Scotland’s first away game of the 2017 Six Nations takes them to Paris, a city where they have not won since 1999 – when the Six Nations was the Five Nations.
Vern Cotter has made only very minor changes, with the same back division retained to try and unpick the French defence.
Up front the props are also unchanged and Brown retained at hooker, which leaves all the heft on the bench to be broken out in case of emergency. I suppose it gives Scotland a balance of power and pace to bring on (in different areas) to see how the French cope.
A late change to the back row – Ryan Wilson has an elbow infection – sees John Hardie yanked out of the Edinburgh team to sit the bench while John Barclay starts. As expected the Gray boys pack down in the boilerhouse.
Continuity is great for building a team and for all the talk of winning home games you can be sure Vern will have a plan for this team to win the game.
Scotland team: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Huw Jones, 12. Alex Dunbar, 11. Tommy Seymour, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1. Allan Dell, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Jonny Gray, 5. Richie Gray, 6. John Barclay, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Josh Strauss
Replacements: 16. Ross Ford, 17. Gordon Reid, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Tim Swinson, 20. John Hardie, 21. Ali Price, 22. Duncan Weir, 23. Mark Bennett
France have made one change to their wrecking ball of a starting XV, bringing in Loann Goujon for Damien Chouly. On the bench Tolofua and Le Devedec come in fresh to the side.
France team: 15. Scott Spedding, 14. Noa Nakaitaci, 13. Remi Lamerat, 12. Gael Fickou, 11. Virimi Vakatawa, 10. Camille Lopez, 9. Baptiste Serin; 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Guilhem Guirado (capt), 3. Uini Atonio, 4. Sébastien Vahaamahina, 5. Yoann Maestri, 6. Loann Goujon, 7. Kevin Gourdon, 8. Louis Picamoles
Replacements: 16. Christopher Tolofua, 17. Rabah Slimani, 18. Xavier Chiocci, 19. Julien Le Devedec, 20. Damien Chouly, 21. Maxime Machenaud, 22. Jean-Marc Doussain, 23. Yoann Huget
This game will be about tempo, and everyone knows it.