France v Scotland live: score and latest updates from the Six Nations
Start at 15:00 GMT
Hamish Watson replaces Edinburgh teammate Luke Crosby in the only change to Scotland’s starting line-up in tonight’s Guinness Six Nations clash with France in Paris.
Gregor Townsend remained loyal to the majority of the team that started a decisive victory over Wales at BT Murrayfield two weeks ago, but Crosby dropped out of the 23-man team altogether.
Watson, a member of the 2021 British and Irish Lions squad, has been a regular starter for the national team but has missed his first two matches against Wales and England as he has been short of playing time since the fall due to concussion problems.
Changes were always expected to be kept to a minimum, though it was speculated that Blair Kinghorn, who came off the bench against the Welsh to make a positive impact by scoring a goal, might get a nod to Stuart Hogg, who was forced to leave early. head injury.
However, Hogg is deemed fit to play and Exeter’s full-back retains the No. 15 jersey, with Kinghorn once again listed as a substitute.
Glasgow scrum-half Ali Price and Edinburgh’s Sam Skinner, who did not feature in any of the Six Nations fixtures on Matchday 23, were named among the replacements.
Price, a regular starter throughout Townsend’s reign, was a notable lapse in the first two matches of the campaign after a dip in form, but he was reinstated at the expense of fellow Glasgow scrumman George Horne. outside.
Gloucester centre-forward Chris Harris, another player from recent seasons, missed the number 23 after coming on as a substitute in his first two games.
France: Ramos; Penot, Fiku, Mofana, Dumortier; Ntamak, DuPont (Captain); Bayle, Marchand, Atonio, Flamant, Willemse, Jelonch, Olivon, Aldritt.
Substitutions: Barlo, Ward, Falateya, Taofifenua, Cross, Makalu, Cuyo, Zhaliber.
Scotland: Hogg; Stein, Jones, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe; Russell, White; Schumann, Turner, Z. Fagerson, R. Gray, Gilchrist, Ritchie (Captain), Watson, M. Fagerson
Substitutions: Brown, Bhatti, W. P. Nel, J. Gray, Skinner, Dempsey, Price, Kinghorn.
“We know what to expect from Russell”
Rafael Ibanez insists France is ready for the threat from Scottish mascot Finn Russell as they bid to get the Six Nations Guinness Challenge back on track after losing to Ireland last time.
The manager of the French team believes that the fact that many Les Bleus players know the 30-year-old, who plays for the Parisian rugby club Racing 92, can help keep him under control at the Stade de France today.
“Our players know him well because they have played against him and some have played with him, so they know exactly what to expect,” Ibanez said. “He’s a very talented player.”
France suffered their first loss since July 2021 when they lost to Ireland two weeks ago and Ibanez are hoping the home advantage will help them stop a perfect start for the Scots.
“Scotland did so well in the first two games that we understand the danger and talent of their team and their confidence,” he said.
“But we’re playing in Paris and it’s been three and a half months since we last played here, so we’re happy to play against such a good team in front of our fans.”
Captain Antoine Dupont urged his French colleagues to prove that Ireland’s defeat was just a flash and not a sign that his team had gone astray after a flawless performance in 2022.
“All the series are designed for one day,” he said. “Ireland is currently the number one team in the world.
“We lost and should have played better, but there is nothing catastrophic about that. We are not going to drop everything and revolutionize what we have done so far. We just have to do it better.”
“We are in a state of mind that we have not known for almost two years, but we have been in this situation before and have been able to bounce back.”