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Thursday Feb 5, 2015

Scotland's Greig Laidlaw in confident mood ahead of France clash

Scotland coach Vern Cotter has named his squad for Saturday’s Six Nations meeting with France. See the team below, and hear what captain Greig Laidlaw had to say about their chances of success, the French clash and his season with Gloucester.

Scotland’s starting team features just two changes from that which defeated Tonga 37-12 in the final Autumn Test, and three Six Nations debutants in Finn Russell, Mark Bennet and Blair Cowan.

A blend of experience and youth will once again orchestrate the back division as captain Greig Laidlaw – who stands one away from scoring 300 points for his country – and number ten Russell start their fifth Test match together.

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter, said: “Seeing the passion and desire among our players in the build up to the tournament has been special. The players really enjoy the atmosphere of these big occasions, and the pressure of having to perform for their country, in front of huge crowds.

“They’re looking forward to getting out there. France will be tough. They played well in the autumn series but remain frustrated with past results in the RBS 6 Nations.

“They will be very difficult to contain so we’ll have to stay tight as a unit, work hard for each other and try to apply some pressure. It’ll be a very tough start to the championship, but we’re looking forward to that challenge,” Cotter added.

Scotland team to play France at the Stade de France, Paris
(kick-off 6pm local, 5pm GMT)

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour,13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Alasdair Strokosch, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Dougie Fife.

Injured and unavailable: Adam Ashe (neck), Chris Cusiter (knee), Chris Fusaro (ankle), Grant Gilchrist (arm), Tyrone Holmes (face), Ruaridh Jackson (knee), Sean Lamont (calf), Henry Pyrgos (knee), Matt Scott (shoulder), Tim Swinson (calf), Duncan Taylor (hamstring), Duncan Weir (arm).

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