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Men's Rugby Union Laidlaw ready to follow Barclay into battle against France

GREIG LAIDLAW may no longer be Scotland skipper but the scrum-half said today that he will do his all to inspire his side to victory against France.

The Clermont Auvergne man will find himself back in a Dark Blues starting XV for the first time in a year for tomorrow’s Six Nations clash at Murrayfield.

His last Scotland start came against the French in Paris in last year’s championship, with an ankle injury then ending his tournament.

John Barclay took over the captaincy — an honour he retained when Laidlaw missed both the summer and autumn series as he was first called up by the British and Irish Lions for their tour of New Zealand and then later hit by another injury, a broken fibula.

Laidlaw’s return to fitness left head coach Gregor Townsend with a dilemma on the eve of this year’s Six Nations — ultimately deciding Barclay should carry on leading the team into battle.

If that decision came as a blow, Laidlaw did well to disguise it as he faced the media this week.

And skipper or not, he will not hold back from offering guidance where necessary.

“I’ve not actually thought about it to be honest,” said the 32-year-old, when asked if it would be strange allowing someone else to lead out Scotland after 32 caps as skipper. “I’m delighted to be back in the starting team. Barcs has shown he’s a good captain and will show that again at the weekend.”

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