White’s a team player

Scotland captain Jason White admits defeating France on Sunday would mean more to him than winning his 50th cap. [more]

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Scotland captain Jason White admits defeating France on Sunday would mean more to him than winning his 50th cap.

The Sale Sharks forward will proudly lead the Scots out at Murrayfield for the RBS 6 Nations Championship opener against the French on the day of his cap milestone.

But White, as well as anyone, knows results are ultimately what count on the international stage and has called on his men to produce.

The Scots, under the leadership of Australian Matt Williams, only defeated Italy at home in last season’s campaign but have shown signs of progress under new coach Frank Hadden – even if they have not collected the results.

Hadden led his side to just one win from three in the November internationals – against Samoa – and White knows an opening tournament victory would be more special than his 50th cap honour.

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He said: "It’s a big occasion for me in winning my 50th cap.

"It has probably crept up on me a little bit as the last two or three months of rugby have been so busy with Heineken Cup, Premiership and international games.

"But I think more than me getting my 50th cap, it’s just important to go out and play well on Sunday.

"We felt we finished strongly against New Zealand in our last game in November so it’s about taking that forward and improving our performance. "If we perform well we can get a victory on Sunday."

The Scots were gallant losers to Graham Henry’s all-conquering All Blacks on home turf late last year and White believes the Test match was perfect preparation ahead of locking horns with the French.

Les Bleus finished second in last year’s championship and White is well aware of their qualities.

He added: "We rate New Zealand probably as the best team in the world and France as being on a similar level to them.

"So for us playing New Zealand in the last game was ideal preparation. We obviously respect everyone we play against and need to go out and perform 100 per cent against France.

"They have got a lot of experience in their team and they probably picked on form as well.

"We know we have to make our first tackles as we know they like to get in behind and offload, that’s a strong part of their game.

"So first up defence is very important and matching the eight French forwards up front."

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