Venue: Murrayfield Date: Sunday 8th March Kick Off: 15:00 GMT
Scotland will aim to put an end to France’s Grand Slam dream this afternoon, as the two sides face off in Edinburgh for the penultimate round of the Six Nations Championship.
This revitalised French side which is figure headed by 20 year old Fly Half Romain Ntamack, son of former French International Emile Ntamack, are unbeaten in the championship after seeing off England, Italy and Wales convincingly.
Scotland, however, despite losing out to England and Ireland, showed their potential in both games, losing narrowly, on both accounts losing by 7 points. They then dismissed Italy in Rome without conceding a point and avoiding any controversy regarding Coronavirus.
France have seen a huge improvement within their ranks this year, and we can only put it down to the addition of Ex-Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards, former Wigan Warriors Rugby League player. He helped Wales produce an impressive defense record from 2017 through to the World Cup last year.
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has made three changes to the starting side that beat Italy two weeks ago. Hooker Fraser Brown, Second row Grant Gilchrist and Back Rower Nick Haining have all come in for Stuart McInally, Ben Toolis and Magnus Bradbury respectively. Uncapped Kyle Steynhas been named on the bench and Worcester Warriors Duncan Weir will look to make his first appearance under Townsend as Scotland once again rely on Adam Hastings to run the show at 10.
The key battle for me in this match will be in the fly half jerseys. Both young 10’s boast impressive elusive running styles of play and also have the pedigree to back it up. Both players are members of elite sporting family’s, Romain Ntamack, who’s father played 46 times for Les Bleus, scoring an impressive 27 tries in that time. Then Adam Hastings happens to be the son of none other than Scottish points scoring machine Gavin Hastings, who scored a huge 667 points in 61.
Scotland team: 15-Stuart Hogg (capt); 14-Sean Maitland, 13-Chris Harris, 12-Sam Johnson 11-Blair Kinghorn; 10-Adam Hastings 9-Ali Price; 1-Rory Sutherland, 2-Fraser Brown, 3-Zander Fagerson, 4-Scott Cummings, 5-Grant Gilchrist, 6-Jamie Ritchie 7-Hamish Watson, 8-Nick Haining
Replacement: 16-Stuart McInally, 17-Allan Dell, 18-Willem Nel, 19-Sam Skinner, 20-Magnus Bradbury, 21-George Horne, 22-Duncan Weir, 23-Kyle Steyn
Framce team: 15-Anthony Bouthier; 14-Damian Penaud, 13-Virimi Vakatawa, 12-Arthur Vincent, 11-Gael Fickou; 10-Romain Ntamack, 9-Anthony Dupont; 1-Jefferson Poirot, 2-Julien Marchand, 3-Mohamed Haouas, 4-Bernard Le Roux, 5-Paul Willemse, 6-Francois Cros, 7-Charles Ollivon (capt), 8-Gregory Alldritt
Replacements: 16-Camille Chat, 17-Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18-Demba Bamba, 19-Romain Taofifenua, 20-Dylan Cretin, 21-Baptiste Serin, 22-Mathieu Jalibert, 23-Thomas Ramos