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Brown not fooled by French wobble

Scotland skipper Kelly Brown insists he is not fooled by France's RBS 6 Nations humbling against Wales a fortnight ago.

The Saracens flanker - who returns to the Dark Blues line up for Saturday's Murrayfield clash with France after he was dropped following a dismal tournament opener against Ireland - is refusing to pay too much attention to the Dragons' 27-6 win in Cardiff.

The French have already beaten England and Italy this year and Brown says Scotland will have to overcome quality opposition if they are to end an eight-year wait for a win over Les Bleus.

Brown told Press Association Sport: "The French will be an incredibly tough test. Yes, okay, they didn't play that well against Wales a fortnight ago but I also think that Wales were very strong that night.

"But in saying that, after the first two matches everybody was tipping France for the Championship, so they're an incredibly tough side and we know that we need to be at our best to challenge them on Saturday."

Brown also insists he never considered quitting international rugby after head coach Scott Johnson dumped him out of his squad.

The 31-year-old has played just 56 minutes of this season's tournament as he paid the price for his part in the Scots' miserable 28-6 defeat in Dublin a month ago.

He sat out the 20-0 drubbing by England and was also absent for the last-gasp win over Italy in Rome two weeks ago, with Glasgow's Chris Fusaro chosen to start at number seven instead.

But Brown has now been restored to both the starting XV and the captaincy for Saturday's fixture.

Johnson admitted before that Calcutta Cup catastrophe that he feared Brown may walk away from Test rugby after his snub - but the Scotland skipper insists the thought never crossed his mind.

Asked if he considered retiring from national duty, he said: "No - it's as simple as that. Playing for Scotland is something I used to dream of as a child and it's a very, very special honour.

"I know that in professional sport, the road is not always smooth and so I just saw it as one more challenge that I was looking forward to overcoming."


From Belfast Telegraph