Finn Russell’s move to Bath set to be confirmed this week

Telegraph report says a deal was agreed on Friday between the stand-off and the English club

Finn Russell
Finn Russell is set to leave Racing 92 and sign for Bath. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

BATH have completed an agreement to sign Finn Russell and an announcement confirming the deal is expected in the coming days, according to a report in The Telegraph.

A deal between the 30-year-old and the English Premiership club is understood to have been finalised on Friday in face-to-face talks with Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan. Russell’s contract – worth an estimated £1million for each of its three years – is set to make him one of the most highly-paid players in the history of the English top flight.

Bath’s interest in Russell was first revealed by the Daily Mail last month, at which time Racing 92 were still in talks to retain him. More recently, however, it became clear that the Parisian club were willing to let Russell go, ending a relationship that began when he signed from Glasgow Warriors back in 2018. Russell’s partner, Emma Canning, recently gave birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter called Charlie.

Russell will join Scotland internationals Cameron Redpath, Josh Bayliss and D’Arcy Rae – a former Warriors team-mate of his – at the Recreation Ground. His return to the UK should also make it easier for him to travel back and forth to Scotland training sessions. 

While he and Gregor Townsend have not exactly seen eye to eye over the past couple of seasons, the two men appeared to end last month’s Autumn Nations Series with their relationship in a good place. Townsend left Russell out of the Scotland squad for the start of the four-Test Series, implausibly insisting he was only the team’s fourth-choice stand-off behind Blair Kinghorn, Adam Hastings and Ross Thompson.

But when Hastings was injured, the head coach brought Russell straight back into the starting line-up for the third match, the defeat by the All Blacks. Russell then held on to his place in the following week’s big win over Argentina, and goes into the Six Nations as the incumbent in the No 10 jersey.

Bath are traditionally one of the powerhouses of English rugby, and became the first British club to win the Champions Cup way back in 1998, when Scotland scrum-half Andy Nicol was their captain. More recently, however, they have languished in the lower reaches of  the Premiership and are currently just eighth in the 12-team table.  

Their hopes of qualifying for the last 16 of this season’s Challenge Cup are in the balance, too, after they lost their first two pool games – at home to Glasgow earlier this month, and then to French club Toulon at the weekend.

Van Graan has been charged with rebuilding the squad to make them contenders for major honours again – and the signing of Russell will clearly constitute a major part of that reconstruction.

About Stuart Bathgate 1211 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

5 Comments

  1. Is been a rumour for weeks now, and certainly things at Racing look poor at the moment, they are virtually out of the EPCR , and look a team not really trying. Will it be enough for Bath? time will tell and will Racing get back to their best with Lancaster and Barrett in tandem ?.

  2. The prospect of a 10/12/13 axis of Russell, Redpath and Ollie Lawrence should have Bath fans very excited.

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  3. The prospect of a 10/12/13 axis of Russell, Redpath and Ollie Lawrence is an exciting prospect for Bath fans.

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