Horne gets nod at flyahlf for injury-hit Scots in Paris

Horne gets nod at flyahlf for injury-hit Scots in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales vs Scotland - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - February 3, 2018 Scotland's Pete Horne scores their first try Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers Copyright ANDREW BOYERS(Reuters)
By Reuters
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EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Flyhalf Pete Horne has been drafted into the Scotland team as coach Gregor Townsend made four changes to the line-up for Saturday's Six Nations clash with struggling France in Paris.

Horne replaces talisman Finn Russell, who sustained a head injury in club action last weekend, with Gavin Hastings moving onto the bench as the replacement number 10.

There are two other injury-enforced changes in the backline, with Blair Kinghorn replacing Stuart Hogg (shoulder) at fullback and centre Nick Grigg coming into the midfield for Huw Jones (knee).

The only switch in the pack from the side that lost 22-13 at home to Ireland on Feb. 9 is flank Magnus Bradbury taking the place of Ryan Wilson (knee), another injury casualty.

"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," Townsend said in a statement as he tried to put a positive spin on the team’s misfortune.

"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."

Scotland have been able to pick South African-born Josh Strauss at number eight despite the fact he mislaid his passport and did not have time to get a new one.

Strauss was allowed to travel to France after Scotland Secretary David Mundell intervened and negotiated with French authorities.

France have made a poor start to the Six Nations, letting a 16-point halftime lead slip to lose 24-19 at home to Wales and then enduring a 44-8 thumping by England at Twickenham.

But Townsend has warned his side that they will face a fired-up home team at the Stade de France.

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

"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."

Team: 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

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

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Alison Williams and Pritha Sarkar)

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