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Scotland team to play France shows four changes from Ireland defeat

Stuart Hogg, Huw Jones, Finn Russell and Ryan Wilson all miss out this weekend through injury.

Pete Horne in possession for Scotland against Ireland.
Pete Horne in possession for Scotland against Ireland.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

INJURIES HAVE FORCED Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend to make four changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Six Nations meeting with France in Paris [KO 2.15pm, Virgin Media One].

Three of those amendments are in the back division, from which full-back Stuart Hogg, centre Huw Jones and out-half Finn Russell will all be absent. They’re replaced by Blair Kinghorn, Nick Grigg and Pete Horne.

The other change from the Scots’ recent defeat to Ireland sees Magnus Bradbury added to the back-row in place of Ryan Wilson. 

“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 [Bradbury] in the back-row lines up with club-mate Jamie Ritchie, and Pete Horne and Nick Grigg are either side of Sam Johnson in the backs.”

Looking ahead to a meeting with a French side aiming to avoid a third consecutive defeat in this year’s Six Nations, Townsend said: “At home, France have played really well in the past two championships.

“They were 16-0 up at half-time against Wales, and their previous Six Nations games before included a win over England and a last-minute defeat to the eventual Irish team that went on to win the Grand Slam.

“They are a very dangerous opponent, combining power, ambition and skill. 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. They will certainly be fired up following their loss at Twickenham.

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

Scotland (v France):

15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh)
14. Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors)
13. Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors)
12. Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors)
11. Sean Maitland (Saracens)
10. Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors)
9. Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne — captain)

1. Allan Dell (Edinburgh)
2. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh)
3. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh)
4. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh)
5. Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors)
6. Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh)
7. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)
8. Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks)

Replacements:

16. Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors)
17. Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors)
18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)
19. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh)
20. Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons)
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors)
22. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors)
23. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh)

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey look ahead to Ireland’s Six Nations meeting with Italy and discuss the week’s biggest stories in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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