John Barclay insists Scotland will suffer another Six Nations defeat unless they step up France display against Wales



JOHN Barclay admits if Scotland play like they did against France they will have no chance of beating Wales this weekend.

The flanker has been passed fit for Saturday’s clash at BT Murrayfield and could captain the side after being one of six players who had to be replaced the last time out in Paris.

With skipper Greig Laidlaw going off after just 25 minutes with an ankle injury that has seen him ruled out of the remainder of the Six Nations, the Scots could not find their attacking rhythm and succumbed to a 22-16 defeat against Les Bleus.

(Pic: Daniel)

They will be hoping a return to home soil, where they notched an opening-day success against Ireland, will bring better fortune, even though Scotland have not beaten the Welsh since 2007.

But Barclay, who plays his club rugby in Wales with Scarlets, is aware Vern Cotter’s men will be up against a top-quality side, who came within four minutes of beating tournament favourites England on their last outing.

He said: “In my mind, the France game stands out as being up there with the most physical Test match I’ve played in.

“We had five guys with head knocks and Greig got injured. It’s not often you see that.

“I went to the post-match function and there was nine guys didn’t go. It was pretty bruising.

“The record [against Wales] is not great. Wales’ record has been pretty good under Warren [Gatland] over his years.


“I said at the start of the tournament if we play well and keep guys fit then we feel like we can beat teams.

“But if we play like we did in Paris, I don’t think we’ll win the game, no way.”

Barclay is likely to come up against a handful of Scarlets team-mates this weekend, with the likes of prop Rob Evans, hooker Ken Owens, winger Liam Williams and centre Jonathan Davies mainstays of the Wales side.

And the 30-year-old former Glasgow Warriors player is hoping to have the bragging rights when the full-time whistle sounds.

Speaking to Scrum V, he added: “When I came down here I always thought it would be awesome to play against the boys, a bit of a different experience for me to play against my own team-mates.

“It didn’t happen for three and a half years, but it’s fun and there’s always a bit of winding up going on.

“Wales have had the upper hand for all these years. It’s not the motivation for me, but it would certainly give me a bit of fun and a bit of banter with the boys afterwards.”