RUGBY WORLD CUP: Scotland vs Samoa, Ireland vs France

Scotland vs Samoa: Match not about me, Vern Cotter says

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Cotter does not believe that Saturday’s match is a defining moment for him as coach.

Vern Cotter has dismissed suggestions that Saturday’s match against Samoa is a moment that defines him as Scotland head coach.

The national side will qualify for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals should they beat Samoa.

Nonetheless, Cotter, who has been in the job for 15 months, is downplaying the significance of the match.

“I’m sure you can make a story of it if you’d like to,” Cotter told the presses.

“But it’s not about me. It’s about us as a group enjoying this situation.

“It’s a game that we’ve worked ourselves to get to and we know what it means. We’re enjoying the position we are in and we want to put in a good performance this weekend.

“The group has a strong desire to do well and qualify. I think we’ll see that will and determination come Saturday.”

Scotland, second behind Pool B winners South Africa and two points ahead of Japan, have made seven changes to the starting line-up from the defeat by South Africa last Saturday with Finn Russell and John Hardie returning to fly-half and open-side flanker, respectively.

Ireland v France: Kearney ready for massive World Cup match

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Kearney: “France are a very different animal.”

Ireland full-back Rob Kearney expects France to be more formidable on Sunday than they did in the Six Nations in February, when Ireland ran out 18-1.

The nations will meet to decide who will top Rugby World Cup Pool D and try to avoid being pitted against reigning champions New Zealand in the quarter finals.

“We realise that France are a very different animal at Rugby World Cups – they are fitter, stronger and better conditioned. They look like a very different side to the one we faced six months ago.”

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