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Russell and Ntamack return for Six Nations finale

The Six Nations will finally be decided by Friday night’s postponed game.

Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

FINN RUSSELL WILL make his return from concussion for Scotland’s Guinness Six Nations trip to France on Friday.

The precociously talented fly-half steps in to lead Scotland’s backline, with boss Gregor Townsend’s side shorn of a number of English-based stars.

Ali Price will start at nine, with Chris Harris into the centres, while George Turner starts at hooker.

Scotland were only allowed to select five English-based players due to a deal with Gallagher Premiership bosses as this delayed match now sits outside the Test window.

The likes of Saracens wing Sean Maitland have missed out, but head coach Townsend is determined not to dwell on the absentees.

Romain Ntamack will make his first start of the tournament as France aim to rack up a big score to claim the title.

Ntamack, the leading points scorer in last year’s Championship, will replace the injured Matthieu Jalibert as part of five personnel changes.

Second-row pair Bernard Le Roux and Swan Rebbadj, flanker Anthony Jelonch and centre Arthur Vincent have also been brought in by head coach Fabien Galthie.

Les Bleus require a bonus-point victory and a winning margin of at least 21 points in Paris to become champions for the first time since 2010, otherwise glory will belong to Wales.

Jalibert was ruled out after suffering a head knock during last weekend’s dramatic last-gasp 32-30 win over the Welsh, which ensured the title race would go to the final match.

Ntamack came on for Jalibert in the first half on Saturday evening and will make his first Test start since the final round of last year’s Championship having overcome a jaw injury.

Paul Willemse begins a two-match ban after being sent off for making contact with the eye of Wales prop Wyn Jones, while fellow lock Romain Taofifenua drops to the bench, along with flanker Dylan Cretin and wing Teddy Thomas.

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France: Brice Dulin; Damian Penaud, Virimi Vakatawa, Arthur Vincent, Gael Fickou; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Gregory Alldritt; Charles Ollivon (capt), Anthony Jelonch; Swann Rebbadj, Bernard Le Roux; Mohamed Haouas, Julian Marchand, Cyril Baille 

Replacements: Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Uini Atonio, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Baptiste Serin, Anthony Bouthier, Teddy Thomas

Scotland: Stuart Hogg (capt); Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Sam Johnson, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Matt Fagerson, Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie; Grant Gilchrist, Sam Skinner; Zander Fagerson, George Turner, Rory Sutherland

Replacements: David Cherry, Oli Kebble, Simon Berghan, Alex Craig,  Nick Haining, Scott Steele, Adam Hastings, Huw Jones

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