France vs Scotland Six Nations 2015 match preview: What time does it start and where can I watch it?

A look ahead to Saturday's Six Nations clash between France and Scotland

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The Independent Online

A resurgent Scotland side will kick off their campaign against France in Paris as they strive for their first Six Nations title.

Scotland endured another disappointing championship last season, when they were saved them from another wooden spoon by Duncan Weir's last-gasp drop goal in Rome.

But since Vern Cotter took over last June, the Scots have grown in confidence. They have won five of their last seven Tests and they will be galvanized by a spirited autumn campaign.

Cotter has made some controversial back-row selections but no one doubts that he has assembled a squad with an abundance of attacking ability.

Two of their most exciting attacking prospects, Glasgow Warriors duo Finn Russell and Mark Bennett, will make their Six Nations debuts on Saturday.

Cotter has made just two changes to the side that thrashed Tonga in November. Bennett comes in to partner Glasgow team-mate Alex Dunbar in the midfield and Euan Murray returns to the front row at the expense of Geoff Cross.

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Scotland head coach Vern Cotter

Russell will start at fly-half, outside Scottish skipper Greig Laidlaw, while London Irish's Blair Cowan is also set to make his first Six Nations start after some impressive autumn outings.

Les Blues have not lost in this fixture since 2006, but they have only won twice since they edged past the Scots last March and they remain impulsively brilliant and sporadically self destructive.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made seven changes to the side that lost 18-13 to South Africa in November.

There is no place in the match-day squad for veteran prop Nicolas Mas. Stade Francais' Rabah Slimani will start at tight-head and Samoan-born prop Uini Antonio has been named the bench alongside the uncapped flanker Loann Goujon.

South-African born scrum-half Rory Kockott has been called up to the starting line-up in the absence of the injured Sebastian Tillous-Borde. Clermont's Camille Lopez comes in to complete a new-look half-back combination as Remi Tales drops to the bench.

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French outside-half Camille Lopez

Scott Spedding, another native South African, retains his place at full-back despite the return of Bric Dulin and Mathieu Bastareaud returns to the midfield to replace the injured Alexandre Dumoulin. Morgan Parra is recalled to the bench.

TEAMS:

France: Scott Spedding, Yoann Huget, Mathieu Bastareaud, Wesley Fofana, Teddy Thomas, Camille Lopez, Rory Kockott; Alexandre Menini, Guilhem Guirado, Rabah Slimani, Pascal Pape, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Damien Chouly, Bernard Le Roux.

Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Uini Atonio, Eddy Ben Arous, Romain Taofifenua, Loann Goujon, Morgan Parra, Remi Tales, Remi Lamerat.

Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Tommy Seymour, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Tim Visser; Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (capt); Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Richie Gray, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Blair Cowan, Johnnie Beattie.

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Geoff Cross, Jim Hamilton, Alasdair Strokosch, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Peter Horne, Dougie Fife.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 17.00

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Scotland 17 France 19, Six Nations March 2014

France 23 Scotland 16, Six Nations, March 2013

Scotland 17 France 23, Six Nations, February 2012

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Johnnie Beattie and Alex Dunbar tackle Maxime Mermoz in last year's Six Nations

STATS:

France have not lost at home to Scotland since 1999

Camille Lopez and Rory Kockott are the 14th half-back pairing to be chosen by Saint-Andre

Scotland have scored 17 tries in their last seven Tests

ODDS:

France to win: 1.2

Scotland to win: 4.3

Draw: 21

CLASSIC MOMENT/MATCH:

In last year's fixture, the Scots lead 14-9 after an impressive first-half performance. But five minutes into the second half Duncan Weir threw a speculative miss pass in the French 22, Yoann Huget picked it off and ran 80 metres to score under the posts. the momentum shifted and France went on to win.

TV: Live on BBC 1 at 5pm

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