Chris Cusiter insists Scotland can shock defending Six Nations champions Wales.
Scotland, who finished joint-bottom in the championship last season, face an opening with the Grand Slammers at Murrayfield on Sunday.
But British Lions scrum-half Cusiter believes Frank Hadden's men will topple the top side of 2008. He said: "Our chances of beating Wales are good. Obviously they will be the favourites for the championship because they've got some great players.
"But we showed really positive signs in the Autumn and should have beaten South Africa. The first game at Murrayfield will be huge and that will set up the rest of the tournament.
"The opening game is the best time to face Wales. It's so important to get momentum and being at home will give us the advantage."
Cusiter starred in Scotland's last Six Nations triumph over the dragons' in the wind-swept capital in a 21-9 victory back in 2007.
And the scrum-half reckons a resurgent Scottish nation have the strength upfront to cause an upset again - and get their campaign off to a winning start.
Cusiter said; "We beat Wales at home two years ago and we all know Murrayfield is a tough place to visit.
"We've got a strong forward pack with Euan Murray, Jim Hamilton and Nathan Hines playing particularly well and we're capable of being really physical.
"We will need that to compete because we can do well against anyone in the Six Nations.
"And the players are really confident. Glasgow's win over Toulouse in the Heineken Cup was great for Scottish rugby. They were brilliant and it's their best ever result.
"I'd also been getting stick from my Perpignan team-mates about Castres winning at half-time against Edinburgh but they came back and won. It's a real sign that Scottish teams are moving forward."
The Perpignan star, who is team-mates with crocked All Black megastar Dan Carter, is returning home after signing a three-year deal with Glasgow Warriors.
Cusiter won the last of his 39 caps as a replacement in last season's defeat to Ireland and is desperate for a return to the Test scene.
Cusiter said: "It's been a while since I played for Scotland and although there's a long way to go - I've still got ambitions for this summer's tour with the Lions.
"Four years ago I was playing regularly for Scotland and went on the tour to New Zealand but if I go this time it will be through the back door.
"But all I want to do is to play well for Perpignan and get involved in the Six Nations."
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
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