Rugby-Russell back for Scots in one of four changes


FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Scotland v Ireland - BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain - March 14, 2021 Scotland's Finn Russell scores their first try REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Mercurial fly-half Finn Russell returns to the Scotland team in one of four changes made by coach Gregor Townsend on Wednesday for Friday's Six nations finale against France.

Russell, who plays his club rugby in France, missed the runaway 52-10 win over Italy at Murrayfield last weekend because of concussion but his presence at stand-off will come as a boost to Scottish hopes of an upset triumph at the Stade de France, where their hosts are seeking to secure the championship.

Ali Price returns at scrum-half to partner Russell, while Chris Harris is back at centre and George Turner at hooker.

Price replaces Scott Steele, Harris comes in for Huw Jones and Turner for David Cherry, despite the latter scoring two tries in his first start against the Italians. All three were named among the replacements.

Captain Stuart Hogg moves to his more familiar role at full-back having played at stand-off in the record win over Italy, replacing Sean Maitland, who was not selected for the trip because of a restriction on the number of English-based players that Scotland could pick for the re-arranged game, which falls outside of the window for international rugby.

"The match against France provides us with an opportunity to finish the Six Nations in our highest position in its history," said Townsend.

"Both teams have needed to manage a short six-day turnaround and we have used this week to regroup and focus on putting in our best performance of the competition so far, which we will need to deliver if we are to leave Paris with a victory."

Team:

15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) 84 caps

14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) - 18 caps

13. Chris Harris (Gloucester) – 27 caps

12. Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) - 17 caps

11. Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) - 9 caps

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92)– 54 caps

9. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 41 caps

1. Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh) – 15 caps

2. George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps

3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps

4. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 11 caps

5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 44 caps

6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)– 26 caps

7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 40 caps

8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps

Replacements:

16. David Cherry (Edinburgh) – 4 caps

17. Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors) – 7 caps

18. Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 30 caps

19. Alex Craig (Gloucester) – 1 cap

20. Nick Haining (Edinburgh) – 7 caps

21. Scott Steele (Harlequins) – 4 caps

22. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 22 caps

23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 30 caps

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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