Six Nations

First call-ups for Bayliss and Dobie as France lose five

French test: Gregor Townsend (pic: SNS Group).

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has handed first squad call-ups to Josh Bayliss and Jamie Dobie for this weekend’s Six Nations clash against in-form France.

Bath back row Bayliss qualifies through his Aberdonian grandmother, while Glasgow scrum-half Dobie trained with the squad at the start of the season.

Adam Hastings has recovered from injury and makes the trip to Paris, with Jamie Bhatti, Cornell du Preez, Rob Harley and Sam Johnson all returning to the 36-man squad.

Gregor Townsend is without Cameron Redpath, Gary Graham and Blade Thomson, with the injured trio returning to their clubs to continue their recoveries.

The Scots are looking to bounce back from the 25-24 defeat to Wales in Edinburgh and Townsend said: “We welcome Josh into our squad as we look to build on our opening two games of the Championship.

“We have been following his performances with Bath and a combination of his form and a couple of injuries in our squad, have given us the opportunity to involve him for the first time.

“We are also delighted to add Jamie Dobie to our group following his impressive outing for Glasgow on Friday night and the quality he showed while training with us prior to our game against England.”

Also absent will be Zander Fagerson, who was sent off against Wales and subsequently hit with a four-match ban which rules him out of the remainder of the tournament. Scottish Rugby have confirmed they will be appealing the ban.

The table-topping French have their own selection headaches, with five of the team who started the victory over Ireland last weekend being forced to sit out the Scotland clash after testing positive for Covid-19.

Arthur Vincent, Julien Marchand, Gabin Villiere, Mohamed Haouas and Antoine Dupont are all isolating after catching the virus.

Despite the coronavirus concerns, Sunday’s game at the Stade de France is not in any danger.

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