. Small, but physical with a BIG heart and he gives everything, then finds a bit more, and then he gives that too. He’s still learning, but the future is very, very bright.

Am I excited? Too right, after all… Happiness is Egg Shaped.