Gray out to 'rattle' France
Richie Gray thinks it is crucial that Scotland make an aggressive start if they are to beat France in Paris on Saturday.
Last Updated: 04/02/11 5:04pm
Richie Gray thinks it is crucial that Scotland make an aggressive start if they are to beat France in Paris for the first time in 12 years.
The Glasgow lock has been named in the second row for Scotland's RBS Six Nations opener after some impressive performances in the autumn internationals.
Gray earned praise for his role in helping Scotland bounce back from a 49-3 drubbing by New Zealand with victories over Samoa and world champions South Africa.
And the 21-year-old, who stands 6ft 8in and weighs over 19-and-a-half stone, is aiming to make his sizeable presence felt at the Stade de France on Saturday.
"We've got to go out there and really rattle the French in the first 10, 20 minutes, try not let them get that rhythm," Gray said.
"They're a fantastic side, fantastic with ball in hand and really strong up front. We'll need to do everything in our power to stop that."
Gray also says he is not thinking about the plaudits that have recently come his way, instead remaining fully focused on dealing with a fearsome French pack.
He added: "I won't be looking too much into that. I'm just looking to perform my best and do what I can to help the team out.
"The dark arts is something the French are really good at - a really aggressive pack. I look forward to going up against them.
"I'm really excited, but also quite nervous. I'm looking into everything, playing against the French and also the stadium that we'll be in - a fantastic stadium and a fantastic crowd. I'm really looking forward to the whole occasion."
Skipper and Glasgow team-mate Alastair Kellock will partner Gray in the second row with Nathan Hines, usually a lock, operating at blindside flanker.
Gray said: "I know Al quite well and it's a bit of Glasgow comfort, you could say. Nathan's been playing really well. I'm delighted to get the nod, but it's great Nathan's in as well.
"His experience and his weight will help the scrum out and his general play around the park - he adds that physical edge."