Rugby around the world may currently be on ice, but Scotland skipper Stuart Hogg believes the day will come soon enough when the ostracised Finn Russell will wear his country’s jersey again. 

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Russell fell out with Gregor Townsend before the start of the Guinness Six Nations and the relationship between player and coach has yet to be fully repaired. 

The fracture became a major talking point during Scotland’s four-match championship which began with narrow defeats to Ireland and England before delivering wins over Italy and France before the final match versus Wales fell victim to the coronavirus outbreak. 

It can’t have been easy for new skipper Hogg to steer the squad through the fall-out from the Hogg row, but he is optimistic the damage can eventually be repaired.

“I was gutted with what happened,” he said in a bbc.com interview. “Finn and I are very close and it was great to hear that himself and Gregor are in a much better place now. Long may that continue.

“Finn will play for Scotland soon. There might have to be some dark conversations but we’ll get there. He will realise that things have happened and can’t quite happen like that again. He’s old enough and ugly enough to know that. 

“There’s no doubt whatsoever that he’ll be back. He’s very, very popular and he’s an incredible player and I think he’ll be even better when he comes back because Adam (Hastings) and himself will push each other all the way.”

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Hogg’s championship got off to its own bum note, the full-back dropping the ball over Ireland’s try line with a score at his mercy. It has a huge effect on him.

“It was devastating because it was a moment of stupidity,” he explained. “I’m my own worst critic, I know when I’ve made a mistake, I don’t need people to tell me. 

“The problem is me being the person I am is that I listen to what people have to say. I could get 99 brilliant comments and one person will abuse me and that will be the one that I focus on. I can take the stick, but when it becomes repetitive and poisonous that’s when a line is crossed.”

WATCH: Ian McKinley chats to Jim Hamilton in the debut episode of The Lockdown, the new RugbyPass series

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