His French opposite number Fabien Galthie’s side are top of the championship table with nine points, four more than the Scots, after winning both their games so far, 30-24 against Ireland at the weekend and 37-10 versus Italy a week previously, and they’ll be hoping to make it three victories out of three in Edinburgh on Saturday, February 26.
Ex-Gala star Townsend is backing his side to bounce back from their 20-17 defeat in Wales on Saturday, saying: “We’ve done it in the past.
“We’ve lost opening games or games in the middle of the Six Nations.
“We know the challenge. We’ll be playing against a team that have improved a lot since the last time we played them, so we’ll have to be much better.
“We have two weeks to improve, although for one week we won’t have everyone in camp like the other nations.
“I’m sure the determination will be there for everyone to improve.
“You only get five games in the Six Nations, so it's going to have a negative effect on your chances of winning the tournament.
“We played better against England than we did here, but we didn't show our best in either game.”
Fellow Borderer Darcy Graham, Scotland’s sole try-scorer on Saturday, blamed indiscipline for his side’s defeat in Cardiff, saying: “Our discipline was a bit poor. That was the way they got into the game, through penalties and our mistakes and silly errors.”
The 24-year-old is upbeat about Scotland’s chances of recovering from that upset, though, adding: “We’ve got the potential here to do something very special.
“It’s one game and we need to get back on the horse and go again.”