Scotland captain John Barclay offered insight into how much pressure his side had been feeling ahead of yesterday’s badly needed win over France in admitting that relief rather than joy had been the main emotional response.

“There’s a fair bit of relief, actually. You would think we’d be bouncing, but the hangover from last week, everyone is so relieved to get a victory against a really good French side,” he said

Major questions were asked of the team’s psyche after they repeated the mistake of the previous week in Cardiff when conceding early scores, but the flanker was happy with the way they responded this time.

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“When we lost the early try, the message was to keep hold of the ball. Every time we got our hands on the ball, we were causing them problems, so the message was to keep working, keep getting our hands on the ball,” he said.

Having led Scotland to home and away victories over Australia last year he clearly knew they had to prove they could perform in the more intense environment of tournament play, but he thanked those who have continued to back them, saying: “We haven’t become a dreadful team just because of the Wales game. We’re also delighted for the fans who put all that faith in us. That’s for them.”