‘It’s too long since Scotland beat France’

Sean Lamont says Scotland are desperate to end their decade of failure against France — but denied they are shackled by an inferiority complex.

‘It’s too long since Scotland beat France’

The veteran Glasgow wing scored two tries the last time the Scots mustered a victory over Les Bleus back in 2006.

That 20-16 Murrayfield win remains Scotland’s sole triumph against their Gallic rivals since the Championship was extended from five teams to six in 1999.

But hope has risen among Vern Cotter’s squad that they can finally halt that miserable run when they take on Guy Noves’ side in Edinburgh on Sunday after victory over Italy a fortnight ago.

That Rome triumph ended another mortifying streak as Scotland finally claimed their first Six Nations success in two years. Now Lamont is looking to put their ugly record against the French to bed.

The 103-cap 35-year-old — who admits he could be set for his Murrayfield farewell, even if he refuses to retire from international duty — said: “It’s quite a scary stat. Ten years is a bloody long time; it’s a whole career. It shouldn’t be that way. Ten years is too long, way too long.

“We were fairly close last year and ran them close in the summer before the World Cup. But again it wasn’t a win and goes down in the record book as a big fat ‘L’.

“Hopefully we can buck that trend this time.

“The boys have been playing well so far this Six Nations. The England game swung on a couple of moments where we switched off, the same happened down in Wales. We got a good win away at Italy, although it wasn’t as comfortable as we’d have liked.

“So there is still a lot we need to work on, especially against France. But God, to get that monkey off our backs we need to win this weekend.”

Lamont takes little satisfaction from the 36-20 win over the Italians — he says it is the bare minimum expected of Cotter’s squad. “The way we feel, we should be beating Italy every year, no disrespect to them,” he said. “But that’s what we should be targeting and then looking to pick off others elsewhere. So this is where it starts. We’ve got a win but we need to back it up.

“I don’t think it’s a mental thing against the other nations. Certainly not against the Welsh and Irish because when we play for Glasgow and Edinburgh, we face these guys every week.

“So individually it’s not really a mental thing, with us thinking they are better than us — because they are not really.

“Sometimes it’s just that we overplay or switch off. Then you’re behind. Chasing a game is so much different from commanding one.

“If we can stop France taking an early lead this weekend and reverse that trend, then it will be so important to making sure that come minute 80, it’s us who is up on points.”

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