MX23RW : Thursday, August 5 01:38:02| >> :600:8848672:8848672:
Mar 26, 2021 at 8pm UK
France
23-27
Scotland
Dulin (36'), Penaud (46'), Rebbadj (66')
FT
van der Merwe (15', 80'), Cherry (61')

Gregor Townsend pleased to secure "satisfactory deal" to have five English-based players released

Gregor Townsend pleased to secure
© Reuters
The Scottish Rugby Union finally brokered a deal with English club bosses on Saturday night.

Gregor Townsend has insisted Scotland secured a "satisfactory" deal to have five English-based players released for their Six Nations finale against France.

Scotland must do without Saracens wing Sean Maitland and a string of squad players for Friday night's Paris clash, that had been delayed due to an earlier coronavirus outbreak in Les Bleus' squad.

The Scottish Rugby Union finally brokered a deal with English club bosses on Saturday night, to allow the release of five players for a match that now sits outside the regular Test window.

Scotland will feel Maitland's absence most keenly, but Townsend was quick to insist the SRU had managed to claw the best result from a tricky situation.

"Look, it's much more satisfactory than I thought it was going to be on Saturday, when none of our players were going to be available, and we were putting together a team of home-based players and Finn Russell," said Townsend.

"I'm glad we did get a resolution that some of the players would be available – not all of them, but most of them.

"It's a complex situation that the game was called off and put into a schedule where there are league games going on.

"In the past when Six Nations games were postponed they were played months and months later, or even in the following season.

"That's what happened last year and in 2001 with foot and mouth.

"So to get a situation where we're playing the week after the end of the Six Nations, that's something the public would want.

Scotland v Ireland – Guinness Six Nations – BT Murrayfield Stadium
Sean Maitland, left, has missed out for Scotland over player-release wrangles (Jane Barlow/PA)

"And in a Lions year it's good that we're not waiting until September or October for this match.

"So while we've not got all our players, everyone in our squad and our public are very keen that this game goes ahead this weekend.

"Sean Maitland was really disappointed, as was Jamie Bhatti, and the players who maybe would have come into contention.

"But the focus is now fully on the 15 and the 23 that are playing this week and are ready for this massive challenge."

Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell returns after concussion to take on a host of his Paris club-mates, with captain Stuart Hogg stepping back to his regular full-back role.

Scotland v Ireland – Guinness Six Nations – BT Murrayfield Stadium
Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell returns after concussion to take on a host of his Paris club-mates (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ali Price will start at nine, with Chris Harris into the centres and George Turner starting at hooker.

France are gunning for the Six Nations title having foiled Wales' Grand Slam bid in Paris last weekend.

But Scotland could still seal their highest-ever Six Nations finish of second, should they win by more than eight points.

"We feel we're capable of going there and getting a result," Townsend said.

"If we do deliver an 80-minute performance we'd be more than just competitive.

"We didn't fire many shots against them in November but that game was right down to the wire.

"I'd hope they would know we're a tough opponent for them.

"I think it's an important game for Finn (Russell), given that he plays in France. I'm sure it's a game he looks forward to more than any other in the year.

"I'm sure he's just itching to get back out there and play for Scotland and lead this team, lead the team in attack, be really connected with those around him, and there will be opportunities that present themselves for a player like Finn."

ID:440533:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect9107:

Click here for more stories about Gregor Townsend

Click here for more stories about France

How you voted: France vs Scotlvs

France
20.0%
Draw
0.0%
Scotland
80.0%
5
Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
France's Romain Ntamack scores their first try against Scotland on February 23, 2019
Read Next:
France select Romain Ntamack for Six Nations title decider
>

rhs 2.0
Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32221670
United StatesUnited States25312379
JapanJapan2171240
Great BritainGreat Britain15181548
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!