It was clear following this year's Six Nations that Scotland needed some left-field solutions ahead of the World Cup. Conservative thinking wasn't going to cut it.
Fortunately, their coach has obliged.
The Scottish team will head to a training camp in Font Romeu in the Pyrenees later this week. They will do the normal things presumably - training, fitness work, and they will listen to a talk by a hostage negotiation specialist.
Yes. A hostage negotiation specialist.
No mickey mouse hostage negotiation specialist either (they are ten-a-penny obviously). No, this guy is serious. His name is Eric Blondeau, a negotiator with the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group.
Negotiators in this department were involved in hostage situation such as the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
He is being drafted in to help the Scottish layers with their decision-making. Vern Cotter has leant on Mr. Blondeau's expertise before when he was Clermont coach.
Cotter told the Scotsman:
There’s a chap who’ll be coming to meet us in France called Eric Blondeau, who has worked in hostage negotiations and with the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN), which is the French SAS equivalent.
He has a lot of experience in traumatic, or let’s say difficult, decision-making situations and he’ll come and speak to a few of the players.
The aim of the week will be improve Scottish players' decision-making under pressure.