Tim Swinson says Scots technique can beat French tonnage

Tim Swinson has recent experience of getting the better of mammoth French packs and is hoping Scotland can follow the lead of Glasgow Warriors, who did the double in Europe over a beefed up Racing 92.

Scotland's Tim Swinson has already had experience of beating French opposition this season. Paul Devlin/SNS
Scotland's Tim Swinson has already had experience of beating French opposition this season. Paul Devlin/SNS

In the second match at Scotstoun, the Paris club fielded a supersized bunch of forwards but Glasgow were not overawed and ultimately ran the French champions ragged.

With France set to field a similarly monstrous eight in a bid to overpower the resurgent Scots in Paris on Sunday, lock forward Swinson, who came off the bench to slot in the back row behind the Gray brothers Jonny and Richie in Saturday’s win over Ireland, is clear about how to approach the situation.

“With technique and being together,” he said.

“If you’re one guy against it, it’s quite tough, but if you’ve got eight guys there, or all 15 or however many it takes, that’s when you can get things done. So you need to work as a unit. Whether it’s for club or country, France is a tough place to go. Racing and the French national team are two different sides, but everything is good for confidence and victories always help.

“We’ve got to focus more on ourselves this week and play our level of game.”

Swinson, pictured, is one of the form players in Scotland at the moment, with successive man-of-the-match awards in Europe last month, but with the Gray stranglehold on the second row cemented even further with star shows from the pair at the weekend, Swinson knows he needs to be patient and take his chance when it comes, even if out of position.

“Coming on in the back row is not something we really expected, but being on the bench you’ve got to be ready for anything.

“I keep saying I want to play 13, but no-one trusts me!

“It’s something I’ve done here and there for Glasgow, and I’ve done it a couple of times now for Scotland. Thankfully I’ve got a lot of good guys around me – a lot of people on the pitch I can ask to make sure I know my roles if I’m in a different position from what I’m used to.

“This week I’ve tried a bit more in training to make sure if it happens again I’ve got more of a clue than I did last week. Jonny and Richie are fantastic players – they really seem to work well together. One gives a lot of work rate and one gives explosion – a really good, powerful athlete.

“I’m happy to be involved and happy to help Scotland win. Use me wherever you want to.”