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France 2021 Gregor Townsend pleased with availability of five English.based .

France 2021 Gregor Townsend pleased with availability of five English.based .

France France five availability … Gregor pleased of English-based Townsend with

Thu, 25 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0000

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend was pleased with the deal to have five English-based players released for the final game of the Six Nations against 

by Frank Nickson  Thursday 25 March 2021

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend was pleased with the deal to have five English-based players released for the final game of the Six Nations against France.

With the fixture in Paris falling outside the agreed international window, the Scottish Rugby Union reached an agreement with Premiership Rugby to have five players including Exeter’s Stuart Hogg and Sam Skinner, Harlequins’ Scott Steele and Gloucester’s Alex Craig and Chris Harris available for the Friday’s encounter.

Even though Saracens wing Sean Maitland missed out, Townsend described the outcome of the deal as “satisfactory”.

“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.

“To get a situation where we’re playing the week after the end of the Six Nations, that’s something the public would want.

“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.”

Scotland are positioned fourth in the Six Nations table with two wins from four matches.

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France France

Thu, 25 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0000

France v Scotland preview: latest team news, odds and what is being said about the final game of Six Nations 2021

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France v Scotland preview: latest team news, odds and what is being said about the final game of Six Nations 2021

France edged past Grand-Slam chasing Wales thanks to a last-gasp try to keep their own title hopes alive.

They host Scotland in the Six Nations’ final fixture on Friday needing a bonus-point victory and a winning margin of at least 21 points to become champions for the first time since 2010.

Scotland’s tournament started in promising fashion with a deserved win over England at Twickenham.

But two home losses in a row to Wales and Ireland put paid to their title hopes.

They got back on track last week with a dominant win over whipping-boys Italy.

This fixture was originally supposed to be held on the tournament’s third week, but was postponed due to a Covid outbreak within the French squad. 

The match was originally due to be played on Feb 28 but was postponed until Friday, March 26 after a Covid-19 outbreak in the French squad.

The match will kick off at 8pm.

The match is due to be shown live on the BBC but the broadcaster has not yet confirmed which channel it will be on.

Fly-half Romain Ntamack will make his first start of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations in Friday’s title-deciding clash with Scotland.

Ntamack, the leading points scorer in last year’s championship, will replace the injured Matthieu Jalibert as part of five personnel changes.

Second-row pair Bernard Le Roux and Swan Rebbadj, flanker Anthony Jelonch and centre Arthur Vincent have also been recalled by head coach Fabien Galthie.

Les Bleus require a bonus-point victory and a winning margin of at least 21 points in Paris to become champions for the first time since 2010, otherwise glory will belong to Wales. PA 

Scotland’s proposed team selection has been compromised by the terms of a financial settlement between Premier League Rugby, the umbrella group which represents England’s top clubs, and the Six Nations.

Instead of being allowed to pick from all of his England-based players Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has been allowed to pick just five exiles in the 29-man squad named yesterday.

The most obvious omission from that squad as a result of the limit on the number of England-based players Townsend can pick is Saracens’ Sean Maitland, who is replaced by lightning quick Glasgow 21-year-old Rufus McLean. 

The five England-based players who remain in the squad to face France are Gloucester lock Alex Craig, Exeter Chiefs lock Sam Skinner, Gloucester centre Chris Harris, Exeter Chiefs fullback Hogg and Harlequins scrum-half Scott Steele.

Richard Bath

France: 1/6 Scotland: 11/2 Draw: 33/1

Betting on the match? Get the latest offers and free bets here

France will come out of the blocks firing knowing they need to rack up points to have any chance of winning the tournament.

Scotland have been weakened by their selection issues but their two losses were both tightly-fought contests.

France to win by 10-plus points but the equation they need to win the Six Nations looks a bit too hard an ask, leaving Wales as this year’s Six Nations champions.

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– March 25, 2021
France 2021 Gregor Townsend pleased with availability of five English.based .

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