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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Hamish Watson wants Scotland to handle 'expectations' in Six Nations better

Scots had dismal opening to tournament in loss to Wales and face France at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Scotland were well beaten by Wales in the Six Nations and are now aiming to bounce back against France. Anndrew Boyers / Action Images via Reuters
Scotland were well beaten by Wales in the Six Nations and are now aiming to bounce back against France. Anndrew Boyers / Action Images via Reuters

Hamish Watson admits Scotland have to cope better with their new expectations when they face France on Sunday.

Both teams opened their Six Nations campaigns with defeats at the weekend, but it was Scotland who suffered the more damaging result.

They were routed 34-7 by Wales on Saturday to bring an abrupt end to the optimism that had been growing about their chances of securing a first title since 1999.

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Weekend schedule

Saturday February 10

Ireland v Italy 6.15pm

England v Wales 8.45pm

Sunday February 11

Scotland v France 7pm

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Much was expected of Gregor Townsend's squad this year after an impressive autumn series, but the players will face a test of their true credentials against France in Edinburgh this weekend.

"Obviously expectations have risen over the last year because we're doing well," Watson said. "But as players we've got to handle that pressure better.

"I think both teams are going to go into the game having lost the first game so we need to win.

"Our fans expect us to nowadays, which is great, but we've got a lot of pressure on us as well, so we need to go into the game, be positive and try to play the same as we've been doing at Murrayfield for the last year."

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Read more

Six Nations: England get title defence off to winning start in Rome

Wales produce 'massive performance' against Scotland, Sexton seals late win for Ireland

Ireland set to rival England for title but it looks like more misery for France

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Flanker Watson even admitted that he could understand why fans would lose confidence in the side after such a heavy defeat to a relatively inexperienced Welsh outfit.

"I'd say it's expected to get a bit of a backlash after a loss like that," he said.

"I don't think many people were expecting it and the fans are probably quite right to be a bit hacked off after a game like that, but no-one's hurting more than the players, so we need to put it right as well.

"We need to go out and be positive and obviously it's a must-win game for us if we want to have anything to do with this championship, but it's must win for France as well, so it's going to be a tough game."