Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend praised debutant Harry Paterson for his performance.

Paterson made his debut at fullback in place of Kyle Steyn, the Glasgow captain ruled out with his wife due to give birth.

Townsend sung the praises of the 22-year-old, who only has a handful of Edinburgh appearances to his name.

He said: “It’s one of the best debuts I’ve ever seen. We were playing a top four team in the world. Going up against that French backline, on a wet day at Murrayfield, he was excellent.

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“I gave him a heads-up that he could be playing about 9 o’clock this morning, then confirmed it with him at 10am.

“To play like that was fantastic and gives us a lot of encouragement about where Harry can go over these next few years.

“To see him play like that gives us a lot of belief and confidence in him. He grew into the game as well.

“He knew he’d have a lot of kicks to field due to the way France play and with the weather being wet, but he just got stronger and stronger as the game went on.”

Townsend said the former Edinburgh Accies man’s displays in big games away from home this season earned him a spot in the Six Nations squad.

“He’s really impressed us with how he’s played in the away games for Edinburgh this year. Especially the win over Ulster in Belfast, and Clermont as well, he really stood up.

"That says a lot about a player if they can stand up in those tough environments. He’s now shown he can do it at Test level.

“But Kyle Rowe deserves a mention as well. That was only his second Test start for Scotland and, like Harry, I thought he was excellent.”

He explained why it was Paterson rather than Huw Jones or Rory Hutchinson who came into the team when Steyn was ruled out. “Huw and Sione had trained with Finn all week. So to break that up, Huw hasn’t played much at full-back at club level, let alone Test level.

“Harry has been playing 15 for our non-23 and training really well, so it became an easy decision.”