SCOTLAND may have an almighty task in front of them as they prepare to host France next weekend but Sam Johnson is more worried about what he and his teammates are going to do on Sunday than anything the French may bring to the party.

The centre has not watched a replay of France taking on Wales a week ago just yet and while he was quick to stress he will watch France’s victory in Cardiff at some point in the next few days, it is far more useful for he and his teammates to concentrate on themselves.

“We will have a look at what they are doing leading into next weekend's game, just to get an idea of a few things they are trying to do,” Johnson said.

“But we do look after ourselves and I think that's something we've done really well over these first few weeks because we haven't overstressed about what the opposition are doing.

“Obviously, we have a new defensive system with Steve Tandy, so we are trying to get that in place and it has been working really well so far.”

Johnson has been included in Gregor Townsend’s 37-man squad for Scotland’s clash with the French next weekend and with the visitors hunting the grand slam having won all three of their matches so far this Six Nations, there is little doubt Fabien Galthie’s men will be up for the battle.

However, with Scotland claiming their first win of the tournament last weekend, with a decisive victory over Italy in Rome, Johnson reveals the mood in the camp is as positive as he has ever experienced in his year in the national squad.

“It's definitely the best environment that I've been in during my time with Scotland,” the Glasgow Warriors man said.

“I think it has been a really good thing in the camp so far that we have been building relationships. There are no cliques, nothing like that. We are a really strong unit and we are trying to do our best to progress.

“I think we’re turning a page to playing some good rugby and getting the results.

“We will prepare well for France this week and see how we go.”

Scotland have played the French three times in the last 12 months; following a loss in last year’s Six Nations, Townsend’s men won one and lost one in their World Cup warm-up matches last summer.

However, the French appear to have progressed significantly since then which, for such a young side, is not necessarily unexpected. And, says Johnson, with young players of the quality of Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack in their line-up, France always had the potential to evolve into a truly world-class side.

“I'm not really surprised by (their progress),” said Johnson.

“It doesn't take much to switch things around. They are on a good spell of form and full of confidence. That goes a long way towards playing some good rugby.

“They are a good young side and they have a good coaching staff who are bringing out the best of their attributes.

“Ntamack was a finalist for European player of the year. He’s controlling the team really well at 10 and his relationship with Dupont is really good. They are electric players, full of confidence and full of form, and he's leading the round really well.”

Meanwhile, following a weekend of club games, Townsend has named an almost identical squad for the France clash to the one that prepared for the visit to Italy just over a week ago.

There is only one change to the squad, with Edinburgh Rugby's Lewis Carmichael coming in as a replacement for Worcester Warriors' Cornell du Preez, with the versatile Carmichael hoping to add to the two caps he already has to his name.

Finn Russell remains absent, as does Darcy Graham. Graham missed the beginning of the Six Nations campaign following a knee-injury but he re-joined the squad for training last week and there had been hope the winger would regain fitness in time to play some part in this year's tournament. However, a reaction in his knee to the increased training means he will now sit out both the France and the Wales games.