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Preview: Scotland v France

Preview: Scotland v France

Preview: Scotland v France

Scotland are looking to build on an opening round victory over Italy as they welcome France to Scottish Gas Murrayfield in the Summer Nations Series.

Gregor Townsend’s team for this weekend has a much more experienced aura about it, while Fabien Galthié has rolled the dice and given debuts to several youngsters as he finalises his side’s preparations for a World Cup on home soil.

In February, France came out as 32-21 victors in a hugely entertaining encounter when the sides met in Round 3 of the Guinness Six Nations and will hope for a similar outcome this time around.

Team news

Two and a half years on from his last international cap against the same opposition, Brice Dulin captains France on this trip to Edinburgh.

The full-back is an experienced head in a team with varying levels of international knowhow. There are debuts for Emilien Gailleton, Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Paul Boudehent, while Matthieu Jalibert is tasked with steering the ship from fly-half.

In for his first Test of the summer, Finn Russell captains a Scotland team which is almost completely different to that which beat Italy last weekend.

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One of 13 changes, the playmaker is joined in the backline by Sione Tuipulotu, who has been named as vice-captain, while there are returns for Pierre Schoeman and Zander Fagerson at prop.

Ones to watch

With injury to Jonny Gray ruling him out of the Rugby World Cup, it is clear that there is a spot in the second-row up for grabs. Gregor Townsend may have to look no further than his brother, Richie Gray.

Standing at 6ft 10in tall, the 33-year-old is a presence at the set-piece and will be looking to build on the international resurgence he enjoyed in this year’s Guinness Six Nations.

At the opposite end of the spectrum to Gray is France debutant Emilien Gailleton.

The top try-scorer in the Top 14 last term, the flying Pau back count have well been plying his trade in South Africa this summer with the France U20s, but has impressed Fabien Galthié and now gets a chance to stake his claim for World Cup selection.

Stat attack

  • Scotland (91.7%) and France (89.0%) had the two highest tackle success rates in this year’s Six Nations.
  • France have won each of their last two Test matches against Scotland after winning just one in four against them previously.
  • France have won six of their last seven Test matches away from home, including their most recent by a margin of 43 points (53-10 v England).


Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell (C), 9 Ben White, 1 Pierre Schoeman, 2 Ewan Ashman, 3 Zander Fagerson, 4 Richie Gray, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 6 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 8 Jack Dempsey

Replacements: 16 Dave Cherry, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 WP Nel, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Rory Darge, 21 George Horne, 22 Cameron Redpath, 23 Ollie Smith.

France: 15 Brice Dulin (C), 14 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 13 Emilien Gailleton, 12 Yoram Moefana, 11 Ethan Dumortier, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 1 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 3 Demba Bamba, 4 Cameron Woki, 5 Bastien Chalureau, 6 Paul Boudehent, 7 Sekou Macalou, 8 Yoan Tanga

Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Antoine Hastoy, 23 Arthur Vincent.

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