Six Nations 2018: Murrayfield can fire up Scotland v France - Greig Laidlaw

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland
Greig Laidlaw trains with Scotland ahead of the France game
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said Laidlaw "drives a lot of the standards on and off the field"
Six Nations 2018: Scotland v France
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Sunday, 11 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: BBC One, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. Live text commentary, report and video highlights on the BBC website and app.

Greig Laidlaw has urged his Scotland team-mates to forget their Cardiff blues and rise to the challenge that awaits them against France on Sunday.

The scrum-half will start his first Test in a year as the Scots look to get their Six Nations campaign back on track after their thumping by Wales.

And Laidlaw wants to see his team give the Scotland fans reasons to be proud.

"I've been hammering it into the boys that we need to get excited," said Laidlaw, who will win his 60th cap.

"We need to fill those jerseys up in front of our own people. We've only been beaten by New Zealand here in the past year so we are really excited to get our feet back on the ground at Murrayfield.

"It's a huge honour to be given the opportunity to wear that jersey, especially at home. It's something special.

"It's been a testing week but we feel ready to go for Sunday."

Scotland won all three home Six Nations matches in 2017, plus autumn Tests against Samoa and Australia, and came agonisingly close to beating the All Blacks.

Laidlaw has not started a Test for Scotland since suffering ankle ligament damage against France in Paris in the second match of last season's Six Nations.

His selection for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand meant he was unavailable for Scotland's summer tour, and a broken fibula ruled him out of the autumn Tests.

In his absence, Ali Price moved into pole position for the number nine shirt, but an error-strewn display from the Glasgow Warrior in Cardiff opened the door for Laidlaw's return to the side.

"I was extremely frustrated to pick up the injury when I did after moving to a new club," said Laidlaw, who joined French side Clermont Auvergne from Gloucester last summer.

"In the long term I think it's actually been a good thing for me. I came off the Lions tour and only had three weeks off before going straight to Clermont.

"Even then my body was creaking a little bit when I still had a full season in front of me.

"It is never great to be injured but the more experienced you get, the more you understand that perhaps it had come at a good time for me.

"I had three and a half months out but I've managed to rehab really well and now I feel really good and I'm raring to go."

Greig Laidlaw and John Barclay
Laidlaw will act as one of John Barclay's vice-captains against France, along with number eight Ryan Wilson

Laidlaw knows Scotland will have to combat the "big power game" France employ if they are to prevail on Sunday.

Having captained Scotland more often than any other player, the former Edinburgh player will find himself in the unusual position of being vice-captain on Sunday.

He was in line to retain the captaincy on the summer tour before the Lions call came, and again in the autumn, before injury struck again.

In that time John Barclay has performed admirably in the captain's role, and Laidlaw is happy to lend his support and experience to the flanker and the rest of the team.

"'Barcs' has shown that he's a good captain and will show that again at the weekend. It's about the collective, not individuals.

"I've always set about leading by example whenever I've played for Scotland and that won't change whether I'm captain or not captain.

"I will be demanding high standards firstly of myself and then secondly of the players round about me."