France beat England 22-16 in Six Nations


"We've a lot of big leaders", Best said.

"We all make errors but we certainly played some outstanding rugby today and caused a very good side problems", said Townsend.

Scotland looked by far the more threatening team, with Stuart Hogg producing a brilliant off-load only for Peter Horne to throw an inviting pass for Jacob Stockdale to do his thing and the Ulster youngster gladly picked it off to add to his burgeoning haul of global tries.

"We're in the loser's chair and it's not a happy place, but I don't think we should get too melodramatic about it".

There was a stramash last season about Glasgow players targeting Murray's standing leg when the Irish scrummy was in Munster colours but if he is looking for protection he'll be disappointed.

"You can probably accept if you go away from home, play your best game and get beaten by a better team".

"It's a Test match, we want to win it and that's our first priority", Jones said.

The 35-year-old hooker said Ireland allowed themselves to relax fatally once they had battled back from 21-5 down to lead 22-21 with the game entering the final stages only for Greig Laidlaw to convert two penalties to seal the game for the Scots.

The kicking game is one of Ireland's chief territorial weapons, but it was England's as well and Laidlaw had pinpointed Scotland mixing up their game in that way before the England game.

'It is brilliant to play alongside him.

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France v England kicks off at 4.45pm and is live on TV3.

With forwards like Wenceslas Lauret and Yacouba Camara, who are experts in the back row, Les Bleus will bring a lot of dynamism to open play.

France could now finish as high as second in the Six Nations table if they topple Wales on Saturday and head coach Jacques Brunel was delighted after stitching together successive wins against Italy and England. "We're going to enjoy the victory". The boot is on the other foot after a year ago and I'm sure they'll be licking their lips. But Irish rugby great Brian O'Driscoll, recalling Scotland's victory at Ireland's temporary Croke Park home in 2010, told AFP they "sure know how to spoil a party".

"But if we stop them playing, work hard at the break-down, be aggressive in defence like Scotland were, then we can make it difficult for them to impose their gameplan".

'Yes, I have recovered from that night!' said a smiling Laidlaw.

'The England game is one you watch when you are growing up as a youngster and can only imagine yourself being part of it and winning it.

That vital moment of skill looks all the more valuable now, and if you take Rome out of the equation, it is - remarkably - the only away victory of the tournament so far.

"It's an important game for us to see how we respond from the loss against Scotland".

Best, Ireland's third most capped player behind the now retired duo of O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara, assumed the captaincy after Paul O'Connell retired after the 2015 World Cup. It is all about the Ireland game and moving forward'.