I know how Jamie Ritchie is feeling. I’ve been in the scenario where I've started as captain for Scotland one week and the next week I’ve been out the squad despite not playing badly.

Sometimes you are that guy. It will be a tough pill to swallow but Jamie is a strong character and will react in the right way.

Nowadays in rugby, the quality you seek from players coming off the bench often differ from those in the starting XV.

If you’re looking at a head-to-head between Jamie and Andy Christie then you can’t get away from the fact Andy has been in really good form for Saracens, he has a dynamic edge and power advantage which may have earned him the spot against tomorrow’s opponent.

Scotland Rugby News: Scotland's Andy ChristieScotland's Andy Christie (Image: SNS)

We can’t overlook what happens in training and what the coaches observe. Andy must have been disappointed to miss out last week, but now it is his chance to make an impact. He’ll get time off the bench and he is a player who is playing with a lot of confidence and quality. I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for him.

Last week in Wales was peculiar.  Scotland enjoyed total control of the game in the first half, and up until Duhan van der Merwe’s try moments into the second period.

But the momentum was then lost leading to questions. Wales were significantly improved after the break, having produced what Warren Gatland acknowledged was his worst 40 minutes of his coaching career. Finn Russell highlighted complacency, but it is rare to see such a drastic shift in momentum as was experienced at the Principality.

READ MORE: Five things we learned from Scotland's win in Wales

Scotland’s intensity dropped, execution faltered, and discipline waned. Whether it was due to officiating or Wales capitalising on a purple patch, the yellow cards didn’t help, forcing Scotland to play with 14 men for 20 minutes. Despite the win, it felt like a loss. Yet, when Gregor Townsend sat down with his squad on Monday, like any review session, there would have been good and bad to take from the performance.

To compete with the best, Scotland must seek a level of accuracy, consistency and relentlessness that we saw during periods of the first half in Cardiff.

If South Africa, Ireland or New Zealand had faced the equivalent Wales performance last week, the result would not have been close. The squad and coaching team will have scrutinised the performance, knowing that they left a lot out there last week, and will have identified the key focus areas required for this week’s challenge.

It's great to see Rory Darge back in for this weekend. He’s such a great talent and already a leader having been named co-captain by Gregor.

READ MORE: Gregor Townsend explains changes for France

Jack Dempsey hasn’t had loads of game time coming into the back row but he is one of Scotland’s more powerful dynamic carriers so to have him, Matt Fagerson and Darge in the back row, there is danger on both sides of the ball.

Grant Gilchrist’s return from suspension is timely with Richie Gray out for the rest of the championship. There’s consistency where possible and with the changes, two of them have come through injury.

Scotland Rugby News: The carrying of number eight Jack Dempsey could be pivotal for ScotlandThe carrying of number eight Jack Dempsey could be pivotal for Scotland (Image: SNS)

This a real chance for Scotland against France. Let’s not forget, France are wounded, not only from a humbling in Marseille last weekend but from the disappointment of being ejected from a home World Cup in the quarter-finals.

The psychology of sport interests me so much, and I believe the French are vulnerable. Yes, they are a terrifying opposition on their day, and will be hugely motivated to pick up a win at Murrayfield.

READ MORE: France challenged to right 'worst performance in four years'

They kicked less than any other team in the three games last weekend while Scotland kicked the most. Finn Russell and Ben White were at the centre of that and I think France will come and play less rugby inside their own half.

They will look to put pressure on Scotland at the set piece and breakdown, but aerially we will see a lot more of them than last week.

The history books say that Scotland have won three out of the last four in Edinburgh against French opponents, albeit losing in 2022.

It is an exciting prospect, and optimism should prevail as Scotland prepare for a gargantuan task.