Scotland's Autumn Nations Cup clash with Fiji next Saturday is CANCELLED

Ross Houston
November 24, 2020

In a statement, the organisers of the Autumn Nations Cup said: 'The extent of infection in the Fiji camp, combined with a minimum 10-day isolation period, plus the obvious need for suitable preparation for any worldwide Test match meant that, whilst hard, the decision was unavoidable.

Matt Fagerson is next to be given the chance to stake a claim for Scotland's problematic number eight jersey after Blade Thomson did little to show he is the long-term pick at the back of the scrum, while the only change in the backs see wing Blair Kinghorn replace Edinburgh club-mate Darcy Graham.

Over the weekend it was announced the Flying Fijians would have their third consecutive test match cancelled due to a coronavirus outbreak in the squad.

Scotland's hopes of reaching the final now rest on whether Italy can beat France in Paris next week.

It took France just two minutes after the restart to produce the game's first moment of real quality as Fickou's off-load released Rattez surging through a huge gap before he handed over to Vakatawa to score the opening try.

All of Scotland's points came from the boot of flyhalf Duncan Weir.

But the stand-off could only add three more points after the break to leave the Scots all but out of the reckoning for the competition's first-place play-off in a fortnight. "But to take that next step we've got to take our opportunities and be accurate when we have them".

France full-back Thomas Ramos kicked four penalties and a conversion, with Matthieu Jalibert's drop-goal their other score.

Weir's fifth penalty Rattez then found Vakatawa, who held off a despairing effort from Scotland captain Stuart Hogg, with the full-back unable to prevent the powerhouse centre from grounding the ball for a try converted by Ramos.

"The 10-day isolation for the players testing positive to COVID-19 end on Thursday so the team don't have sufficient time to prepare for the Scotland game", O'Connor said.

But France's increasingly powerful rolling maul produced a penalty that Ramos kicked to put his side 22-15 up heading into the final quarter.

The result is a massive blow for Gregor Townsend's side.

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