Autumn Nations Cup: Scotland v France – Hogg seeks to rattle visitors

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg
Venue: BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Sunday 22 November Kick-off: 15:30 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland, follow text updates on the BBC Sport website

Scotland will look to “rattle” France just as they did when ending French Grand Slam hopes back in March, says captain Stuart Hogg.

The visitors played 45 minutes with 14 men after a red card for prop Mohamed Haouas.

“I’ve read a fair bit this week where all they’re talking about is how the red card changed the game,” Hogg said.

“Have you ever seen a French team rattled like that before? That happened because we fronted up, got in their faces and then got stuck into them. I don’t think they’d ever come across anything like that.

“They’re arguably one of the best sides in the world and came to Murrayfield in March three from three and high on confidence, playing some very good rugby. But we shut them down.

“We hustled, we fronted up, and we got ourselves in some good positions in attack. So, on Sunday, we’ll be doing the same.”

With Fiji’s three matches in Scotland’s group being cancelled because of a Covid-19 outbreak in their camp, Sunday’s match at Murrayfield is a straight shootout to reach the Autumn Nations Cup final on 5 December.

Victory would also see Scotland win six Test matches in a row for only the third time in their history, and for the first time since 1990.

Scotland celebrate Sean Maitland's try in the victory against France in March
The Scots are aiming to repeat their victory against France at Murrayfield in March

“We want to keep our momentum going and we want to be in a position to win a test match so we need to be fully focused on making the first 20 minutes count. If you don’t get that right it could be a long old day,” said the Exeter Chiefs full-back.

“France is another challenge. The big thing for us is that on a daily basis we’re challenging each other and trying to get the best out of each other.

“We back ourselves, believe in our individual ability, believe in ourselves as a collective so that we can go out there, express ourselves and show what we can do.”

No Ntamack for France

France have travelled to Edinburgh without star fly-half Romain Ntamack, who is missing with a thigh injury.

Bordeaux’s Matthieu Jalibert, 22, will make only his second start in his place in one of eight changes made by coach Fabien Galthie.

Thomas Ramos returns at full-back for the injured Anthony Bouthier and Gael Fickou moves to centre to make way for Teddy Thomas returning on the wing.

France are looking to end a run of four successive defeats at Murrayfield, having lost 28-17 in the Six Nations in March to ruin their Grand Slam hopes. Their last win in Edinburgh was in 2014.

The teams

Scotland: Hogg (c); Kinghorn, Harris, Johnson, Van der Merwe, Weir, Price; Kebble, Brown, Berghan; Cummings, Gray; Ritchie, Watson, M Fagerson.

Replacements: Turner, Bhatti, Z Fagerson, Skinner, Thomson, Hidalgo-Clyne, Taylor, Maitland.

France: Ramos; Thomas, Vakatawa, Fickou, Rattez; Jalibert, Dupont; Gros, Chat, Bamba; Le Roux, Taofifenua; Cretin, Ollivon (c), Alldritt

Replacements: Marchand, Baille, Haouas, Willemse, Woki, Couilloud, Carbonel, Vincent

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