Absence of success in Paris of no concern to Robinson

HEAD COACH Andy Robinson is unfazed by Scotland's history in France and his side's recent try-scoring record ahead of the RBS Six Nations opener at the Stade de France tonight.

Scotland have two wins in Paris in 42 years and are without a victory in the French capital since winning the final Five Nations Championship in 1999.

But after five wins in the last six Tests, Robinson is determined to oversee a performance which would earn Scotland a first win on the opening Six Nations weekend in five years – the last was their most recent win over France, at Murrayfield in 2006.

"We focus on what our performance is about," said the former England coach. "We can't control what's happened over the last 12 years.

"There's been a lot of talking taking place and what's key for us now is for us to get out and perform. The start is crucial to that, playing away from home.

"Also being able to have a good set-piece and being able to control the ball. On top of that you've got to have an outstanding defence and one with a real collective will, coupled with good self-control so we're not giving a lot of penalties away."

Brian O'Driscoll is determined that Ireland will summon the performance they need to postpone the upset by Italy that he believes is inevitable.

The rivals clash at the Stadio Flaminio this afternoon with Ireland having never lost in the fixture since Italy's entrance into the tournament in 2000.

Scotland and Wales have fallen victim to the Azzurri, who are embarking on their 12th championship, and O'Driscoll fears it will be Ireland's turn one day.

"It's inevitable that at some stage Italy will beat us in a Six Nations game. Let's just hope it's not this year," he said.

"They've definitely improved from my earliest memories. These days teams give them the same respect as they did back then, but it's a different type of respect."