Sean Lamont denies Scotland have inferiority complex against big nations
Sean Lamont admits Scotland are desperate to end their decade of failure against France - but denied the Dark Blues are shackled by an inferiority complex.
The veteran Glasgow wing scored two tries the last time the Scots mustered a victory over Les Bleus back in 2006.
That 20-16 Murrayfield win remains Scotland's sole triumph against their Gallic rivals since the Championship was extended from five teams to six in 1999 as rugby's Auld Alliance became a lop-sided affair.
But hope has risen among Vern Cotter's squad that they can finally halt that miserable run when they take on Guy Noves' side in Edinburgh on Sunday after victory over Italy a fortnight ago.
That Rome triumph ended another mortifying streak as Scotland finally claimed their first Six Nations success in two years.
Now Lamont is looking to put their ugly record against the French to bed.
The 103-cap 35-year-old - who admits he could be set for his Murrayfield farewell, even if he refuses to retire from international duty - said: " It's quite a scary stat. Ten years is a bloody long time; it's a whole career. It shouldn't be that way. Ten years is too long, way too long.
"We were fairly close last year and ran them close in the summer before the World Cup. But again it wasn't a win and goes down in the record book as a big fat 'L'.
"Hopefully we can buck that trend this time.
"The boys have been playing well so far this Six Nations. The England game swung on a couple of moments where we switched off, the same happened down in Wales. We got a good win away at Italy, although it wasn't as comfortable as we'd have liked.
"So there is still a lot we need to work on, especially against France. But God, to get that monkey off our backs we need to win this weekend."
Lamont takes little satisfaction for last month's 36-20 win over the Italians - confessing it is the bare minimum expected of Cotter's squad.
"The way we feel, we should be beating Italy every year, no disrespect to them," he said. "But that's what we should be targeting and then looking to pick off others elsewhere.
"So this is where it starts. We've got a win but we need to back it up . "
Lamont's admission was refreshingly candid but also betrayed an air of superiority that Scotland have seldom been able to back up with results.
Of their last 10 meetings with the Italians, the head-to-head is split down the middle with five wins apiece.
Their record against Tier-One nations makes for even worse reading though.
Other than beating Italy in two pre-World Cup warm-up clashes last summer, they have not registered a victory over top-level opposition since defeating an under-strength Argentina line-up 18 months ago.
Lamont, though, denied Scotland are left cowering when they face up to the rest of the Six Nations big guns.
He said: "It's always been a weird one and I don't know the answer to it. I've never understood how we can have a great performance one week but be off the boil the next.
"Through history that's how it's been - a rollercoaster. We've had loads of pressure on us going into matches with Italy and managed a win. But then we don't follow it up.
"I don't think it's a mental thing against the other nations. Certainly not against the Welsh and Irish because when we play for Glasgow and Edinburgh, we face these guys every week.
"So individually it's not really a mental thing, with us thinking they are better than us - because they are not really.
"Sometimes it's just that we overplay or switch off. Then you're behind. Chasing a game is so much different from commanding one.
"If we can stop France taking an early lead this weekend and reverse that trend, then it will be so important to making sure that come minute 80, it's us who is up on points."