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'They have crazy depth': Top 14 champion Richie Gray warns Scotland about understrength France

By PA

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Scotland forward Richie Gray claims the “crazy depth” of French rugby will ensure their trip to Paris is no less difficult despite the home side’s coronavirus outbreak. Sunday’s game will go ahead as scheduled following a decision by Guinness Six Nations organisers.

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Ten France players tested positive but two clear rounds of testing saw the game get the green light. The Six Nations leaders, who have beaten Ireland and Italy away from home, will be missing star scrum-half and 2020 player of the championship Antoine Dupont and captain Charles Ollivon.

Nine of the 23-man squad that sent Ireland spinning to a 15-13 defeat have since been found to have contracted the virus. However, Scotland second row Gray knows from his seven years in France that the absences will not seriously weaken the home side.

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The former Toulouse and Castres lock said: “The challenge will still be just as tough. French rugby, they have crazy depth. A good example of that is the England game in the autumn, when I think it was dubbed the French third team. But they went over to England and almost pulled off a victory.

“They can cough up a lot of players and there is a lot of talent. Any time you play France in France it’s going to be a really tough challenge. So we need to be prepared for that.”

Gregor Townsend’s Scotland are looking to end a long wait for an away win in Paris after banishing poor records in Wales and England in recent months. Gray said: “It was an opportunity if they didn’t have players missing.

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“It’s been 1999 since we last won there, so it’s a great opportunity to go over there, produce a performance and hopefully get a win. But everyone is aware of how tough it will be.”

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'They have crazy depth': Top 14 champion Richie Gray warns Scotland about understrength France

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