Six Nations

Scotland forced to change for France Six Nations clash

2019-02-21 12:56
Gregor Townsend
Gregor Townsend (Getty Images)

Edinburgh - Peter Horne will replace the injured Finn Russell at flyhalf for Scotland's Six Nations match against France on Saturday, with coach Gregor Townsend announcing four changes to his starting line-up.

Influential playmaker Russell was substituted before half-time for Paris-based club side Racing 92 in Sunday's loss to Toulouse after suffering a head injury and was ruled out of the France-Scotland clash earlier this week.

Back-rower Magnus Bradbury is the only change to the pack, to start in place of the injured Ryan Wilson.  

The three remaining changes come in the back division, including Horne coming in for Russell.

Blair Kinghorn replaces the injured Stuart Hogg to earn his third Test start in the fullback role he occupies for Edinburgh, while Glasgow centre Nick Grigg comes into the midfield for injured clubmate Huw Jones.

"Injuries create opportunities for others to show what they can do and, throughout the past couple of seasons, we've seen a number of players really step up," said Townsend.

"All of the players coming in started against Argentina in the summer, which ranks as one of our best-ever away performances."

"On top of that there is cohesion forged through familiarity at club level - Magnus in the back-row lines up with clubmate Jamie Ritchie, and Pete Horne and Nick Grigg are either side of Sam Johnson in the backs."

Both Scotland and France go into the third weekend of the Six Nations smarting from defeats. The Scots lost 22-13 to Ireland on February 9 while England thumped France 44-8 at Twickenham the following day.

Scotland's last victory on French soil came on their way to winning the last-ever Five Nations title in 1999, a match in which Townsend played.

"They are a very dangerous opponent, combining power, ambition and skill," said the coach. 

"Their individual talent is outstanding and, when they get things right, which has predominantly been in the Six Nations at home, they've played with a real collective spirit and fed off the emotion of the crowd."

"Like France, we too are coming off the back of a defeat and want to show a better picture of ourselves and play closer to our potential," he added.

"The players invested a huge amount of effort against Ireland and this energy will be essential once again this weekend."

Teams:

France

15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damien Penaud, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Felix Lambey, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot

Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Maxime Medard

Scotland

15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Pete Horne, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Allan Dell

Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Ali Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Darcy Graham

Read more on:    france  |  scotland  |  six nations  |  gregor townsend  |  rugby

 

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