The out-half missed last weekend’s Six Nations match for Scotland against France in Paris due to a concussion suffered during a Top 14 match on February 17, six days before he was due to line out at the Stade de France for his country.
His absence was a massive blow for the Scots, who lost 27-10 and generally looked uninspired against a struggling opposition that had come into the match under a cloud following its heavy defeat to England.
Russell was ruled out of Test selection on Tuesday of last week, Scotland confirming at the time that he had not satisfied that day’s component of the graduated return to play protocol.
It left him making do with BBC TV pundit duty at the match while the No10 jersey was taken by Peter Horne, with Adam Hastings providing cover from the bench.
If Russell does come through his neurology assessment and is cleared to play on Saturday against La Rochelle, it will make for nervous viewing for Scottish boss Gregor Townsend similar to what occurred on the previous fallow Six Nations weekend.
Six of Scotland’s seven players based in other countries had to play club rugby on the weekend of February 17, and Russell’s injury highlighted the risk of the Scots relying heavily on star players contracted to clubs outside its jurisdiction. Scotland’s next Six Nations match is at home to leaders Wales on March 9.
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) February 19, 2019
Russell suffered a game-ending 37th minute collision nine days ago with the ball-carrying Lucas Tauzin, the Toulouse player’s knee colliding with the side of the face of the tackling out-half and forcing him off for a HIA. He didn’t return for the second half, his place being taken by Fijian Ben Volavola.
Racing will be keen for Russell to be available to feature this weekend as the big-spending Parisians have lost their last three league games and have slipped to eighth on the table, two spots outside the play-offs.
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