Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

We can test Les Bleus - Robinson

Andy Robinson

Head coach Andy Robinson will aim to mastermind Scotland's first win in Paris in 12 years after naming a 34-man squad for next week's pre-RBS 6 Nations Championship training camp.

Scotland have won in the French capital twice in 42 years, the most recent victory coming in their first trip to the Stade de France en route to winning the final Five Nations tournament in 1999.

"This first game is always a tough task for any of the teams," Robinson said.

The Scots have won five of their last six games and should approach their Six Nations opener - in France on February 5 - in confident mood, but Robinson is mindful of the last time his squad had a lengthy break.

After an historic first southern-hemisphere series win - the 2-0 defeat of Argentina last June - Scotland returned from a five-month break and lost 49-3 to New Zealand in November.

Robinson continued: "Whatever your start is, it's always a tough ask because you come together having not played in a number of months.

"You've got to find your rhythm, your togetherness in defence and collective will to stop the opposition from scoring, but also you've got to have your systems in place so you can be an attacking threat."

Robinson knows Les Bleus, winners of the Grand Slam in 2010, will be determined to bounce back from their 59-16 defeat to Australia in their most recent Test.

He added: "A lot of people suddenly start talking about the French - slow starters, what happened against Australia - but this French side's a good side.

"We know it's going to take a huge ask for us to go and perform there, but we have the quality to go and do that."