SO, Scott Johnson believes that the time is right for his captain, Kelly Brown, to return to the Scotland squad to lead his team into battle against France.
He takes his place in the back row at the expense of Chris Fusaro. Fusaro was brought in against the English at Murrayfield because, according to the Scotland coach: “England play a game on the ground which suits Fusaro” but, this time out, the French “like to keep the ball above the ground”, and that means Brown is back.
Ryan Wilson misses out to David Denton because of illness, also in the back row.
Greig Laidlaw has been given the nod in the week that he announced he will leave Edinburgh to follow the likes of two former Scottish skippers, Rory Lawson and Chris Paterson, to the Gloucester club at the end of this season.
Again the backs are untouched, with two-try hero Alex Dunbar, the former Duns and Selkirk player, retaining his place at centre.
Hawick’s Stuart Hogg is at full back and will be looking to stamp his mark on the match in a game which, despite the pitch, could give us some open rugby. Geoff Cross, the ex-Gala prop who came through the BASE Rugby system in the town, will replace Moray Low, but Kelso’s Ross Ford is on the bench again after the line-out functioned much better against Italy.
There’s a big difference between Italy and France. Italy allowed Scotland back into a game, while France, once in front, rarely let a lead slip from their grasp. I hope we see the backs imposing themselves right from the off and show everyone that they are capable of scoring tries.