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Scotland suffer Russell blow


Scotland suffer Russell blow ahead of France clash

Scotland outhalf Finn Russell has been ruled out of this Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations Test against France in Paris with a head injury.

In a statement the Scottish Rugby Union said: “The 26-year-old playmaker has not satisfied the requirements of today’s component of the graduated return to play protocol – two days on from sustaining the injury in Racing 92’s TOP 14 clash with Toulouse – meaning there is insufficient time for him to be considered for this weekend’s action.”

“He will now return to the care of his club’s medical team.”

While both Racing 92 and Toulouse rested their France international players, the Scottish play-maker was forced to start the high-profile league match just six days before his country take on the French at the Stade de France in the Six Nations.

He didn’t complete a hugely entertaining five-try first-half that ended with Toulouse leading 27-12 in a match that was a dress rehearsal for the March 31 Champions Cup quarter-final between the teams.

Russell had been having a mixed afternoon before his game-ending 37th minute collision 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.

It was Russell’s loose pass that had earlier given Toulouse their opening try. He quickly hit back, deftly stepping inside Zack Holmes to score on 11 minutes and then giving the try-scoring assist to Juan Imhoff to finish off a move he had started with a ground-gaining break out wide.

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Russell wasn’t on place-kicking duty for Racing, the out-half spotted making a change signal towards the bench after his initial try.

Teddy Iribaren was instead on the tee, but the Scot still did some tactical kicking during the course of an opening hand in which he was responsible for a big missed tackle in the lead-up to Toulouse’s second try.

The early exit of Russell mirrored the premature departure of Wales out-half Dan Biggar from Northampton’s Saturday match in the Premiership against Sale.

Read next: France make multiple changes to team for Scotland game

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Scotland suffer Russell blow ahead of France clash