Losing the chance to watch powerhouses New Zealand, South Africa and Australia up here during the autumn was a blow. But there are positive elements of the replacement Nations Cup which cannot be overlooked.
Whether you’re an English, Welsh, Irish or Scottish supporter, I’m talking to people daily who want to discuss how the games went, the selections and key turning points.
Last weekend’s games were somewhat predictable, but that all changes today with France’s trip to face Scotland at Murrayfield.
If the French keep 15 on the field this time it will be hard for the Scots to repeat the Six Nations victory in March, which ended their Grand Slam hopes.
You have to say that if France are at their best, against Scotland at their best, then France win – but the margin will be closer in Edinburgh than it would be in Paris.
When they played in the 2020 Six Nations, Scotland rattled and rumbled the French – and you could not have disagreed with Scots fans if they had argued that they would have won even if France had not had prop Mohamed Haouas sent off for that thumping punch on Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie.
The Scots won 29-17 and cost France a potential Grand Slam.
The issue that the Scots have to resolve is that they are a side that is coming, but have not yet worked out how to arrive.
The Autumn Nations Cup presents them with a good opportunity to do so, especially as they enter it as a side boosted by their first win on Welsh soil for 18 years after beating Wales 14-10 in Llanelli in the final round of the Six Nations three weeks ago.
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