Six Nations round three concludes with what most expect to be the game of the weekend in Paris this afternoon. Defending champions France are back on home soil for the first time in 2023 hoping to recover quickly from a titanic loss in Dublin a fortnight ago that saw their dreams of consecutive Grand Slams firmly dashed by rampant Ireland.
Having also been run uncomfortably close by Italy in Rome on opening day, there is a sense that Les Bleus need a commanding performance here to reassert their credentials with a home World Cup looming large later this year. But they face a tough test against a Scotland side high on confidence after opening their campaign with successive victories for the first time since 1996.
Troubled Wales were brushed aside in a second-half blitz at Murrayfield after England had also been defeated again in the Calcutta Cup, raising optimism about a genuine title challenge from Gregor Townsend’s side with Finn Russell pulling the strings. Follow France vs Scotland in the Six Nations live below!
Standard Sport prediction
This is an intriguing clash to headline round three of the Six Nations.
Scotland have made their best start for 27 years in a flurry of tries and impressive attacking rugby, with threats all over the pitch and maverick playmaker Finn Russell – who plies his club trade in France with Racing 92 – pulling the strings expertly from fly-half.
But there were warning signs in that first half against Wales that they still possess certain defensive vulnerabilities that will surely be exploited by better teams, and a trip to Paris is obviously a huge step up in class.
Scotland are flying… but likely won’t have enough to keep their winning run going in Paris.
France will be hurting after being bested by Ireland in one of the best games you’re ever likely to see and Galthie will be demanding an instant response from Antoine Dupont and Co.
Les Bleus to win, but expect Scotland to put up a decent fight ahead of the visit of Ireland to Murrayfield in two weeks’ time.
France to win by 10 points.
Scotland team news
Scotland XV: Hogg, Steyn, Jones, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe; Russell, White; Schoeman, Turner, Z Fagerson, R Gray, Gilchrist, Ritchie (c), Watson, M Fagerson
Replacements: Brown, Bhatti, Nel, J Gray, Skinner, Dempsey, Price, Kinghorn
France team news
France XV: Ramos; Penaud, Fickou, Moefana, Dumortier; Ntamack, Dupont (c); Baille, Marchand, Haouas; Flament, Willemse; Jelonch, Ollivon, Alldritt.
Replacements: Barlot, Wardi, Falatea, Taofifenua, Cros, Macalou, Couilloud, Jalibert.
How to watch
TV channel: In the UK, France vs Scotland is being broadcast live and free-to-air on ITV1, with coverage beginning at 2:15pm.
Live stream: Fans can also catch the game live online via the ITVX app and ITV website.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the Six Nations clash between France and Scotland.
Round three concludes with arguably the match of the weekend as the reigning champions return home after a painless loss in Ireland last time out.
Les Blues could do with a statement win to ward off rising voices of concern, but the Scots have plenty about them to make it a tough afternoon.
Kick-off in Paris is at 3pm GMT. Stick with us.