MX23RW : Wednesday, March 27 03:39:26| >> :600:3049489:3049489:
Feb 23, 2019 at 2.15pm UK
France
27-10
Scotland
Ntamack (13'), Huget (41'), Alldritt (75', 80')
FT
Price (78')

Tommy Seymour believes Scotland can cope without attacking flair of Finn Russell

Tommy Seymour believes Scotland can cope without attacking flair of Finn Russell
© Reuters
The fly-half has been ruled out by a head injury.

Tommy Seymour insists losing Finn Russell will not cramp Scotland's attacking style against France on Saturday.

Gregor Townsend's team have suffered yet another major injury blow after Racing 92 star Russell was ruled out of Saturday's Guinness Six Nations clash in Paris.

The former Glasgow fly-half had given Scotland a glimmer of hope he could recover from a weekend head injury when he arrived symptom-free in Edinburgh on Monday.

But his chances quickly evaporated and the Scots will now have to cope without their maverick playmaker at the Stade de France.

Townsend is likely to turn to the Warriors' new holder of the number 10 jersey Adam Hastings or his Scotstoun colleague Peter Horne, while Worcester's Duncan Weir is another option after being called up over the weekend.

None of the above offer the electric spark Russell provides while on top of his game but Seymour insists Scotland will not have to rein in their free-flowing game plan to accommodate his replacement.

Scotland v Fiji – Autumn International – Murrayfield Stadium
Tommy Seymour does not believe Finn Russell's absence will affect Scotland's free-flowing style (Ian Rutherford/PA)

The Glasgow wing said: "We've got a style of play we want to adhere to. All the guys know that, all the guys coming in are more than capable of playing that way.

"Finn has been playing really well and it's a shame, but these guys are fully capable of executing the game plan. We won't be changing massively the things we'll be looking to do based on one injury.

"I have full confidence that all three of our 10s can come in and play very well. They're all experienced at this level, they've all shown both at club and international level they can manage a game and manage it very well and be standout performers."

Russell's absence is the latest setback to hit Townsend's planning, with key men Stuart Hogg, Ryan Wilson, Huw Jones, Sam Skinner and WP Nel fresh additions to an injury list that was already 19 names long before the tournament got underway.

The Scotland faithful could be forgiven for feeling a sense of dread as they prepare to face Les Bleus this weekend at a venue where their side have not won for 20 years.

But Seymour is trying to look on the bright side by talking up the the possibilities on offer as the Scots' second string make the step up.

"It's unfortunate when anyone gets injured in a competition like this where there isn't a massive amount of time for recuperation," he said. "It's not ideal that we've lost the guys we've lost, but we've been talking for quite a long time about the depth we've created and this is a good test for us.

RUGBYU Scotland
(PA Graphics)

"We've got some really talented individuals coming in that can play rugby and certainly can play rugby at this level. In a World Cup year, it's valuable experience for these guys.

"We'll use this as a tool to get better as a squad. You can't replicate the guys we've lost but we're still very confident in achieving results and performances."

While the Scots are preoccupied with their fitness woes, France have their own troubles to worry about.

Jacques Brunel
Jacques Brunel will hope to see his side pick up their first win of the competition in Paris (David Davies/PA)

Jacques Brunel watched with horror as his side threw away a 16-point half-time lead to lose their Championship opener at home to Wales before crashing 44-8 against England last time out.

Yet Seymour said: "I wouldn't go so far as to say there is a vulnerability about them. They will obviously be disappointed with some of the aspects of their first two games.

"But they'll be feeling after a week's break, going back to Stade de France, with a new-look team that they are going out with the passion to set things right. It'll be a huge challenge for us to go across and make sure we perform."


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Scotland's Finn Russell pictured on November 17, 2018
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Finn Russell ruled out of Scotland's Six Nations clash with France
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