France v Scotland, Six Nations
Six Nations Preview: France v Scotland
Alex Perry
February 6, 2015
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Tournaments/Tours: Six Nations
Teams: France | Scotland

Scotland spent most of last season's Six Nations on the wrong end of the scoreline - including a 20-0 drubbing by England in their own back yard. But they put up a good fight against France, going down to a last-minute penalty. Can they go one better this time?

Team news

France have handed starts to South African-born duo Rory Kockott and Scott Spedding, while Teddy Thomas also returns. Castres player Kockott, who won his first three caps coming off the bench for France in the autumn internationals, will make his first start at scrum half for his country having been preferred to Morgan Parra, while Spedding will start at fullback in favour of fit-again Brice Dulin. Thomas, meanwhile, returns to the fold having been left out of France's last Test against Argentina for missing a team meeting. Veteran Nicolas Mas has been replaced by Rabah Slimani at tight-head.

Scotland have made just two changes to the side that saw off Tonga in November with Mark Bennett and Euan Murray recalled. Bennett, Blair Cowan and Finn Russell will make their Six Nations debuts with Greig Laidlaw skippering the side from scrum-half. There are 11 Glasgow players in the squad with four featuring in the back five alongside Edinburgh's Tim Visser.

Key head-to-head

The match-up in the centres should be fascinating with the guile and ballast of Wesley Fofana and Mathieu Bastareaud coming up against Bennett and Alex Dunbar, two Glasgow centres with an ever-growing reputation as formidable options in the midfield. The battle of the gainline could go some way to determining who wins this with the centres likely to offer as many fireworks as anywhere else on the field.

Key stats

*Scotland have beaten France just once in 16 attempts since the turn of the century.

*Scotland's last victory on French soil was way back in 1999, in that year's Five Nations.

*France's current winning streak of eight - dating back to 2007 - is the longest in the history of this fixture.


Such is France's domination in this fixture in recent years, they are huge favourites at 1/5 with Unibet. But if you fancy Scotland to finally end that losing run, you can get them at 13/4.


A clear, dry afternoon expected in Paris on Saturday, with temperatures hovering around five degrees.


France should take this by 10 points, pulling away in the final 15 minutes.

Rory Kockott makes his first start for France © Getty Images

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