‘Russell must show he is a team player’

Last Updated: 27/01/20 6:33pm

Finn Russell's refusal to cease drinking at the team hotel and his failure to turn up to training led to his omission from the Scotland squad
Finn Russell’s refusal to cease drinking at the team hotel and his failure to turn up to training led to his omission from the Scotland squad

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has revealed the door is not closed on Finn Russell returning during the Six Nations, but warned the fly-half must show he is a team player.

The 27-year-old was disciplined for a breach of team protocol following an incident at the team hotel on January 19 when he was involved in a late-night drinking session.

Russell turned down an offer to stay in camp and help Scotland prepare for Saturday’s opener at the Aviva Stadium against Ireland, instead playing for his club Racing 92 last weekend.

“The door is open for any player,” Townsend said. “Obviously he is unavailable not because of injury, he is not available because of what went on and there has got to be a link to where he would be in terms of is he with the team?

“Is he able to live up to the standards expected of a team player and a Scotland team player? But the focus is so much on us preparing for Ireland that these are questions for a later time.”

Gregor Townsend has suggested Russell could return to the Scotland squad at some point in the Six Nations
Gregor Townsend has suggested Russell could return to the Scotland squad at some point in the Six Nations

Townsend confirmed he held a “positive” meeting with Russell on Monday night, but the pair have not been in contact since Thursday when the 49-cap international left the Scotland camp.

He added: “I had a long meeting with Finn on Monday to discuss all manner of things.

“First of all obviously the consequences of his actions, of leaving camp on Sunday night and not being there on Monday, but it was a positive meeting.

“We left that meeting in a really good place and at the time I thought he would be back in camp later that week. It didn’t happen and we have moved on.

“In terms of where we are now as a team, because we have to prepare for Ireland, that is our focus and we will see after the Ireland game what happens.”

Source : Sky Sports