Given his status as one of only two Scots to have played on three Calcutta Cup winning teams in the professional era, Jason White picked the perfect time to announce his involvement in a new charity venture designed to inspire the nation’s youngsters to get more active.

The former back-row forward shares that distinction with long-time international colleague Chris Paterson, both having played in the victories in 2000, 2006 and 2008, even the most recent of which was beginning to feel like a long time ago when the current team bridged the 10-year gap on Saturday with Scotland’s first victory since.

The charity he is championing, Sporting Start, has been set up in memory of White’s long-time friend Martin Macari, a fellow Watsonians rugby player who was also a keen cricketer and squash player, but who lost a battle with cancer last year.

The older of the two by nine years, he helped White learn what he described as ‘a lot of life lessons’ and he fondly remembers the night of his debut, which also brought that first win against England “quite vividly celebrating with Martin in the Threequarters bar. He was a real constant.”

Described by his friend as having been “a teetotaller, life and soul of the party but he never drank at all,” Macari would clearly have revelled in Saturday’s victory, just as he did in those previous successes, but White says this Scotland team may be better equipped to provide on-going inspiration to the nation than those he played in.

“They are the best placed team we have had in a generation. The best in 10 years. I was part of the previous generation. Of this group, I played with Ross Ford and John Barclay, but my generation is now past,” said White. 

“At the moment we have a generation of players who lost to the All Blacks by a whisker, beat England after they have had a 24 out of 25 run. This is the team that needs to go away and win.

“We have strength in depth at the moment. There is still the issue if Finn Russell is not on his game then who do we have behind him? But you look at the tightheads coming back, the second row, the hookers. Alex Dunbar wasn’t playing. Mark Bennett wasn’t playing. 

“We have great scrum-halves in Greig [Laidlaw], Ali Price, Henry Pyrgos, George Horne, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Nathan Fowles.  I am a lot more optimistic, but we have got ahead of ourselves too many times.”

With nine victories in their last 10 home matches, the next big task is to do what the teams he was associated never could by winning elsewhere in championship matches. In the course of his own fine career, Scotland achieved just a solitary Six Nations victory away from home, anywhere other than in Rome, back in 2002 against Wales.

This time around they could, with victory in Dublin, move within range of claiming a first championship title since 1999 and White reckons only the players themselves will have a real sense of what they can achieve. 

“Not many people predicted we would beat England, but it’s the guys in the squad that matter,” he said.

However, as White alluded to, there have been many false dawns during his own career, not least his first season as captain of the national team when victories over France and England at Murrayfield, followed by a success in Rome, took Scotland into the top half of the Championship table with a winning record, for the only time in Six Nations history so far.

“That’s what hurt me against Wales. It was the hope and expectation that we were going to do well. It is the hope that really kills you,” he said ruefully.

There could, of course, be much easier places to visit than Dublin for what is, as well as a crucial match in this year’s tournament, a battle for third place in the world rankings, the position currently occupied by Ireland, with Scotland poised to leapfrog them should they produce another upset.

However White echoed the view expressed by his former team-mate Gregor Townsend, Scotland’s head coach, that the team does not necessarily need to win to demonstrate that it has made progress since this competition got underway, saying: “If we don’t beat Ireland everybody can handle that if we go toe to toe with them and play the kind of rugby we can.”