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Finn Russell flown to Caribbean in bid to save season

By PA
Finn Russell looks on during the Bath Rugby training session ahead of Gallagher Premiership Rugby Final against Northampton Saints at Farleigh House on June 06, 2024 in Bath, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Finn Russell will spearhead Bath’s bid for Gallagher Premiership title glory after a week in the Caribbean that helped save his season.

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It was little to do with sun, sea and relaxation, though, as the Scotland star flew 4,000 miles mainly for an appointment with a machine.

Russell suffered what his club described as “a significant groin injury” during Bath’s Investec Champions Cup round of 16 defeat against Exeter on April 6.

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As the final push for play-off places began, Bath’s fly-half talisman potentially faced a lengthy spell out of action.

But he was back playing five weeks later after throwing everything into a recovery process that underlined Russell’s searing commitment to the cause.

“When I got injured Bruce (Craig, Bath’s owner) wanted to take me out there,” Russell said. “There is a machine – he actually uses it for himself – that they use to heal.

“You have a little patch on your back that is connected to the machine, there is a probe that they use on the injured area and I think the connection between the pad on your back heats the muscle on the inside.

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“I am sure a bit of Deep Heat would have been fine! But it worked, and I got back for the Newcastle game.

“It was an hour-and-a-half of physio in the morning and the evening, and there was training on the pitch with the physio and gym work and rehab.

“It was pretty full-on, more full-on than I thought it was going to be actually. I think we spent about half an hour on the beach!

“I ruptured the adductor longus and tore my ab at the same time. I did the same injury the other side when I was at Racing, playing for Scotland.

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“I ruptured my right side, but I didn’t tear my ab, so it was a bit cleaner the first time. I knew it was a very similar injury, but I didn’t know if there were any other issues going on.”

Bath face Northampton at Twickenham on Saturday in their first Premiership final appearance for nine years, with Russell having played a huge role getting them there.

Since arriving in Bath after the World Cup earlier this season, he has driven the team through his relentless high standards and numerous decisive contributions during games.

“I didn’t know what it would be like coming to play for a team that was from a rugby city,” Russell added. “People chat to you, but it is not over the top.

“You get a sense of how desperately they want us to do well. Whether that is winning it (Premiership) this year or getting to the final, I think everyone seems to be enjoying the way we are playing.

“The atmosphere (against play-off opponents Sale) was probably the loudest I have played at in a club game. That shows what it means to the city.

“We are lucky enough we are the guys out there representing them, and hopefully this weekend we can win it and bring something back for them.”

Despite his talents, Russell has won a solitary trophy in his career – the PRO12 title with Glasgow in 2015.

“I have only been in three finals, and won one. Hopefully, we win at the weekend and the record goes up to 50 per cent from 33 per cent!” he said.

“I have had a brilliant career already, but I think I would like to get some more silverware and have that alongside your name.

“I think the later I am getting in my career, the more I want to get something.

“It doesn’t come around that often, so when you get chances like we have at the weekend it is about capitalising and making sure we win it.”

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