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Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell explains what happened with Owen Farrell on the field

By Kim Ekin
England's Owen Farrell (R) and Scotland's Finn Russell before a Guinness Six Nations match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, on February 04, 2023, in London, England. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell has explained what happened with Owen Farrell during the on-field scuffle in the first half of the Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham.

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After a strong tackle by Farrell dislodged the ball from Russell, an end-of-field camera then picked up the Russell make a b-line for Farrell during Van der Merwe’s try which occurred moments later.

Russell came from behind and shoulder bumps into an unwitting Farrell, who was surprised by the Scotland flyhalf. Russell was seen giving him a spray as Van der Merwe went over to score.

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The Scotland No 10 explained why he went after his English rival on RugbyPass The Offload podcast.

“Faz [Farrell] had just banged me and I had lost the ball,” Russell told The Offload.

“Then they kicked it long and I was on the ground. I thought it was Faz but it was actually Marcus [Smith] or [Joe] Marchant that were mouthing off at me on the ground.

“As soon as Duhan went through I saw Faz and I went straight to him to give him a mouthful back.

“I just said ‘what you say now?’ kinda thing ‘anything else to say?’ cause obviously you’ve been mouthing off to me and Duhan’s run it back 60 metres. It wasn’t that much.”

Russell’s return spray left Farrell confused as the England captain professed to have no idea about mouthing off, with Russell then realising he had the wrong target.

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The Scotland flyhalf admitted to apologising during the after-match after going after the wrong man.

“Well Faz just said ‘I didn’t say anything, what are you on about’, I don’t think it was actually him who was mouthing off,” Russell laughed.

“So after the game I was like sorry yeah that was a bit of s*** chat.”

“I had my face into the ground so I assumed it was him but I don’t think it actually was.”

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Jon 1 hours ago
British & Irish Lions free agent open to Super Rugby switch

There are a couple of teams who could use a stop gap experienced head. Blues - I’m not sure the Blues have signed a replacement for Caleb Tangitau (if he hasn’t been let go to make room for Barrett) yet, or whether Reiko is going on sabbatical and/or will remain in the squad. With exciting young French player Xavi Taele looking destined for higher honors in black, talented breakthrough rookie Cory Evan’s, and a couple of utilities, in AJ Lam and Bryce Heem(even Clarke?), all trying to learn the midfield trade, Williams could be a great aid. The Blues signed key English center Joe Marchant before he was raised to that level, and were possibly in the hunt to bring back the dependable Tele’a from the Highlanders. Possible the main squeeze which would put to bed any signing here would be the battle at 10 with Beauden’s return, and the forcing of Plummer back into the midfield. Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett is off to Leinster for a sabbatical next year but the more likely signing would be Billy’s brother back in the team. The Hurricanes are light on the outside with the loss of Salesi Rayasi to the Top 14 and if no quality is found to back up Kini Naholo, the midfield of Sullivan or Proctors could find themselves on the wing and space for a leader to show the Hurricanes three All Black midfield hopefuls (Higgins, Proctor, Umaga-Jensen) how its done. Highlanders - Rotation is high as usual at the Highlanders and versatility remains a strength with a lot of the squad. With compatriot Rhys Patchell signing a move to the JRLO, the passing of outside back Connor Garden-Bachop, and confirmed departure of Argentine wing Martin Bogado, the versatility of many of the young backups in the squad could see a veteran 12 like Williams being a strong partner for the robust Tele’a. With hope that the other Umaga-Jensen brother can force him out of the starting lineup, and shifting the sides general Sam Gilbert back into 10, the off-contract midfielder might seen as the perfect option for a squad still looking to fill one back spot.

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