6N: Laidlaw back as chastened Scots ring changes for France

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Scotland's start to the Six Nations was nothing short of disastrous after last week's 34-7 defeat in Wales. Scotland will be desperate to show the attacking form which was heralded previous year this weekend and know another defeat will be a desperate outcome after coming in with such high hopes.

Scotland had been tipped as a dark horse for the championship title on the back of their November displays - they ran New Zealand close and ripped Australia apart by record margins.

"We know we haven't become a awful team overnight, just as we hadn't become the best team in the world off the back of the autumn".

Scotland have won seven of their last eight home games with the only defeat coming against the All Blacks.

With wins at a premium, France's form book doesn't make for happy reading right now. Another indication came when Watson was asked to assess Ireland's last-gasp win in Paris, and to say whether he would settle on Sunday for a victory achieved, like theirs was, without a single try.

The tenure of Jacques Brunel is in its infancy and his side must prove to all that they can deliver away from home in this Championship. "Obviously we want to score tries and play a good brand of rugby, but it's also a winning sport, isn't it?"

Scotland led early thanks to a Stuart Hogg try before the home side replied through Gaël Fickou on the half-hour mark.

Matthew Stockman  Getty Images
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Those who opted for a full weekend of rugby and popped over to Rodney Parade last Friday night would have been treated to an excellent game between two young, positive teams.

Flyhalf Lionel Beauxis lamented: "We gave away too many points".

Scotland's head coach Gregor Townsend. "There is still a lot of belief in the team but we have to go out and put in a performance". "We were a lot more accurate than last week but still not quite there", he said. "We've seen a response from the players in training this week and that needs to continue into and through the 80-plus minutes of the match, because France will pose a massive and immensely physical challenge".

But Scotland provided much stronger resistance in the second half and captain Laidlaw knocked over six penalties after the restart to seal victory.

"Avid sports player Seth, who's part of a local rugby and football club and plays cricket for Pembrokeshire, previously won tickets at school for Wales" autumn series match against Georgia for 10 of his rugby team. I've made changes either because players were injured or to create competition within the team. Yes, I believe we can beat anyone in the competition and we'll be taking it game by game. The 32-year-old will be making his first worldwide appearance for six years at Murrayfield. Whether it is selection or how we prepared, the first thing we look at is how we could have done it better.

The powerful Worcester back-rower David Denton is back on the bench and could win his first cap since June 2016, while there could be a debut for promising 21-year-old Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn.

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