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Six Nations: Scotland’s Stuart Hogg ‘hacked off’ by France title talk

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France must beat Scotland by 21 points and earn a four-try bonus point to pip Wales to the Six Nations crown; Scotland can secure their highest-ever finish of second place with an eight-point win over Les Bleus at the Stade de France

Stuart Hogg's Scotland are targeting their highest-ever Six Nations finish

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Stuart Hogg’s Scotland are targeting their highest-ever Six Nations finish

Stuart Hogg says he is “hacked off” at the coverage of Scotland’s Six Nations finale against France in Paris on Friday night.

France must beat Scotland by 21 points and earn a four-try bonus point in the rearranged Paris clash in order to pip Wales to the Six Nations crown.

Scotland can secure their highest-ever Six Nations finish of second place with an eight-point win over Les Bleus at the Stade de France, however.

Six Nations title permutations: What do France need?

    France win if they beat Scotland by 21 points or more in bonus points win If France win by 21 points or more but fail to score bonus point then Wales are champions If France win by 20 points & bonus point they would be separated on tries scored (currently Wales 20, France 15) – France must score six tries to win title If France win by 20 points in bonus point win but score five tries the title will be shared for first time since 1988

“A lot’s been said, and it’s beginning to hack me off, about them needing 21 points to win the title,” said Scotland captain Hogg.

“And I saw someone from their camp talking about them playing for the trophy.

“As a proud Scotsman that hurt me a lot.

“A lot’s been said about what they need to do. But if we win by eight points we secure our highest ever Six Nations finish. So that’s the motivation.”

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Scotland’s Finn Russell says the players can’t be distracted by selection issues when they face France in their final game of the Six Nations

Scotland are without British and Irish Lions wing Sean Maitland for Friday’s crucial encounter, which was delayed due to a previous Covid-19 outbreak in the France squad.

Head coach Gregor Townsend was only able to select five English-based players due to an 11th-hour agreement, with the match now falling outside the usual Test window.

That has seen the luckless Saracens wing Maitland miss the match, leaving skipper Hogg feeling for his Test team-mate.

Asked to appraise the situation facing Scotland given France had suffered the coronavirus outbreak, Hogg made his feelings known without crossing any lines.

When asked if Scotland’s selection limitations are unfair, Hogg replied: “Well 100 per cent, but this is a headline question. For me we’re very much put the squad first and make sure we get the job done first and play for these boys.

“My opinion is one I’ll keep to myself because I don’t want it to be a headline now when there’s other things to concentrate on.

“I’ve seen how much it hurt Sean Maitland not to be involved. That hurt him a lot.

“The other boys too, they have had a massive impact on what we’ve done in training and in matches in the last few weeks.

“So the challenge now is for us to put in a performance that they’d be proud of. We’ll be going out there to play for everyone.”

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