Gregor Townsend pleased with the availability of five England players for the game against France

Gregor Townsend pleased with the availability of five England players for the game against France

Gregor Townsend wants Scotland to end Six Nations tournament with a win
© PA

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend was delighted with the deal to release five England players for the final Six Nations game against France.

With the match in Paris falling outside the agreed international window, the Scottish Rugby Union struck a deal with Premiership Rugby for five players, including Exeter’s Stuart Hogg and Sam Skinner, Harlequins’ Scott Steele and Alex Craig and Chris Harris from Gloucester, be available for Friday’s meeting. .

Although Saracens wing Sean Maitland missed the game, Townsend called the deal’s outcome “satisfactory”.

“It’s a lot more satisfying than I thought it would be on Saturday when none of our players were going to be available, and we were a team of home based players and Finn Russell,” said Townsend.

“I’m glad we got 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 on 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 the following season.

“This is what happened last year and in 2001 with foot-and-mouth disease.

“To get a situation where we play the week after the Six Nations is over, that’s something the public would want.

“And in a Lions year, it’s good that we don’t wait until September or October for this game.

“So while we don’t have all of our players, everyone in our team and our home crowd is very keen for this game to go on this weekend.

“Sean Maitland was really disappointed, as was Jamie Bhatti and the players who might have been in contention.

“But the focus is now completely on the 15 and 23 who play this week and are ready for this huge challenge. ”

Scotland sit fourth in the Six Nations table with two wins in four matches.


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