Scotland need to “lay down a marker” for the World Cup in their rematch with France on Saturday, says Rory Lawson.

Gregor Townsend’s side were humbled 32-3 in Nice last week in their opening warm-up match.

Ahead of the return at Murrayfield, former national team scrum-half Lawson says Scotland need to reassert themselves.

“The focus has to now shift to win at Murrayfield,” he told BBC Scotland.

“Lay down a marker on Saturday to say ‘this is what Scotland are going to be about heading in to the World Cup’.”

Townsend has made 14 changes to his starting side for the match, with only retaining his place.

The defeat in France was the latest iicted on Scotland away from home, their last victory on the road coming against Argentina in 2018. In their past three away games Scotland have conceded a total of 86 points.

“The travel sickness thing is something that needs to be addressed by Gregor, his coaches and the players,” Lawson said.

“The players have to take accountability for that. Why is it that at Murrayfield the players can get themselves to the level they need to be at, yet away from home they’ve shown that they drop off?”

As well as France on Saturday, Scotland play Georgia home and away before opening their World Cup campaign against Ireland on 22 September.

Townsend’s team will also face Samoa, Russia and hosts Japan in their pool, and Lawson, who represented Scotland at two World Cups, believes there is still plenty of time for Scotland to hit the ground running in Japan.

“No need for panic buttons just yet. The World Cup preparation games are very unique. You go through a pre-season at an intensity that you’ve not experienced at your club, then you go into games,” he added.

“The key is not for Scotland to peak now, the key is to peak in round one of the World Cup in almost exactly a month’s time, and that is where Scotland will be truly measured.”


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