Guinness Six Nations
Horne replaces Russell for French clash in Paris
Peter Horne will replace Finn Russell in the Scotland side which faces France in Paris (pic: SNS Group)
Gregor Townsend has named Peter Horne as Finn Russell’s replacement for Scotland’s Six Nations clash with France on Saturday.
Playmaker Russell was ruled out after suffering a head knock while on club duty last weekend. The inclusion of the Glasgow Warriors stand-off is one of four changes to the starting line-up for the trip to Paris as the Scots go in search of their first win on French soil since 1999.
Back-row Magnus Bradbury is the only change to the pack in place of the injured Ryan Wilson, Blair Kinghorn replaces the injured Stuart Hogg to earn his third Test start in the full-back role while Glasgow Warriors 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 [Bradbury] 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 this Saturday’s Test looking to bounce back from round two defeats against Ireland and England respectively.
“At home, France have played really well in the past two Championships,” said Townsend.
“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 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: Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Peter Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne – captain); Allan Dell (Edinburgh), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks).
Replacements: Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), Gary Graham (Newcastle), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Darcy Graham (Edinburgh).