Gregor Townsend says Scotland owe Wales a favour for their win over England in the 1999 Championship as they prepare for their Paris showdown with France.
The Red Rose were heavy favourites to beat Wales at Wembley and claim both the Championship title and the Grand Slam 22 years ago in what was the final game of the Five Nations era.
But a late try from Scott Gibbs, converted by Neil Jenkins, secured a dramatic 32-21 win for Wales and handed the Championship to Scotland – who beat England on points difference.
Scotland had staged their own dramatic upset the previous day when they scored five first-half tries to beat France in Paris – the last time they achieved that feat in the Championship.
Should Scotland repeat that famous win in the French capital on Friday night in their rearranged Round 3 tie then Wales would become the 2021 Guinness Six Nations champions.
And having been a key member of Scotland’s team in 1999, scoring a try against every other country, Townsend admits it is probably about time they repaid the favour.
“We obviously feel we’re capable of going there and getting a result,” he said. “We need more than just a win, we need to win by a few points to get to third and potentially second.
Preview: France v Scotland
“That’s what we’re gunning towards. We’ve shown that we can play very well away from home and if we do deliver an 80-minute performance I think we’ll be more than just competitive.
“We have two Welsh members of staff so they’ve had a few messages. We maybe owe Wales a favour from 1999 when I remember watching that game with Stuart Grimes in France.
“We were thinking, ‘We had a good win yesterday but do we really want to watch England win the Five Nations?’ and Wales turned them over that day.
“So I’m sure they’ll be cheering us on like we were that day 22 years ago.”
Scotland also have plenty to play for in the 2021 Championship as Townsend’s men can still finish second in the table – which would be their highest placing in the Six Nations era.
How to watch France v Scotland in the Guinness Six Nations
A bonus-point win for the visitors would be enough for them to finish runners-up in this year’s standings as long as they can prevent France earning two bonus points in defeat.
They will also come second if they beat Les Bleus without a bonus point but with at least a five-point margin of victory while preventing their hosts earning any bonus points.