Venue: Parc de France, Paris
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Neither of these two teams can boast about much in the last year of test rugby. Today they clash as being, as well as Italy, contenders for the competition’s Wooden Spoon.
France has gone from bad to worse. Their final inglorious outing was to be defeated by Argentina in front of their home crowd. Not a good look! One keeps waiting for that infamous display of outrageously fantastic rugby that only the French can surprise an opponent with (aka v New Zealand 1999 Rugby World Cup!). But of recent we have seen very little of that. Mind you there is a Rugby World Cup up for grabs this year. Who knows how the French will take that on.
The game against South Africa in June apart (Their planning was suicidal in accepting that fixture) Scotland have been playing some decent rugby under their new coach Vern Cotter. In the northern autumn series they defeated Argentina, played very well against the Kiwis and punished Tonga at Kilmarnock (revenge for their loss to the Islanders at Aberdeen in 2012).
Winning in Paris does not happen very often for Scotland. Improving though they may be it is difficult to plan against a French side that could burst on you with excitement.
The French will be desperate to prove their home fans wrong otherwise there might be a last minute ditching of a certain coach. What? In a Rugby World Cup year? I wouldn’t put that one past the French!
Last Five Encounters
08.03.2015 France 19-17 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
16.03.2013 France 23-16 in Paris (6 Nations)
26.02.2012 France 23-17 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
05.02.2011 France 34-21 in Paris (6 Nations)
07.02.2010 France 18-9 at Murrayfield (6 Nations)
France has dominated Scotland for the past decade. Scotland last defeated France in 2006 at Murrayfield 20-16. Scotland last defeated France in Paris in 1999. They won 36-22 and the 5 Nations Championship at the same time.
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table: Scotland 6th, France 11th
Europe Table: France 4th, Scotland 6th
IRB Ranking Points
France 79.66, France 78.78
Prediction: Scotland by 4 points
15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Edardo Thomas, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir,(Capt.) 5 Yoann Maestri,
4 Pascal Papé, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Alexandre Menini.
16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Eddy Ben Arous, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Rémi Lamerat.
Head Coach: Philippe Saint-André
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Thomas Seymour, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alexander Dunbar, 11 Timothy Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, Capt. 8 Johnathan Beattie, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Jonothan Gray, 4 Richard Gray,
3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Geoffrey Cross, 19 James Hamilton,
20 Alasdair Strokosch, 21 Samuel Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Douglas Fife.
Head Coach: Vern Cotter