Zander Fagerson hoping Scotland can rise to the challenge of facing New Zealand

Zander Fagerson has called on Scotland to embrace the challenge of facing New Zealand on Sunday.

The Scots have never beaten the All Blacks, although the Glasgow prop was part of a team that went agonisingly close to defeating them when they lost 22-17 in their last meeting in 2017.

New Zealand head to BT Murrayfield on the back of a five-game winning streak, including Saturday’s 55-23 triumph over Wales in Cardiff.

Fagerson hopes his team – who produced an unconvincing display in their 28-12 win over Fiji at the weekend – can rise to the occasion.

“These opportunities to go up against southern hemisphere teams don’t come around that often so when they do come along, you’ve got to take your chance,” he said.

“We played them five years ago and I was lucky enough to be involved in that. I really enjoyed it and we should have won that game.

“I’m looking forward to next week. It’ll be a tough challenge but it’s one we’ll be up for.

“It’ll be exciting. It’s another opportunity to express ourselves and hopefully get a win for Scotland.”

Fagerson was just 21 and only a year into his Scotland career when he first faced the All Blacks on a day when the hosts mounted a dramatic late fightback and had a chance to nick a historic victory when Stuart Hogg was thwarted by Beauden Barrett at the death.

“I’ve got a lot of positivity when I think back to that game,” said Fagerson.

“I think just coming out for the anthems and the whole vibe of the day was amazing.

“That whole first half we were on our game and definitely took the game to them. After that last five minutes I was absolutely gutted.”