FINN RUSSELL had not spoken to Gregor Townsend since before the summer when he found out that he had been omitted from Scotland’s Autumn Test Series training squad at the tail-end of last month.
But the stand-off, who received a late call-up to the group on Monday as a replacement for the injured Adam Hastings, insists that he is not reading too much into that lack of communication from the national team head coach.
In a sponsored interview with The Daily Mail, the 30-year-old playmaker explained that he exchanged texts with Townsend after his call-up and before his arrival in Edinburgh earlier today [Tuesday] in order to ensure that he is able to hit the ground running this week.
“I hadn’t heard from Gregor since before the summer so I wasn’t too surprised,’ said Russell, when asked for his thoughts on being omitted from the original 40-man national training squad for this Autumn’s four-match Test series.
“It is what it is. It’s rugby, I suppose. I’ll see how it goes this weekend against the All Blacks. If I’m in the [match-day] squad or not I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.
“I haven’t been in the squad for a while so I’m not sure what the vibe is.”
Pressed on his current relationship with Townsend, Russell explained: “We’ve hardly spoken since the Six Nations and that’s just how it is. We’ve not spoken much at all.
“We’re alright, I suppose. He’ll have had his reasons so I’m not looking into it too much. There is no point me worrying about anything like that. I can’t control what happens with Scotland.
“There is not much I can do about the Scotland squad or who Gregor picks. That’s not my job. My job is to keep playing well in France. I’m happy doing it so I’ve kept that going.
“I’m not a coach and I’m not the one picking the team thankfully. I’ll get back into camp and worry about that then.
“I’ve texted him [Townsend] a few times just chatting about the attack system, shape, and a couple things around that,” he added. “Nothing too much. I’ll wait and see how it is when I get in.
“It was me needing clarity on a few things from the last year and a half. I had a few questions and got some good clarity back. I gave my thoughts and we had a couple of texts back and forth to discuss a few things so we were all clear on the attacking side before I go back in.
“I’m pretty chilled, to be honest. I haven’t been in since the Six Nations so I don’t know how the environment is going to be and how it’s all going.
“It will be easy enough to get up to speed on the rugby side. I’ve been playing long enough.”
Russell also explained that his arrival in Edinburgh was delayed until today [Tuesday] so that he could make sure that his pregnant partner, Emma Canning, had the necessary support in Paris while he is away on international duty.
“My girlfriend is pregnant and is due to give birth at any time. Her due date is November 23, so in two weeks, but the midwife said it could be two weeks or two days,” he said.
“We just don’t know. It will be good to get back into camp but, at the same time, it would be nice to be with her. I was happy either way.”