The Racing 92 player has been the centre of attention after going home from the Scotland training camp ahead of the Six Nations for missing training following a night where he had exceeded the limit of how much to drink set by the squad.
Russell recently revealed a lot more about his relationship with Townsend, suggesting he is unlikely to play for Scotland again while the coach is in charge.
He said: “Just now, there’s no relationship (with Townsend), we don’t work at all together. For me just now, for my rugby and my health, I don’t think I can do it. It’s not as simple as, ‘Have two weeks off, come back and it will be fine’.
“The current situation, set-up and environment, I don’t think I want to play in that. I don’t think it’s good for me as a person or as a player. I’ve felt like this for more than a year.”
(Continue reading below…)
RPA warns of a mass player revolt over Seven Nations plot
While this has provided clarity as to where the fly-half stands at the moment, it has also been divisive. His attitude, whereby he has created a situation in which it is either him or Townsend, has been deemed selfish by some.
Further, Scotland’s encouraging performances against Ireland and England – although they lost both games – have relieved some of the pressure that was on Townsend after he expelled the former Glasgow Warriors player.
Henson, however, has said on Twitter that he feels Russell’s pain. The Welshman had equally been embroiled in a number of situations akin to Russell’s while at Toulon, Cardiff Blues and Bath.
The now-retired talisman took aim at senior player groups in squads, which he says, “Normally consists of the most unskillful, high body fat percentage, double standards type of guys but boy they can talk a good game!”
Although controversial at times, Henson had a lot of success during his career – and the same applies for Russell. Being the maverick he is when playing, this trait is apparent both on and off the field, and while such a personality makes him one of Scotland’s best players, it has come at a price.
Russell’s Racing 92 team-mate Simon Zebo has also offered his support on social media. The former Ireland international praised the 27-year-old, saying he is “with [him] all the way”.
The Scot feels that what he has done is the best for himself and the national team, and the Irishman has commended him for being “honest and true” to himself.
It is wise that none of his Scotland teammates pass judgement surrounding this ordeal to avoid a further fracture, but Russell has received the backing from players across the game in a spat that looks far from over.
WATCH: The latest episode of The Rugby Pod discusses Ellis Genge’s post-match interview and Finn Russell’s ongoing bust-up with Gregor Townsend
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.