The impasse between Finn Russell and Gregor Townsend has carried on into another week after the fly-half was omitted from the 37-man squad for the Calcutta Cup match this weekend at Murrayfield.
While many understand Townsend’s thinking behind sanctioning him for such an indiscretion, as no player is bigger than the team, fears are mounting among fans that this situation may be more serious than it first appeared.
While Townsend will receive a lot of criticism for this ordeal, many Scots feel these actions may be out of his control and that there is far more behind them than one night of drinking.
While it is believed that Russell is yet to apologise for what he has done, he has a lot of history with Townsend and the Scottish Rugby Union and this may be part of the problem and why there is an apparent stalemate.
(Continue reading below…)
Russell warned he must make the first move to salvage his Scotland career
Last year, Russell’s father Keith won an unfair dismissal case that he brought against the SRU for sacking him from his position as director of domestic rugby.
Also last year, there was a confrontation between the player and coach at half-time of the England match at Twickenham and the two have not seen eye to eye since then. Scotland’s poor showing at the Rugby World Cup may have only strained their relationship further.
The thing is Finn’s attitude to this incident doesn’t spring out of nowhere. SRU treated his dad appallingly and that will certainly harden his attitude to any public contrition. SRU never apologised for their actions and can see no way Finn will either.
— David McIntosh (@bingomister) February 3, 2020
Not recalling Russell shows how deep the problems between him and management are. No disrespect to Hastings who played really well, but no way Russell gets left out again if the issues are a simple breach. Sadly, everyone loses out of this … especially the fans
— mark froome (@froomie53) February 3, 2020
Tell the £950k over paid chief exec to get things sort out with GT and FR. We need Finn Russell. If at all goes pear shape this 6 nations (yet again) then the disgruntled fans will want GT and Dodsons heads.
— Steve Manson (@SteveManson17) February 3, 2020
Finn Russell was one of my favourite players. All of this drama is making it seem like he’s not a team player and isn’t for the greater good of the Scottish jersey. Very disappointing he hasn’t put his mates and country above him. #finnrussell
— Jack (@TheJackFlorio) February 3, 2020
Agree re the drinking incident but it's deeper than that. Finn Russell basically told Townsend half time v eng he will do it his way look what happened , Townsends way of coaching doesn't suit Finn or Scotland , gone backward under him. Fans deserve better.
— Greg McTaggart (@Taggsthegoalie) February 3, 2020
I'd imagine Finn Russell isn't there due to his own choices. No one will want to play him more than GT. Can lead a horse to water and all that..
— LoudPurpleGirraffe (@LGirraffe) February 3, 2020
Fortunately from Scotland’s perspective, Adam Hastings had a good game against Ireland in Dublin last Saturday and is a worthy replacement even though Russell is a talent capable of lighting up the Six Nations.
The Glasgow Warriors ten may need to get used to starting for Scotland for the foreseeable future, as there seems to be no resolution in this situation.
WATCH: Stuart Hogg and Gregor Townsend speak to the media following Scotland’s 19-12 loss to Ireland in Dublin
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now