Scotland's Finn Russell will bounce back against England - Peter Horne

Scotland fly-half Finn Russell
Peter Horne is sure Finn Russell will recover quickly from an off-day against France

Scotland team-mate Peter Horne is backing "big game player" Finn Russell to rise to the occasion when England visit Murrayfield later this month.

Fly-half Russell was withdrawn in Sunday's Six Nations win over France, having struggled to find his range when kicking from hand.

"I have no doubts against England he'll be back to his best," said centre Horne of his Glasgow Warriors colleague.

"He's a class act. He'll just brush that [display against France] off."

Horne, 28, came off the bench to score Scotland's only try in a chastening opening loss to Wales.

He was rewarded with a start against France as the hosts came from behind to prevail 32-26, thanks to the unerring kicking of scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.

Making his first Test start in a year, Laidlaw knocked over 22 points and switched to the number 10 position for the final 15 minutes once Russell was removed by head coach Gregor Townsend.

"It wasn't like he wasn't playing well," said Horne of Russell, who played in Sean Maitland for Scotland's opening try.

"There were maybe a couple of things that didn't go his way but that's the type of player Finn is.

"He's got so much class he can just brush the mistake. The majority of the time, the next thing he does is something real X-factor, with real quality.

"It's not often Finn comes off. He's usually one of the guys you look to in the final 10-15 minutes. I wouldn't read too much into it."

'We can mix it with the best'

Finn Russell and Peter Horne are Scotland and Glasgow team-mates
Russell and Horne (left) are Scotland and Glasgow team-mates

Laidlaw's switch allowed replacement Ali Price to take over at scrum-half.

"Ali had a big role, to really speed things up again," Horne told Radio 5 live. "The French were starting to tire.

"He stirred the game up and managed to put us in the right areas of the field.

"Greig hadn't missed off the tee and there's the leadership he brings. When the game is in the balance, you know Greig is money off the tee and he's going to get those three points we need."

England, who arrive in Edinburgh on 24 February, sit second in the Six Nations standings after wins over Italy and Wales.

"We know when we play our best rugby we can mix it with the best," said Horne.

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Six Nations 2018: Scotland 32-26 France highlights

"England are a quality side. They maybe haven't fired on all cylinders so far but putting 30 points on Italy is not easy and defensively they are really sound, they showed that against Wales.

"They found a way to win when they weren't at their best.

"It's a massive challenge but, for the first time in a while, it's something we are all so excited about. There's a real sense of belief that we can turn England over on our own patch.

"We're not getting ahead of ourselves. It's going to be a big couple of weeks of preparation."

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