Yes, it was a warm-up. Yes, it was the first real hit-out. Yes, the team on the field could reasonably be said to contain all of the nine players in the squad who won’t even get on the flight to Japan.
France 32 Scotland 3: Soft Scots outmuscled by French as World Cup preparations begin with a thumping
Scotland limped into their Rugby World Cup campaign with a thorough thumping physically and on the scoreboard at the hands of France in the 24-degree heat in Nice.
Nice in high summer is not the same as Paris in the spring, conceded Scotland assistant coach Danny Wilson, but that doesn’t mean that Scotland aren’t prepared for a fully-fledged test match on the French Riviera tonight.
Stuart McInally figures he’s had the most challenging experience as Scotland captain already, so skippering the side at the Rugby World Cup in Japan can’t be that bad.
Duncan Taylor’s readiness for a World Cup after two years missing from Scotland duty faces a real acid test on the French Riviera on Saturday night as Gregor Townsend’s first team of the elongated campaign as unveiled yesterday.
Sam Johnston had Adam Hastings as “my little servant” for a spell in Scotland camp after an accidental collision but the Glasgow centre’s World Cup involvement in brief doubt, but the Twickenham hero should make the plane to Japan easily.
The first cut was the slightest, with just four of Gregor Townsend’s extended training squad for the Rugby World Cup returning to their clubs as 40 go on to the four warm-up matches over the next month.
Huw Jones aims to bounce back from a difficult year by making himself “undroppable” for both Scotland and Glasgow Warriors.
There’s one more week of training camp before Scotland’s World Cup squad actually get wound into some live action, and Jamie Ritchie is champing at the bit for a game.
Danny Wilson’s looking forward to the end of the “nice fluffy time” in Scotland’s World Cup preparations when players can start knocking lumps out of each other.