Scots look to cause 'massive' upset

8:07am Saturday 25th February 2012

© Press Association 2014

Scotland will on Sunday bid to confound their critics by securing a RBS 6 Nations victory over France at Murrayfield.

After losses to England and Wales, Scotland require a first win over Les Bleus since 2006 to rescue their Six Nations campaign ahead of trips to Dublin and Rome.

Scrum-half Mike Blair said: "France are the World Cup finalists, they are the second best team in the world. It's a massive challenge for us. We have been improving, but we now need to get over the finish line."

He added: "There have been so many positives to have come out of the first two games, which almost makes things even more frustrating.

"The problem is that the negatives we've had have had a big effect on us. Our negatives have resulted in them scoring a try or kicking goals and our positives haven't.

"We've been able to put pressure on, but we haven't been able to make that pressure count. That's a big thing for us - being able to turn that pressure into points."

After two good cameo appearances, Blair has been restored to the starting line-up as Scotland seek just a second victory over France since the Five Nations became Six in 2000.

The Edinburgh scrum-half has been included as one of four changes to the Scotland team, with Glasgow Warriors trio John Barclay, Graeme Morrison and Stuart Hogg named at blindside flanker, inside centre and full-back, respectively.

Scotland's game plan is an expansive one, aimed at multiple phases of play to wear down the opposition and then to exploit any opportunities which arise. The selection of Barclay, normally an openside flanker, is crucial for quick ball to be secured for Scotland.

Blair, who is set to win his 78th cap after replacing Chris Cusiter in the starting XV, said: "It all adds to improving the speed of the game. We lose a little bit of bulk there, but we make up for it in speed around the pitch. If we can continue to get the quick ball we've had in the last two games we'll certainly give ourselves opportunities."

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