Greig Laidlaw one of six Scotland changes for France clash

Greig Laidlaw one of six Scotland changes for France clash

Greig Laidlaw one of six Scotland changes for France clash

Six changes bring back the reassuring presence of Greig Laidlaw, Ryan Wilson, Peter Horne, Grant Gilchrist and Sean Maitland, all senior players with some degree of leadership skill. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh Rugby) 4.

David Denton and Blair Kinghorn both come on to the replacements' bench, with the latter set for his worldwide debut.

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And they did just that, with tries from Sean Maitland and Huw Jones providing the flawless response after Teddy Thomas' blistering pace had twice cut them apart. The mercurial stand-off now has two of the squad's premier communicators and tacticians to guide him.

"He's back in form and it's a credit to him it is so quickly (after injury)".

Despite a slapdash display in Cardiff, Russell, who will succeed All Blacks great Dan Carter at French Top 14 side Racing 92 at the end of the season, has kept his place.

I think desperation began to kick in and one or two began thumbing for lifts. It's important whoever is playing inside and outside Finn are helping him through attack or defence.

That said, Scotland have generally had to wait 10 years between home wins over France in the Five/Six Nations - their last three have come in 1996, 2006 and 2016.

But Townsend wasn't getting away from the fact that some players had dropped to the bench or out of the 23 altogether for blunter reasons.

"We've got to approach it [the France match] in the same way we approached the Wales game".

The strength in depth they have is just something we as a country, naturally, will never be able to compete with. Jon Welsh (Newcastle Falcons) 19.

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Last year's encounter between the two sides at the Stade de France was ultimately decided by the boot of Camille Lopez who finished his afternoon's work with 17 points.

He said: "They were very unlucky".

In that time John Barclay has performed admirably in the captain's role, and Laidlaw is happy to lend his support and experience to the flanker and the rest of the team.

"It was a brutally physical game against them past year, there were a lot of collisions". Even with the injuries they have to their "first team" players some of the tries they scored were devastating, a lot created or scored by the players who had been brought in as replacements.

Then more and more cars just stopped. We're just trying to get on with it.

"They do though have some fantastic players and we know how hard a task it will be".

The challenge now for Barclay and his team-mates will not be any easier as they look to bounce back against the French.

We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website and bring you more relevant advertising. We will be looking to beat France this weekend, we will regroup and try to beat England and then Ireland and then Italy. "We were a lot more accurate than last week but still not quite there", he said.

"We, as a coaching group, and especially the players, believe that what we showed at the weekend wasn't a true reflection of what we are capable of and what we have done throughout 2017".

Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist and Ryan Wilson come in for Jon Welsh, Ben Toolis and Cornell du Preez in the forward pack.

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