Six Nations: Scotland expecting 'huge reaction' from France

By Andy BurkeBBC Sport Scotland
Grant Gilchrist
Grant Gilchrist was part of the Scotland team that lost to Ireland last time out

Scotland are prepared for a "huge reaction" from a "hurting" France side on Saturday, says lock Grant Gilchrist.

The French have lost their opening two matches of the Six Nations, squandering a 16-point lead in defeat by Wales before being hammered 44-8 by England.

Scotland lost on their last outing against Ireland at Murrayfield earlier this month and have not won at Stade de France since 1999.

"No win in Paris comes easily, as shown by our record there," Gilchrist said.

"It's been something we've been looking towards in the last couple of years, improving our away form, and it hasn't quite happened, but this is a great opportunity if we get our stuff right.

"They're going to be hurting. They're going to come out at home and we expect a huge reaction, so we know the size of the challenge."

'We are using it as fuel'

Head coach Gregor Townsend was part of the last Scotland team to win in Paris, scoring in a stunning 36-22 win that set the Scots on course to the 1999 Five Nations title.

However, his side have been decimated by injuries. Fly-half Finn Russell is the latest to be sidelined, with WP Nel, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson, Huw Jones and Stuart Hogg among those out.

The lengthy injury list, coupled with defeat by Ireland last time out, has lowered expectations of a first Scottish win in France in 20 years.

However, Gilchrist says negativity will not be allowed to creep into the Scotland camp.

"We're using that as fuel for us. We're not a team that gets down in the dumps," said the Edinburgh second row.

"We base ourselves on energy. Energy comes from positivity and wanting to play, wanting to play quickly, wanting to defend, wanting to stay in the fight.

"It certainly would be a special thing for everyone who's going to Paris this weekend to win. We're going to work really hard to make it happen."

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