Guinness Six Nations
Russell ruled out of Scotland’s trip to Paris
Finn Russell has lost his race to be fit for Scotland’s meeting with France in Paris (pic: SNS Group)
Stand-off Finn Russell has added to Gregor Townsend’s selection problems after being ruled out of Scotland’s Six Nations clash with France in Paris on Saturday.
Concern over the 26-year-old’s fitness had grown after he suffered a head knock playing for Racing 92 in a TOP 14 game against Toulouse on Sunday.
Russell, who has been in outstanding form for his country, has failed to recover sufficiently in line with World Rugby’s concussion protocol, and joins a lengthening list of absentees for the trip to the French capital.
A statement from Scotland 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.”
Worcester Warriors’ Duncan Weir was called in when news of Russell’s injury became known.
The 27-times capped international was one of six players added to the squad by Townsend, with Edinburgh trio Magnus Bradbury (back-row), Dougie Fife (wing) and James Johnstone (centre), and Glasgow Warriors front-row forwards Zander Fagerson (tighthead prop) and George Turner (hooker) all included.
The group replaces injured Glasgow Warriors pair George Horne (shoulder) and Stafford McDowall (ankle), as well as front-row forwards David Cherry, Murray McCallum (both Edinburgh) and Jake Kerr (Leicester Tigers).
Weir’s last international appearance came against Italy at Murrayfield two years ago.
Full-back Stuart Hogg’s shoulder injury means he will also miss the trip to Paris and it remains to be seen what role he will play in the remainder of the tournament, though the good news is he does not require surgery.
John Barclay, Hamish Watson, WP Nel, Ryan Wilson, Sam Skinner and Huw Jones are all currently sidelined by injuries.
With the inspirational Hogg missing, the absence of playmaker Russell is a major blow for the Scots who are looking to bounce back from their 22-13 defeat to Ireland at Murrayfield.
Kick-off in Paris is 2.15pm.