Six Nations Rugby | Townsend feels confident ahead of France test


The 1999 champions have enjoyed an encouraging 2020 championship, with the best defensive record of any of the six teams and securing three wins, including a first on Welsh soil in 18 years.

Another of these victories was against France of Fabien Galthié, in effect refusing the Blues what would have been a first league title, and a Grand Slam, since 2010.

The 28-17 victory at BT Murrayfield was Scotland’s second of five in a row and, coming from behind to beat Italy by the same score in the first leg of the Fall Nations Cup, they are now preparing for the visit to France this weekend.

Although they got the better of them in the teams’ last meeting, Townsend is clear that Les Bleus – who beat Ireland 35-27 in their final 2020 Guinness Six Nations game last month – are currently featuring one of the toughest challenges in world rugby.

But although Galthie rescinded his decision to let some of his biggest hitters rest following the cancellation of their opening clash against Fiji due to Covid-19, Townsend is confident Scotland has what ‘it takes to mix it up with its rivals in Group B.

“I think France and England seem to be the most trained teams in the world right now,” the 47-year-old said. “New Zealand lost a few games and South Africa didn’t play, while France came out and scored plenty of tries against Wales and Ireland.

“If they had come with a different team it would have presented a really different challenge. There was certainly no [Romain] Ntamack, [Virimi] Vakatawa or Teddy Thomas – all their best players.

“But they came with their strongest team in March and brought out the best in us. The belief that comes with winning certainly helps and knowing that one of the best teams in the world is coming to town next week will grab our attention.

“The boys can prepare for this game knowing that there are things to improve on compared to the game against Italy, but the feeling that they have found a way to win on the pitch will give them just a little bit more of confidence if we are to do the same. the week.

“We are in a good race at the moment but our mentality never changes. You go out to win for Scotland – that would be the case if we had five straight losses or five straight wins.


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