Stuart Hogg urges Scotland to ‘let everything go’ and embrace France challenge

Scotland captain Stuart Hogg has urged his team-mates to let everything go and “have some fun” against Grand Slam hopefuls France.

Hogg feels Scotland eased the pressure on their Guinness Six Nations campaign by beating Italy 17-0 last time out following narrow defeats by Ireland and England.

The Exeter full-back feels Scotland have learned from the mistakes made in their opening two matches – in which they failed to produce a try – and can cut loose against their in-form visitors at BT Murrayfield on Sunday.

“The big message I have said for the last month or so is to let everything go – don’t hold anything back,” Hogg said.

“That’s the freedom you have playing for Scotland – you are there because you’re good enough.

“You are there to do a job and I have said to the boys that we hold nothing back, we let everything go and we express ourselves and have some fun because when we’re doing that, we are scoring tries, we are defending well and we are showing what it is to play for Scotland.”

The 27-year-old added: “There’s been a good buzz about this week because there’s a huge challenge coming our way and we’ve got another chance to play in front of our home fans.

“We want the fans to look at us when we’re playing and see a bit of themselves in us – boys that work incredibly hard, who are passionate about playing for Scotland.

Stuart Hogg was all smiles during the captain’s run
Stuart Hogg was all smiles during the captain’s run (Ian Rutherford/PA)

“We have 23 guys who are raring to go. We have prepped well. The big thing for us is we are not striving for perfection because that doesn’t exist. We will just continue to bounce through our mistakes and make sure we are in a better place.”

The match pits the tournament’s top scorers against the tightest defence. France have scored 86 points in wins over Italy, England and Wales while Scotland have only conceded 32, about half the total of the French.

Hogg said: “They are a hugely difficult pack who have been dominating scrums and lineouts and it’s a huge challenge for our boys up front but I truly believe they are ready for it and will front up and beat them up there.

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“In terms of their defence, they bring high press, a blitz defence, something that has changed for them over the last couple of years with the Shaun Edwards effect. He is a world-class coach but with every challenge that comes our way there are opportunities within it.

“We have talked as a back line about what we are going to do and hopefully we can exploit some areas.

“But we might have four or five opportunities in attack and we have to make the most of every single one. That’s something we have worked hard on in training – we have no wasted reps, we make the most of everything.

“We feel we are in a very good place but it means nothing unless we turn up. We will make sure we front up and are ready for battle.”

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