Finn Russell to miss rest of Six Nations – but positive talks take place

Lewis Carmichael the only new name added to Scotland training squad ahead of France game, with Cornell du Preez dropping out

Finn Russell will stay with Racing 92 this week rather than return to the Scotland squad ahead of their Six Nations clash against France on Sunday. Image: © Craig Watson -
Finn Russell will stay with Racing 92 this week rather than return to the Scotland squad ahead of their Six Nations clash against France on Sunday. Image: © Craig Watson -

FINN RUSSELL will not return to Scotland’s training camp today ahead of next Sunday’s Six Nations clash against France at Murrayfield, and he will also miss the final game of the campaign against Wales in Cardiff six days later – but it is understood that a number of positive conversations took place between the playmaker and head coach Gregor Townsend last week, with both parties keen to get beyond the current impasse.

Russell apparently suggested, and Townsend agreed, that a return to the squad at this stage would be too much of a distraction – following his much-publicised walk-out before the championship kicked-off – but both men are understood to be hopeful that further positive conversations can take place after the championship with a view to the stand-off taking part in Scotland’s summer tour to South Africa and New Zealand.

The 27-year-old was in scintillating form for Racing 92 yesterday, scoring a spectacular 60-yard interception try in a 49-0 thrashing of La Rochelle, and now has a week off club duty – but will remain in Paris. He will, however, take part in a conference call with the coaching staff this week, when he will be able to give insights into his experiences in French rugby.

The situation has been discussed with the players, who are supportive of the plan to reintegrate the player back into the squad.

An update was issued this afternoon which explained that Edinburgh forward Lewis Carmichael has been added to the squad in place of Cornell du Preez, and confirmed that wing Darcy Graham will play no part in the tournament following the knee injury he sustained at the start of the campaign.

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FORWARDS: Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh), Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Lewis Carmichael (Edinburgh), Luke Crosbie (Edinburgh), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Allan Dell (London Irish), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Tom Gordon (Glasgow Warriors), Nick Haining (Edinburgh), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh).

BACKS: Chris Harris (Gloucester), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) CAPTAIN, George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors), Ratu Tagive (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors).

That was the month that was: February 2020


About David Barnes 3911 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Scotland without Finn will be a lot less attractive opposition for South Africa and New Zealand. I’m sure the discerning rugby supporters in those countries are looking forward to seeing him play and having a Scotland team who will provide them with a test match. Without him gate receipts will be reduced, revenues will potentially fall for attendances, broadcast rights and and other image rights. We have to remember what makes Scotland attractive opposition and it’s about having a competitive winning team on the park.

  2. What is positive about this. Our best player is not on the park and I’ve paid a fortune to see him play. Rugby is about the players not the coaches and certainly not the allacadoos. In years to come youngsters won’t be inspired by the stunning substitutions made en masse by Townsend on 55 minutes

    • Fair point about the paying fans – it’s a real shame. But surely this has to be seen as an improvement on where we were a week ago. Any signs that both sides are listening and adapting can be welcomed

  3. Good news on Finn. To say he’s needed is an understatement.

    Keep looking at Toonie’s picks for the squad and wonder why Callum Hunter-Hill isn’t in the fray. Now starting regularly for Saracens with stellar company and putting in big stats. Believe he’s England qualified, too and contracted to SRU. He’s one of the biggest and most mobile locks we have and been playing six. Hmm.

  4. Excellent news. It would be a huge shame if Finn misses the All Blacks games in particular. He’s a first five eighth in the Kiwi mould, and it will be a rare chance to see the two best 10s in the world play against each other. Fingers crossed!

  5. Didn’t you read the article then, Finn suggested it would be a distraction, you know it came from him.
    Once Finn is ready I would expect him to be welcomed back by both the team and supporters

  6. Think his return would be more a positive boost to the team rather than a negative distraction. So they are looking for help with tactics but don’t want him there in person – speaks volumes.

  7. Its encouraging that there has been positive talks and perhaps it’s for the best he misses the rest of the comp to avoid being more of a sideshow. Onwards and upwards though and minds have to focus on doing the business against the French. If Finns insights can help then I’m sure that will go a long way.

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