Good evening, here is a preview of tonight’s clash
It all comes down to this. A match controversially being played outside the international window will determine who is Six Nations champions. Wales are in pole position to claim the title, but a win for France with four tries and a margin of 21 points or more would see Les Bleus pinch the Championship.
Tonight’s clash is not all about France, however. Gregor Townsend’s side can, if they win by eights points and deny France a losing bonus-point via four tries, finish the tournament in second place which would mean their best Six Nations ever.
For France, fly-half Romain Ntamack will make his first start of the tournament having missed the early stages through injury. He replaces the injured Matthieu Jalibert as one of five changes.
Paul Willemse is unavailable after his red card in France’s dramatic win over Wales last weekend. Enforcer Bernard Le Roux is back fit which mitigates the loss, he is partnered with Swan Rebbadj in the row. Anthony Jelonch displaces Dylan Cretin at blindside while centre Arthur Vincent have also been recalled by head coach Fabien Galthie, with Gael Fickou shifting to the wing and Teddy Thomas dropping to the bench.
For Scotland, the big news is that Finn Russell is back after missing the Italy clash, with captain Stuart Hogg reverting to full-back. Sean Maitland is unavailable due to a limit on English based players tonight.
Ali Price, who needs a big performance after an underwhelming tournament, is in for Scott Steele who drops to the bench. Chris Harris and George Turner return to the starting side, with Nick Haining at No 8 due to an injury sustained by Matt Fagerson.
Expect an open game tonight. France needs tries and a 21-point margin – and it is not like they need an excuse to chuck the ball around.
The Scotland players will be well aware that this is their last chance to impress Warren Gatland on the international stage before the Lions tour which might just provide a smidgen of extra motivation.
It is going to be a good one.
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