Rugby

Scotland vs France

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Scotland vs France : the first game of this weekend’s Six Nations 2019 rugby action. The match starts at 2.15pm GMT, an hour later local time.

What: France vs Scotland. Date: Saturday February 23. When: The match starts at 2.15pm GMT. live stream: You can watch this one on BBC One, with coverage beginning at 1.45pm.

Scotland travel to Paris to take on France in Round 3 of the Guinness Six Nations on Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm) – here we look at some of the key talking points.

In short, this is a big Test match for both teams. Scotland must prove themselves without key players while the hosts must find some structure and try to start re-building some pride.

The visitors arrive having not won in Paris since 1999 and are battling with an injury list much longer than any Scottish fan would like. On the other side of the coin, France’s form is poor.

Both of Gregor Townsend’s half-backs were on Top 14 duty during the week’s break from the Six Nations.

“I couldn’t help but smile to see Franck Azema keep Greig Laidlaw on for the entire 80 minutes of Clermont’s game on Saturday, even though the result was in no doubt for at least the last 20 minutes,” Stuart Barnes wrote in his column on Monday.

England and Wales are the only two teams to have won their opening two games and victory for Eddie Jones’s team, who next face Italy and Scotland at Twickenham, would make them odds-on for a Grand Slam.

France vs Scotland: Saturday, February 23 (2.15pm) – BBC One Wales vs England: Saturday, February 23 (4.45pm) – BBC One Italy vs Ireland: Sunday, February 24 (3pm) – ITV

Finn Russell was also in action in France, and though he only played one half for Racing 92, the reason he was taken off the field was for a Head Injury Assessment – which he failed.

It was then confirmed on Tuesday the fly-half would not be available for the weekend’s Test.

“The 26-year-old play-maker has not satisfied the requirements of today’s component of the graduated return to play protocol… meaning there is insufficient time for him to be considered for this weekend’s action,” Scottish Rugby said in a statement.

The Scots have not won in Paris for 20 years and only twice in the last 50. Statistics also come to the fore in Rome on Sunday where, if Ireland triumph as expected, it would be a 20th successive Six Nations defeat for Italy.

Any head coach or director of rugby will talk about opportunities being created when injuries strike and for Scotland, this weekend is about proving that they can cope without two of their most influential and dynamic players.

Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg see and create opportunities that others don’t, that’s not a slight on Pete Horne and Blair Kinghorn,it’s just a function of the talent held by Russell and Hogg.

France 19 Wales 24…. Stade de France (Paris)…. Friday, February England 44 France 8…. Twickenham (London)…. Sunday, February 10France vs Scotland…. Stade de France (Paris)…. Saturday, February 23…. 2.15pm GMT…. BBC

Ireland vs France…. Aviva Stadium (Dublin)…. Sunday, March 10…. 3pm GMT…. ITV Italy vs France…. Stadio Olimpico (Rome)…. Saturday, March 16…. 12.30pm GMT…. ITV

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