SCOTLAND have a worse record against France than any other side since the start of the Six Nations back at the turn of the millennium.
In the 14 years since 2000, the Scots have managed just one win, back in 2006, coach Frank Hadden’s finest hour when the side won three and lost two matches for the only time.
Eight years on, there are few survivors from that match, although Scott Lawson sat on the bench alongside Chris Cusiter and the evergreen winger Sean Lamont could be found filling his favourite left-wing slot.
He also scored two tries on a day Scotland ended 20-16 winners. Both sides scored two tries and two penalties apiece, the difference being that Chris Paterson kicked Scotland’s conversions while Jean-Baptiste Elissalde made a pig’s ear out of his twin attempts.
“I don’t remember much about that day to be honest,” says Lamont. “I’ve been around so long that all these matches tend to merge into one. I do remember poaching the first try after the forwards drove a maul about 20 yards. I joined after seeing Mike Blair get involved in the maul because I figured that, if he was in the middle of it, then the ball was never going to come out. The second score was a bit better. I popped up in the midfield and got the ball about 15 yards out near the posts. I made for an outside break and then cut back inside and scored. I’ll take it!”
Quizzed as to whether he imagined that Scotland would not beat Les Bleus for another eight years Lamont is a little surprised.
“Is it that long? That is a disappointing statistic. Obviously France have a much bigger player pool but, on our day, if we play with confidence and get our jobs done right individually, we can beat anyone. We just have to get things right.”
Dimitri Szarzewski is the only potential survivor from the French team of 2006, although Florian Fritz would have been another had the centre not crashed his motorbike ahead of this tournament.