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Finn Russell back in after controversial omission

By PA
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Finn Russell has won a Scotland call-up after fellow stand-off Adam Hastings was ruled out through injury following Saturday’s win over Fiji.

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Russell was a controversial omission from Scotland’s original squad for the Autumn Nations Series but is back in the fold ahead of Sunday’s BT Murrayfield clash with New Zealand and the visit of Argentina on November 19.

Blair Kinghorn and Ross Thompson were also chosen ahead of the 30-year-old Racing 92 fly-half with Gregor Townsend citing “form and consistency” levels as the key criteria for his selection.

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Kinghorn started in the narrow defeat by Australia, scoring a try before missing a late penalty which would have handed Scotland victory.

Gloucester number 10 Hastings came in for the second game of the series and scored a try but was forced off early in the second half of Saturday’s 28-12 victory over Fiji with a head injury, while he was also having a knee issue assessed.

After the game Townsend said he had not spoken to Russell since informing him last month he was not in the original squad but the head coach insisted that was not unusual.

“If people are not in the squad I don’t phone them up regularly unless there’s something to talk about,” he said. “But I’d imagine he’d be available.

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“He was disappointed not to be in the squad. If we decide to bring another 10, he’ll be one of the ones we’ll be looking at.”

Hooker George Turner has brushed off an injury concern after scoring one of Scotland’s four tries on Saturday.

A brief Scottish Rugby Union statement on Twitter read: “Finn Russell joins the Scotland squad with Adam Hastings returning to his club. George Turner remains with the team as preparations continue for Sunday’s game against New Zealand.”

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