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Russell back on ‘same page’ as Scotland coach Townsend

Scotland's Finn Russell. Photo: Andy Buchanan/AFP

Scotland fly-half Finn Russell said Tuesday he is on the “same page” as head coach Gregor Townsend after originally being omitted for their squad for the recent Autumn Nations Series.

Racing 92’s Russell, 30, returned to the international set-up for a loss to New Zealand on November 13 and a win over Argentina six days later after missing the opening two matches through non-selection due to what Townsend dubbed a lack of consistency.

“The two weeks I was in there, Gregor was really good, working with me,” Russell told reporters.

“I spoke to Gregor before I went into camp to get clarity on a few things, game plan, he came back with answers.

“We were both on the same page and I think that showed in the two games,” he added.

Russell’s contract at Racing is up at the end of the season with the French club being linked with the likes of All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett and France playmaker Matthieu Jalibert.

Russell is reportedly the subject of interest from English side Bath as well as Japanese outfits, but is hoping to stay in the Parisian suburbs.

“We’re still in negotiations here with Racing and a couple of other teams,” Russell said.

“Hopefully we can get it done sooner rather than later just so that I know what’s happening and that I can put that to bed and then move on from there.

“There’s a bit of chat around it just now, hopefully we can get it done this week or next week.”

Russell is set to start his first game since the victory over Los Pumas as Racing host Leinster in the Champions Cup on Saturday.

He could face Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton in the game moved to the northern port city of Le Havre due to a concert at Racing’s Paris La Defense Arena home.

The pair toured New Zealand together with the British and Irish Lions in 2017 and Sexton has played just three times for Dublin-based province this season.

“He’s a good guy, he knows the game inside out,” Russell said. “I’d imagine he’ll drive a lot of their attack.

“I don’t know how much he’s played this year for them, watching a couple of recent games he’s not been playing so he’ll be fresh for this game and ready to go,” he added.


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