Finn Russell leaves Scotland camp with Six Nations involvement in doubt

Playmaker has been disciplined for a "breach of team protocol" just nine days before tournament opener against Ireland

Finn Russell has been suspended from Scotland's Six Nations training camp after being disciplined for a breach of team protocol. Image: © Craig Watson -
Finn Russell has been suspended from Scotland's Six Nations training camp after being disciplined for a breach of team protocol. Image: © Craig Watson -

SCOTLAND playmaker Finn Russell has left the Scotland training camp after being disciplined for a breach of team protocol, and his involvement in the Six Nations appears to be a major doubt. The BBC, who broke the story, have stated that the stand-off “could miss the entire campaign”.

A statement issued by the SRU said: “Stand-off Finn Russell will play no further part in preparations for Scotland’s Six Nations opener against Ireland, having been disciplined for a breach of team protocol during the week’s camp in Edinburgh. He has returned to his club.”

The absence of Russell would be a major blow to Scotland’s Six Nations aspirations. On his day, he is one of the most exciting and dangerous attacking players on the planet, and he also brings the experience of 46 caps to a side which has lost three senior players in Greig Laidlaw, John Barclay and Tommy Seymour to retirement since crashing out of the World Cup last October at the pool stage.

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There has been suggestions that Russell and Scotland boss Gregor Townsend have not seen eye to eye for some time, with the player’s desire to play what he sees in front of him at odds with the more regimented approach the coach wants.

Speaking after Scotland’s remarkable comeback against England during last year’s Calcutta Cup, Russell told ITV: “I actually had an argument with Gregor [at half-time]. I said to him ‘you’re telling us to kick and when we kick, they just run it back and cut us open, and when we run it, they’re just hitting us behind the gain line and winning the ball back’.

“Second half, we just came out with nothing to lose, played our rugby, kicked out of our half and scored some great tries. We played good Scottish rugby.”

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1934 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Very interesting tweet from David Sole, and comments, on how to handle Mavericks in sport. Don’t think Toony got it quite right… priority must be to find out the root cause of Finn’s problem, and to get him back on good terms.

  2. Doubt Sir Alex would have used the hair dryer for this one. More likely he’d have seen it coming and put an arm around him. Either that or leave it to Roy Keane or Bryan Robson to keep him company and gone to bed.

  3. The fault is without doubt Finn’s I regret to say I should like to mention to some of your correspondence Sir Alex Ferguson and a hair dryer nobody is more important than the team I would love Finn to get back to me he is the best 10 in the World

  4. I believe some agents were wary of dealing with FR as he has a huge ego. That’s what contributes to his ability.Unless we as financial supporters of the SRU are told the real story it seems like petulance on both sides.

  5. Something needs to change at the SRU. The outrageous payments to Dodson and the other Directors based on a terrible WC and crap 2019 6 Nations says it all. Basically peanuts to the Super 6 teams while the Directors get an extra million. Utterly wrong.

  6. So it now comes out that it’s down to Russell getting steaming and ignoring requests from team mates to stop drinking.

    Ok,management allowed them to have a few drinks but Russell took a mile when given an inch. Given the importance of the comp coming up and the need to perform well, the players should not have been allowed that if theres training the next day. Total lack of professionalism all round.

    Maybe the drinking culture in rugby needs to change, seeing as they are professional players representing their country.

  7. SRU or Dodson have to come out In the open and give The facts about this debacle and stop all this speculation
    What are they scared about …?
    Are they worried more dirt surfaces at Murrayfield .

  8. Disastrous. Hoping Hastings can step up but I don’t think he’s at the same level – glad to be proved wrong.

    If this is a FR/GT thing, that’s disappointing. Maybe FR is a bit of a Billy Big Baws knowing the French league has his financial security, or does he have genuine rugby concerns about GT’s choices?

    Not sure of that argument about kicking in the game vs England. Seemed like we kicked just as much in the 2nd half as we did the 1st, perhaps just kicked more accurately and at better moments.

    • I thought it was more bailing the boat as it was sinking! in the first against england,yes granted kicked maybe less than perfect. Then in the second the hole was repaired…and control was gained. Off course nobody is perfect, and now he definately shouldn’t have got drunk. Hastings has been improving performances for gw. And I hope we probably will see more from him yet.

  9. This is such a sham, he is easily the most exciting player in the tournament, and was great to watch. I watched a break down on youtube of every play he did against england, and for the whole game he was faultless.

  10. Nows the time to give Hastings a chance. Anybody know if a replacement is being called up. Duncan weir if fit? Interesting to know what the rest of the squad think.

  11. It’s rugby and Toony needs to be able take whatever behaviour Finn has done/said/performed on the chin and get on with it. Sounds like petulance on behalf of all the management/coaching team, get a grip SRU.

  12. We still have a good team. Let’s hope Finn will be back for the England game. SRU have got to give more detail. You can’t do something like that without explanation. Difficult to think of a worse case of bad man management. SRU needs a root and branch overhaul. Top heads must roll.

    • Finn is world class and became so under Townsend at Glasgow. I’m gutted he is missing but there is clearly an issue between the two of them. They need to find common ground on how they want to play. I’m sure Sexton. Farrell et al influence playing style in their national sides.

  13. Townsend was good for Glasgow. Inherited an excellent Scotland team but has gone downhill under his stewardship.

  14. What a mess,Dodson the parasite followed by the PETULANT CONTROL freak Townsend,if his team mates believe him in his actions then they should come out and back him,and give Cockerill the emergency job of putting out a team.I am sure Finn and Richie would share the flight back.

  15. The bonuses going to the board who sacked his dad might not have helped his spirits going into camp. Maybe something had to give..

  16. Nobody knows just now what is the “breach of team protocol”.
    I fear for the team (depend on the circumstances) though, a big blow, a guy like Finn missing is not just the number 10…
    A nightmare for the confidence before the game in Ireland!

  17. What a muckle petted lump Townsend is
    Is nobody allowed to give their views .obviously not.
    he can’t take criticism if it’s not working
    He’s on a very shoogly peg now

  18. Ouch, his loss would move us from slim to no chance against Ireland. If push came to shove I’d take him and get rid of toony.

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