Scotland hooker Ross Ford is preferring his side's 2015 Rugby World Cup preparations to that of previous tournaments.
Set to play in his third World Cup after featuring in 2007 and 2011, the experienced number two is enjoying a greater focus on skills rather than fitness.
Head coach Vern Cotter's training sessions have been markedly different to what Ford experienced under Frank Hadden and Andy Robinson.
Ford added that the sessions, while still intense, were more enjoyable.
“We’re enjoying it a lot because it’s more skill-based,” Ford told The Scotsman.
“Vern made a good point in training the other day. He said: ‘Don’t take yourself seriously but take the job seriously’. He’s looking for boys to have a good time and have fun but still work hard at what we’re here to do. The boys take that seriously and respect the opportunity that we’ve got.
“In 2007, there wasn’t any skill work during the first five to six weeks – it was all fitness. Then in 2011, there was a bit more skill work added in earlier on. But this time, we’ve been skill-based right from the start.
“Even the strength and conditioning stuff is tailored towards being ready to play rugby – not just being massively strong under a weights bar. It’s about being able to work with bodies, wrestle them and throw them about, instead of just [working with] bits of steel.”
“And we’re right in there with game-based training. It’s still hard work but you don’t mind because you are working with a rugby ball as opposed to just running by yourself all the time – which gets a bit boring.
“It is the skill base that we need to get better at. There were times in the Six Nations that our skills let us down and, there’s no getting round it, that’s what will win you games