Ritchie channels focus on championship curtain-raiser

Following the final whistle of tomorrow night’s RBS 6 Nations showdown between Scotland and France in Paris, the atmosphere in the Jean Laville Stadium, in a small-town named Gueugnon, will be building as the two nations collide once again, this time at under-20 level (kick-off 8.55pm local, 7.55pm GMT).

Scotland under-20 will be led on to the field by Edinburgh Rugby back-row Jamie Ritchie, who spoke to scottishrugby.org about the buzz surrounding the camp.

He said: “We’re definitely excited to be getting out there in the 6 Nations opener tomorrow night, and from a personal point of view, I’ll be looking to lead by example and do the best job I can, which, I’m sure, is the mentality of the whole squad just now.

“The boys are feeling pretty refreshed after a good rest last night and a light session this morning, so now we’re just looking forward to the captain’s run this evening.

“There’s a pretty positive vibe around the squad, and there’s a belief that we could really do something special, so we’re in a good place.”

The 23-man squad contains an element of experience at both under-20 level and in the professional arena, which the captain believes will bring an air of maturity to the squad tomorrow night and throughout the campaign.

“There’s a lot of experience in the squad – with guys playing rugby in France in a professional environment and players involved at Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby – which I feel breeds a more competitive edge to the team and helps bring the boys forward,” he continued.

“We expect the French to come at us with a few big boys up front, especially through a strong scrum and line-out drives, so we’ll be looking to take them on in that area.”

A good crowd is expected at the Jean Laville Stadium tomorrow night, yet the anticipation of such an atmosphere is something the squad are looking to embrace.

He concluded: “We’ll take it all in, and the more they get up for it, the more we’ll get up for it as well.

“We know how passionate they are, so we want to match that, and, even, better it.”