Why Rory Best's even more wary of Scotland in 2017

Ireland captain speaks to Newstalk's Dave McIntrye ahead of the 2017 Six Nations

Rory Best, Ireland, Six Nations

Ireland captain Rory Best at the launch of the 2017 RBS Six Nations Championship at The Hurlingham Club in London today ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Rory Best feels club form is a reason why Ireland will have to be particularly wary when they head to Murrayfield to face Scotland in the opening Six Nations game on February 4th.

Glasgow Warriors have reached the quarter finals of the 2016-17 European Rugby Champions Cup, while fellow Scottish side Edinburgh are into the last eight of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Ireland captain Best is coming off a 2016 when he won his 100th cap and skippered Ireland to a win each against the three southern hemisphere giants of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa within the same calendar year.

But the form of the Scottish provincial sides has not gone unnoticed in the Ireland camp.

"We along with probably every other nation in the Six Nations is on a bit of a high and it's important that we use stuff from 2016 in the right way and that's to try and push forward," he told Off The Ball's Dave McIntyre at the launch of the 2017 RBS Six Nations Championship at The Hurlingham Club in London.

Ireland captain Rory Best at the launch of the 2017 RBS Six Nations Championship at The Hurlingham Club in London today ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"Because to go to Murrayfield and win we're going need a performance of the level of the New Zealand game and probably even better because to go to Murrayfield is a really tough challenge because they're coming off the back of Glasgow and Edinburgh qualifying for their respective quarter finals and the way they performed in the Autumn as well... really should have beaten Australia and Argentina.

"So they're a side that you've seen the improvement over the last couple of years and they're going to want to put a big marker down early on. So we need to make sure that we prepare in a way that we make sure we put our own marker down."

Leinster and Munster have both also enjoyed a good season in Europe, although Best's Ulster failed to advance from their pool.

However, a fresh start in another European competition - albeit in an international sense - is something the Ireland captain is welcoming.

"We've obviously had Leinster, Munster and Connacht coming in, two of them off the back of a quarter final and another [Connacht] with three minutes in that game and they could have had a quarter final. The difference with the Ulster boys, it just has been a change-up for us. It's a different environment," he said.

"So for us, here's a competition. We really disappointed in Europe. We're out of that. Well, we're now into another European competition if you like, where we have a clean slate and a real opportunity to push forward and be part of something special."