Scotland captain annoyed by France's Six Nations title talk
SPOTLIGHT: Scotland captain Stuart Hogg said on Thursday he has been annoyed by France talking about their title hopes before this weekend’s Six Nations decider in Paris.
Les Bleus will lift their first trophy since 2010 if they beat Scotland by more than 20 points – to improve on Wales’ points difference – and score at least four tries to secure the bonus point.
Hogg’s men, however, will finish second for the first time in the Six Nations era which began in 2000 if they win with an eight-point margin in a fixture re-scheduled from February due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the home camp.
“A lot has been said and it’s beginning to hack me off the fact that they’ve got to get 20 points to win a game,” 28-year-old Hogg said.
“We read a quote from one of their players that they’ve got a trophy to win. As a proud Scotsman that hurt me a lot,” he added.
The visitors will be without No.8 Matt Fagerson for the trip to the French capital after he withdrew on the eve of the match with an ankle injury suffered in training.
Nick Haining replaces Fagerson in the starting lineup with Ryan Wilson set to win his 50th cap from the bench.
“We’re gutted for Matt. He’s been outstanding throughout the Six Nations for us. I really felt for him. We wish him all the best in his recovery,” full-back Hogg said.
“With that comes an opportunity for other guys. Nick Haining has really taken his opportunities well when he’s been given them. He’s in good form,” he added.
Exeter Chiefs’ Hogg is able to feature thanks to an agreement between English clubs and the Scottish Rugby Union as the match falls out of World Rugby’s Test window.
However the away side will be missing Sean Maitland as they were limited to five England-based players.
“I could see how much it meant for Sean Maitland that he wasn’t going to be included,” Hogg said.
“The rest of the other boys. Boys who have had a massive impact in training and in games over the last few weeks.
“We’re going out tomorrow to put in a performance that they’d be proud of, that they’ve put massive efforts into.”