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Scotland Team to face France

Ryan Wilson - pic © Al Ross
Ryan Wilson - pic © Al Ross

So post cull here is a team that looks pretty close to the top side available lining up to face France in Paris this Saturday. There’s reasonable heft on the bench as well as the experience of the Big Stroker and Sean Lamont. Pete Horne will be wrapped in cotton rule (as will Stuart Hogg) but he’s the sort of impact/game-changer we should see on the bench during the World Cup.

Scotland team to play France: Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (captain); Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Willem Nel, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, Ryan Wilson, John Hardie, David Denton.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Jon Welsh, Tim Swinson, Alasdair Strokosch, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Duncan Weir, Sean Lamont.

UPDATE: here’s the French team they will line up against:

France: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Damien Chouly, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous

Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Bernard le Roux, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Alexandre Dumoulin

24 Responses

  1. Looking good, and looking forward to seeing what they can do. Glad to see Maitland and Seymour back in. Maitland’s going to need a few games to get back on form.

  2. Anybody heard any mutterings about where Hardie might go after the world cup? Would have thought we’d have heard something before now if the two pro sides had been interested. Would be good to keep him in Scotland.

    1. I don’t think he’ll remain in Scotland. He finally got out of his Highlanders contract long after both pro-sides budgets were committed so the SRU are covering his contract through the world cup. Presumably, when English and French clubs see him smash his way through the SA and Samoan packs there will be a decent queue to add him to their squads. I’d guess he’ll end up in France. Good to get a superstar into the Scotland team and not have to pay his salary anyway!

    2. an ideal scenario would be edinburgh and he could join up with manu,… they could chop a few of the journeymen they have on the books.
      But aye, he’ll hopefully get on the books somewhere in the aviva or top 14. Outside shot, maybe leicester?

    3. I dont think he’s needed in our pro sides. Yes hes an exceptional player, but he needs to play regular rugby, as do the others already at glasgow and Edinburgh. Edinburgh have great strength in depth: 6-du preez and coman 7- watson and grant 8-manu and denton, with bradbury and ritchie pushing too. Glasgow do too: 6-harley and wilson 7- fusaro, favaro and blake 8- strauss, ashe and low. Id like to see hardie in england, i think they’re structured better and the players are less exploited than in france. Perhaps Leicester, they’re missing a quality 7 after losing salvi to exeter.

    4. Would be nice to see him in the capital but Roddy Grant has a cheer squad almost equal to Barclay’s in it’s fanaticism. Could you imagine the wailing and teeth gnashing if he replaced him?
      I’m not sure Edinburgh really need him either. I’m sure an English or French team will snap him up.

    1. It does but that is for the best as it’ll be a decent barometer of where we stand heading into test matches against the massive SA and Samoan packs. We really can’t afford any injuries to Russell, Bennett, or the front row. God this is going to be nerve-wracking for all the wrong reasons.

      1. I think we need one more game as a high level hit out for the (more or less) first 15 and this is it. If/when there are knocks it allows four weeks recovery before SA. Hopefully there’ll be nothing more serious. I am intrigued to know what BVC’s strategy will be for the tournament proper. Surely he won’t try and go full strength the whole way? I am guessing he will go for a ‘strong enough’ squad against Japan and USA featuring Weir, Horne, Vernon, Maitland in the backs with Russell, Bennett, Hogg saved for the latter matches. With the front row I just don’t know – are the second string good enough to tackle the Japan and USA front 3s? I’m not with those that call for us to put out the second string against SA. I think we should put out our strongest team and go for it. I think to build and preserve the mentality and pride of these players we have to go out there to slay giants.

      2. I read your comment, matto, in jeor mormonts (game of thrones) voice in the bank of scotland advert, haha. But yeah i agree, the front row is going to be tricky, especially considering the first choice is really excellent, and after that we’re struggling

    2. The french back row of Picamoles, Chouly and Dusattoir look very strong. If Picamoles can be kept quiet, then we have a chance to beat France I think.
      The front row isn’t their strongest and they’re not 1st choices. The 25 stone Antonio isn’t playing and isn’t on the bench. He almost beat us singlehandedly in the 6N.
      So, a good chance for the front row to show their strength.
      Also very happy that Michalak is playing at 10 rather than Trinh Duc who isn’t even in the squad. Always saw Michalak as an area of real weakneess for France. He is flaky and makes all manner of mistakes if he’s put under pressure.
      Bastareud is playing, so the shoulders of Matt Scott and Mark Bennett are likely to be tested. They’d better be onto him quickly.

      1. Thats what I liked about Horne.His line speed is fantastic. If Scott can replicate that them this may prove to be an edge of the seat afair.

    3. Matto, I don’t think we can go into the SA and Samoa games having played an under strength squad with the first choice players not match fit. Plus, we’re not good enough that we can expect our fringe players to beat both of these sides. Wouldn’t surprise me if we play the reserves against SA as the chances of winning that game are slim and we should concentrate our efforts on the realistically winnable ties.

      1. It’s a fair enough opinion Andy, but I disagree on this one. Front-row aside (and that’s a tricky one I’ll admit) I don’t really see the remaining 31 as fringe players; I would have some faith in almost any combination of 4 – 15 to be able to match the USA and Japan. We have beaten, or gone toe to toe with, SA a couple of times in the last few years and I think it would be a backward step to not give them our best. It’s unfortunate that Samoa are last, as having them 3rd would have been ideal, but I just can’t get into negative strategies. Luckily I have nothing to do with theses decisions :-), but I will be very interested to see how BVC chooses to play it. We’ll know on Sunday how the pre-season strategy has worked out and I do wonder if he’ll also name a close to first 15 squad to open the campaign against Japan with the hope of building momentum, I doubt it, but you never know.

  3. I don’t think it’s a case of wrapping in cotton wool (“rule”? – what’s Rory talking about?). Maitland needs game time as does Seymour and to a lesser extent Visser. Bennett and Scott need to play together again, and as Lamont can cover both wing and centre he’s the obvious bench-man.
    All this means no places for Hogg and Horne, irrespective of whether they need protecting.
    Very excited about this game. Could (should) be a humdinger!

    1. I believe that Hogg and Horne have minor injuries which also adds to the reason why we don’t see them on the team sheet.

      I am slightly concerned about our bench. Does anyone else have that uneasy feeling?

  4. He doesn’t actually qualify under the residency rules until after the World Cup starts and four days (I think) before the Japan game.

  5. Like the look of the team but as has been said before I am just going to be praying for no injury’s. This close to the WC and with such a strong squad out, any big injury would be devastating.

    Will be looking forward to the Scott/Bennett combo as we don’t get to see too much of that, and also will be nice to see Maitland at 15 (still haven’t seen too much from him).

    Come on Scotland!

  6. Was just looking at Planet Rugby site, where they have a voting predictor for the match today.
    A whopping 39% of voters say France by between 11-20 points, 31% say France between 1=9 points, and 7% say France by more than 21 points.
    21% think Scotland by between 1-9 points.
    Personally, I’d be dissapointed if Scotland didn’t win this by 1-9 points, but although I fight hard to be rational where Scotland are concerned, it doesn’t always work.

  7. Whenever I see a France line up I think ‘help ma boab’. If they play at their collective best it’s a tough old challenge for any team. It is a great test for our lads though. Hopefully they can combine physicality and flair and match Les Bleus. I also hope Seymour and Maitland aren’t too rusty.

    On a separate note – great result for Edinburgh last night! Manu was all everywhere and Du Preez was magic in setting up both the tries. Toolis was very physical (at least in the early stages). It was a pretty scrappy game to be fair, but brilliant to open with a win against one of the big guns, and great to see quite a few young uns starting for Edinburgh. Nice brace for Hoyland to. That’s three good results on the bounce for Edinburgh. If they can win all of their home games and pick up a few on the road then who knows.

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