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Scotland team named for Six Nations clash with France

Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell both sidelined for Saturday's crucial encounter in Paris.

Peter Horne will take the number 10 jersey.
Peter Horne will take the number 10 jersey. SNS

Peter Horne has been handed the Scotland number 10 jersey for Saturday's Six Nations clash in France following injury to Finn Russell.

Full-back Blair Kinghorn and centre Nick Grigg have also come into the back division while fit-again back-row forward Magnus Bradbury has also earned a recall following his Edinburgh comeback last weekend.

All four changes to Gregor Townsend's team were enforced by injury following Scotland's defeat by Ireland.

Russell was ruled out with a head injury he suffered while playing for Racing 92 while Glasgow trio Stuart Hogg, Huw Jones and Ryan Wilson were all injured against Ireland.

Bradbury made a try-scoring, man-of-the-match return from a four-month absence through shoulder problems as Edinburgh beat Dragons on Friday night.

Townsend is optimistic the latest injuries will not derail his side's preparations.

"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," he said.

"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 club-mate Jamie Ritchie, and Pete Horne and Nick Grigg are either side of Sam Johnson in the backs."

Townsend: Opportunity knocks for Scotland

Scotland suffered defeat last time out against Ireland but Townsend is confident his understudies can steer his team to their first victory at the Stade de France in 20 years.

He said: "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.

"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."

The injury blows combined with this month's 22-13 defeat to Joe Schmidt's men at Murrayfield have threaten to dampen Scottish enthusiasm for this year's championship.

France too have not had their troubles to seek having blown a 16-point lead against Wales in their tournament opener before crashing 44-8 to the English a fortnight ago.

But Townsend, who started at stand-off for the Scots the last time they triumphed at the Stade de France back in 1999, is well aware of the potency of the French on home soil.

He 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."

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