Rugby Union

Kelly Brown: 'The French are dangerous'

Following three losses and a draw, France are hunting victory over Scotland to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2013 17:27
Brown hopes interim coach Scott Johnson (R) and his team stay in charge regardless of result [EPA]

Scottish captain Kelly Brown said he was expecting something of a French backlash in their final Six Nations clash at
the Stade de France on Saturday.

The 30-year-old backrow forward, seen in some quarters as a potential captain of the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia later this year, said the French would want to end their woeful campaign on a good note.

The French have lost three and drawn one of their games and need to beat the Scots to stand a reasonable chance of avoiding their first wooden spoon since 1999.

"When you are over in France it is always a real challenge and we are up against a French side that, without a shadow of doubt, are upset and angry."

Scottish captain Kelly Brown

Brown, though, said the Scots had made enough progress to suggest they could become the first Scotland side to win in Paris since 1999 - the win that day condemned the French to the wooden spoon.

"Yes, I would say the French are dangerous," said Brown.

"When you are over in France it is always a real challenge and we are up against a French side that, without a shadow of doubt, are upset and angry. I'm sure we are in for an incredibly intense Test match.

"Everyone is aware that when you play in France the French crowd will be absolutely screaming for their side. But if we can put them under a bit of pressure then every now and again the crowd will turn against them.

"We need to start well and make sure they are under pressure right from the first whistle."

Work in progress

Brown, whose side have beaten Italy and Ireland, said his team were still a work in progress under interim coach Scott Johnson but that since he replaced Andy Robinson they had moved in a positive direction.

"If you look at he championship, I feel that we have made really big strides, but it's about constantly improving and we want to improve from our previous performance, so that's what we're looking to do," said the Saracens forward.

"We know as a side what we are trying to do. I feel that over the course of the championship we have shown that we are making great strides in a lot of areas. We will judge ourselves as a squad."

Brown hopes Johnson and the rest of the coaching staff would be kept on whatever Saturday's result.

"We have really enjoyed working with him (Johnson) but what happens in the future is for others to decide," he said.

"As everyone knows he has a bit of humour and a turn of phrase, but he is very honest.

"He will tell us exactly what he thinks and where he wants us to improve. I think he has also worked very well with the other coaches. It is a really good blend that they have there."

Brown said that he remembered the 1999 game quite well although he wasn't able to watch all of it.

"I was playing for the Melrose 2nd VII in Dumfries," he said.

"I was going in and out, playing and watching a bit of the game on tv.

"That was a great day for Scottish rugby and we want to see if we can also give the nation as much to cheer about as those guys did that day."


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