SEVEN months on from the postponement of their original fixture, Scotland and France at last get the chance to meet at Scotstoun today. So much has changed since March, in the wider world and within the home camp, where Bryan Easson has succeeded Philip Doyle as head coach.

But the fundamental fact remains the same: the French, ranked fourth in the world, are formidable opponents, and the Scots will have to be at the top of their game if they are to cause an upset.

Scotland’s match against Italy was also postponed for Covid-related reasons seven months ago, so this match will be just their third in the 2020 Six Nations fixtures, with Wales and Italy to follow this autumn.

Having already lost to Ireland and England, they can realistically hope for no more than mid-table respectability; but, with three World Cup qualifiers to come before the end of the year, they hope to use the Championship to build some momentum.

A victory today would be a massive morale boost, but the priority will be to tighten up a defence that conceded 53 points to England.

“If you let them play, they’re a fantastic side, but if you push them back, they do not like to be under pressure,” hooker Lana Skeldon said of today’s opponents. “The more pressure we can put on them, the better the result we’ll get. We’re focused on bringing aggression and intensity in everything we do. It’s something we’re doing well in training, so hopefully we can take it into the game.”

France themselves lost narrowly to England, who will complete the Grand Slam if they win in Italy a week today. But the French bounced back to defeat Italy 45-10 and Wales 50-0, and go into this game as firm favourites.