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Gray positive about Scotland

Richie Gray believes Scotland are within reach of proving their potential and have a point to prove in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Rugby World Cup finalists France.

Scotland dominated against England and Wales but lost on each occasion and must defeat France at Murrayfield to resurrect their campaign.

"We've been playing so well but just not getting the wins. I believe it's about the final one percent and a complete 80-minute performance. It's close," said Gray.

The forward battle is key and Gray, tipped by many to tour Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013, anticipates a fierce confrontation up front.

The 6ft 9in, 19st 12lb second row added: "It's a massive test. They're one of the top lineout teams, one of the top scrummaging teams. They challenge you all around the park.

"France have a formidable pack and a really dangerous back-line, and are also World Cup finalists. In the northern hemisphere there's no bigger challenge."

The return of John Barclay, who has been named at blindside flanker, could be crucial for Scotland.

Scotland's expansive style under head coach Andy Robinson is about keeping possession and multiple phases of play, with Barclay assigned to secure ball for his team and to slow down opposition ball.

Barclay said: "Playing at tempo and multi-phase rugby is what we have to aspire to do.

"As a pack we're performing very well. There's always room for improvement in little areas but especially coming up against the French pack. Last year they absolutely destroyed us in the scrum and that's something they will look to target I'm sure. It's probably the biggest challenge to date for this pack."


From Belfast Telegraph