Rory Lawson backs injury rocked Scottish side to surprise their critics in Paris showing
Scotland have been rocked with injuries this Six Nations campaign, but former international Rory Lawson believes a new look midfield is not to be underestimated. Hear from the 31-times-capped scrum-half and Scottish boss Gregor Townsend
Nick Grigg may not be big in stature, but he can be a big man for Scotland in Paris this Saturday.
The 5 foot 9 inch centre barely weighs 90kgs and will be earning on his seventh cap for his country in this Guinness Six Nations round three clash. And former Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson believes the Glasgow Warriors’ player can have an impact on proceedings in the number 13 jersey.
“I have seen Nick Grigg play a lot, he may not be a name that is familiar to the masses, but he can surprise a few this weekend,” Lawson said.
“He has played well in the Champions Cup this season and I think I once described him as a bulldozer in smart car clothing because he is a little fella, but by goodness does he pack a punch.
“He hits great lines and is a good runner. Scotland may be missing quite a few players, but I do believe that they can go there and win this game.”
Meanwhile, back in the 2015/16 season Sam Johnson and Grigg regularly linked up for Stirling County to good effect - fast forward four years and now the duo are getting the chance to do the same with Scotland. The centres arrived on these shores in the summer of 2015 from Australia and New Zealand respectively, Johnson as a full-time pro with the Warriors and Grigg as a Scottish Rugby Academy player attached with the Scotstoun club.
As they found their feet in the northern hemisphere they both often played for County in the top flight of club rugby in those first few months. Both worked hard to break into the Warriors’ squad and then the Scotland squad.
With Huw Jones out injured Grigg, whose grandfather has Scottish roots, has come into the national team’s starting XV with the 26-year-old lining up outside 25-year-old Johnson. The latter, who qualifies on residency grounds and has done well in his two caps to date, will be an important player on Saturday too (kick-off 2.15pm GMT, live on BBC).
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend told Scottish Rugby TV: “Cohesion is key at international level and we are fortunate that Nick and Sam know each other well and have also played together for the last three or four years starting at Stirling County.
“They also know stand-off Pete [Horne] well and that will be helpful out there when the game is underway and the crowd is loud.”
15 Blair Kinghorn
14 Tommy Seymour
13 Nick Grigg
12 Sam Johnson
11 Sean Maitland
10 Pete Horne (VC)
9 Greig Laidlaw (C)
1 Allan Dell
2 Stuart McInally (VC)
3 Simon Berghan
4 Grant Gilchrist
5 Jonny Gray
6 Magnus Bradbury
7 Jamie Ritchie
8 Josh Strauss
16 Fraser Brown
17 Alex Allan
18 Zander Fagerson
19 Ben Toolis
20 Gary Graham
21 Ali Price
22 Adam Hastings
23 Darcy Graham