RBS Six Nations: Scotland v France match preview

Last Updated: 08/03/14 7:23am

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France will be aiming for an eighth successive victory over Scotland in Saturday's Six Nations clash at Murrayfield.

The last time Scotland overcame Les Bleus was eight years ago in 2006 when they secured a 20-16 success.

France come into the game on the back of a humiliating 27-6 loss to Wales while Scotland clinched a last-gasp 21-20 success in Italy last time out.

Scotland head coach Scott Johnson has recalled Kelly Brown. The captain was dropped following the opening loss against Ireland and did not feature in either the 20-0 home defeat by England or the 21-20 victory over Italy last month.

The flanker has been given the nod ahead of Chris Fusaro, while tight-head Geoff Cross will be on from the start following his fine display off the bench in the victory in Rome.

Edinburgh prop Alasdair Dickinson has not recovered sufficiently from the calf injury he sustained against Italy last month. His place among the replacements is taken by 26-times-capped Moray Low.

"I think Saturday is a game that will really suit Kelly. Unlike other sides in the competition, France play above the ground a bit and there will be a lot of mauling," Johnson told the SRU's official website.

Important game

"I think the pitch suits Kelly too and I've picked a side that can win the game and that's most important.

"The other back-row change is slightly enforced as Ryan Wilson has not been well at the start of this week with a tonsillitis bug and it was important we were not hampered in our training so Dents (David Denton) comes straight in."

France have made seven changes to their line-up with head coach Phillipe Saint-Andre forced to change half his team due to injuries and suspensions.

Toulon centre Maxime Mermoz returns to partner Mathieu Bastereaud in midfield, with Wesley Fofana ruled out through injury. On the left wing Toulouse star Maxime Medard comes in for Hugo Bonneval.

Racing Metro scrum-half Maxime Machenaud replaces Jean-Marc Doussain. Up front there is an entirely new back row with Sebastien Vahaamahina, Alexandre Lapandry, and Damien Chouly replacing the injured Yannick Nyanga, Wenceslas Lauret, and the suspended Louis Picamoles.

"Some of the changes are due to injuries like those of Dimitri Szarsewski, Yannick Nyanga, Wesley Fofana. But when you leave out some of those who had been starting, it is either a punishment due to their performances or their lack of self-control," said Saint-Andre.

"The performance of the players needs to be called into question and we are expecting a response so that our supporters can be proud of their team at Murrayfield. We can still win the tournament, which a lot of people forget."

Scotland: 15 Hogg, 14 Seymour, 13 Dunbar, 12 Scott, 11 Lamont, 10 Weir, 9 Laidlaw; 1 Grant, 2 Lawson, 3 Cross, 4 Gray, 5 Hamilton, 6 Beattie, 7 Brown, 8 Denton.

Replacements: 16 Ford, 17 Low, 18 Murray, 19 Swinson, 20 Wilson, 21 Cusiter, 22 Taylor, 23 Evans.

France: 15 Dulin, 14 Huget, 13 Bastareaud, 12 Mermoz, 11 Medard, 10 Plisson, 9 Machenaud, 1 Dominco, 2 Mach, 3 Mas, 4 Pape, 5 Maestri, 6 Vahaamahina, 7 Lapandry, 8 Chouly.

Replacements: 16 Guirado, 17 Debaty, 18 Slimani, 19 Flanquart, 20 Claassen, 21 Doussain, 22 Tales, 23 Fickou.

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