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Finn Russell: Glasgow boys got a feel for how France play in Champions Cup

Finn Russell will take encouragement from his recent victory in Paris ahead of his latest trip to the French capital - but the fly-half also learned more about the dangers that lie in wait for Scotland.

Glasgow beat Racing 92 home and away in December on their way to reaching the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup for the first time and Russell was man of the match on both occasions after outshining opposite number Dan Carter.

Twelve of Scotland's 23-man squad for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations encounter in Paris play for Warriors and head coach Vern Cotter has a deep knowledge of the French game after coaching Clermont Auvergne for eight years.

Russell said: "It was good for us beating Racing home and away and there is a lot of Glasgow boys in the squad.

"It's only one French team but you kind of get a feel for how the French like to play. And Vern obviously coached there for years and knows the French style and a lot of their players.

"We know what we are going to be in for at the weekend and know how tough a game it's going to be."

Russell noted how dangerous French players can be when passing the ball at the final moment.

"In France, it's a high offloading tournament and even for the national team, they are probably the highest offloaders in the competition," the 24-year-old said.

"So we know how dangerous they can be in these areas. They are big men but they have still got good skills. It's not just big guys who are running straight, there are dangers everywhere. That's one thing from the Racing games that we took."

Scotland go into the game ahead of the French following their opening win over Ireland, but their opponents took some positives from their 19-16 defeat against the tournament favourites.

"We watched them at the weekend against England and it was unfortunate that they lost at the end, but they had so many opportunities," Russell said.

"They are the sort of team that will attack from anywhere, they are dangerous from anywhere. They have individuals who can create tries and score from nothing.

"So we know how dangerous they are going to be and in defence they are quite unpredictable. So we have to be on our toes and be ready for anything."

Cotter declared on Friday that Scotland would be facing a "juggernaut" in the Stade de France with the French expecting to make their physical prowess count.

Russell said: "They will be hurting from the weekend so we know how tough it's going to be. And they have a lot of big boys, and I will have a lot of them coming at me, which I guess is part of the sport.

"But the boys are ready physically for the game. Our forwards know the job they have to do, and the backs as well. We know how tough a game it's going to be but we are ready for it."


From Belfast Telegraph