Laidlaw wants to be toast of Paris


Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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No matter what happens in the rest of Greig Laidlaw’s career, the Scotland skipper wants to be able to look back and say he will always have Paris.

Scotland have gone 16 barren years without a win in the French capital but hope to end that run when they kick off their RBS 6 Nations campaign on Saturday.

Their last triumph at the Stade de France – the 36-22 win in 1999 – put Jim Telfer’s side within touching distance of glory in the final edition of the old Five Nations championship.

That five-try blitz remains a point of pride for the likes of Kenny Logan, Gregor Townsend and Gary Armstrong and now Laidlaw wants to claim his own chapter in the history books by repeating the feat this weekend.

The scrum-half said: “If you look back through the years, the teams who managed to get a win in Paris regard it as special.

“As players, we want to win more than anybody.

“If we can win out there we know we will go down in history. It’s been a long time between drinks.”

Scotland have lost on each of their last seven visits to Paris since that 1999 triumph.

Laidlaw believes that has been due as much to Scotland’s mental frailties as it is to Les Bleus’ on-field dominance.

“It will be a hugely physical test come Saturday,” said the Gloucester half-back.

“The French have a big scrum and some dangerous backs who are starting to play a bit more now.

“The opposition have had a big say in our record over there – you are always playing against 15 top internationals.

“But sometimes there is that Scottish mentality when you do good things and then bad. We need to get rid of that.”

There are signs already that this Scotland side is less likely to press the self-destruct button.

While the team capitulated to England and Wales in last year’s tournament, they bounced back under new coach Vern Cotter during the summer before registering two highly impressive wins over Argentina and Tonga in the autumn.

New Zealand were also pushed close at Murrayfield in November and Laidlaw insists his side are determined to prove wrong the doubters.

The former Edinburgh man said: “We’re probably not that highly rated by the other nations but there is only one way to fix that. We need to put in performances and win matches.

“People always have their opinions about what happens out on the field but what’s gone is gone. We just need to look to the next game because you can’t keep going over what has already happened.

“Scotland have had good performances in the past but then fallen down. That’s something we are very wary of and want to fix.”

Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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