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Hamish Watson wants Scotland to handle 'expectations' in Six Nations better

Hamish Watson wants Scotland to handle 'expectations' in Six Nations better

Hamish Watson wants Scotland to handle 'expectations' in Six Nations better

Gregor Townsend's side came into the competition with high expectations after their progress past year which included a record win over Australia and a narrow defeat to New Zealand.

Simon Mail previews the second weekend of the Six Nations with Scotland hosting France and Ireland taking on Italy.

France meanwhile suffered a similar disappointing defeat where Jonny Sexton's last kick of the game stole the points away from them right at the death.

Sportsmail's GLEN WILLIAMS will be bringing you all the live action with updates from RORY KEANE at Murrayfield.

The Scots entered the tournament with high hopes following a promising November campaign that included a win over Australia and a narrow defeat by world champions New Zealand.

"Sometimes that means someone else gets the opportunity the week after, especially if they have shown throughout training or coming on the field that they are on good form".

Laidlaw's return is the most significant, with the former captain having not started for the Scots since the corresponding fixture previous year in Paris because of injuries and his call-up by the British and Irish Lions for the New Zealand tour. They also compete for ball post-tackle more than other teams, so we'll need to watch out for that.

"He ran a couple of plays there this morning. We're so happy we were able to give tickets away to such big rugby supporters and glad they got to experience a Welsh winning atmosphere at Principality Stadium".

Laidlaw, who was replaced as captain permanently at the start of the year by John Barclay after almost seven years at the helm, will win his 60th cap for his country and will attempt to get a re-jigged back line firing on all cylinders after failing to live up to their attacking reputation on the opening weekend.

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"I don't have much to reproach the players who started last week".

The teams then exchanged a pair of penalties apiece as Machenaud and Baptiste Serin knocked over for France, with Laidlaw responding for Scotland.

This week Jacques Brunel lifted the lid on his selection decisions. That can take a lot out of them, if that's the strategy they want to play.

Scotland, though, were proving harder to shake off than last week and hit back again on 31 minutes. They have favoured an athletic back row in this championship but against Ireland employed them as ball-carriers in heavy traffic when they would probably have been more suited to sourcing space in wider channels.

Former captain Greig Laidlaw is recalled at scrum-half, while Pete Horne is rewarded for his try-scoring cameo in Cardiff with a start and Sean Maitland replaces the injured Byron McGuigan on the wing.

What times does Scotland vs France kick off?

The powerful Worcester back-rower David Denton is back on the bench and could win his first cap since June 2016, while there could be a debut for promising 21-year-old Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn.

"We will try to take it one game at a time".

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