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Over the weekend, photographer Theo McInnes was back for his second outing to capture the atmosphere of a Guinness Men’s Six Nations match.

The location this time was Edinburgh, and a meeting of the Auld Alliance: Scotland v France.

“Edinburgh is such an iconic city, and on match day you got the sense that rugby is an important part of its identity,” says McInnes. “It’s beautiful, with its castle on the hill, visible from everywhere, and this amazing architecture. So people who come to watch the rugby also get to appreciate how beautiful a place Edinburgh is.”

The French fans had arrived in the city well in advance, much to McInnes’ delight. “The vibe was really being built the day before, with the French enjoying themselves in the pubs and bars,” described McInnes. “Then on game day comes the famous march down Murrayfield Mile towards the stadium, people pouring off the trams.”

After photographing match day in Rome in round one, Edinburgh further underlined for McInnes how prevalent the travelling support is across the Championship. “Walking down the street, I needed to check myself about where I actually was, because all I could hear was people speaking French,” he laughs. “I found myself unconsciously saying ‘pardonne-moi’!

McInnes takes much satisfaction in identifying some of the more humorous, quirky moments on game day too. “Those funny little moments of juxtaposition, like something that is inherently Scottish but with some Gallic aspect to it, like a Frenchman eating haggis, or buying some fudge,” he explains.

“I expected Edinburgh to be a lot of fun, and it didn’t disappoint. I like the layout of the stadium, how it’s tiered from the outside, so when the team bus comes in - which is quite a spectacle in itself - people high up have a great view of it all; the band and the pipers playing the team in.

That up-close-and-personal approach he took at the Stadio Olympic for the game itself was once more deployed by McInnes in Scotland. “I was keen to get that again, the beads of sweat on the players’ faces, the cuts on their chin, the tape on their ears,” he says. “Then the players embracing after the game, or giving bits of their kit to fans. It’s those little unseen moments we don’t normally get to see that I’m interested in capturing.”

Theo McInnes will be photographing at games throughout the campaign, and we’ll be showcasing his work across all our digital channels.