Guinness Six Nations Championship
Russell to miss Ireland opener after discipline breach
Turmoil: Russell (pic: SNS Group)
Scotland’s preparations for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations Championship have been thrown into turmoil after playmaker Finn Russell left the squad’s Edinburgh training camp following a breach of discipline.
The stand-off, capped 46 times for his country, will now miss the opening match against Ireland in Dublin next weekend after returning to club Racing 92 in Paris.
His participation in the tournament at all seems in doubt after Scottish Rugby confirmed the 27-year-old had been disciplined for a ‘breach of team protocol.’
The breach is understood to be in relation to a drinking session at the team hotel on Sunday night when he is said to have been the only one drinking and refused to stop after being asked by others in the camp.
He subsequently missed training on Monday and was informed by head coach Gregor Townsend he would not play against Ireland. Although he was invited to train on Thursday he declined the opportunity and instead left the Oriam base at Heriot-Watt University.
A statement released by Scottish Rugby on social media said: “Stand-off Finn Russell will play no further part in preparations for Scotland’s Six Nations opener against Ireland, having been disciplined for a breach of team protocol during the week’s camp in Edinburgh. He has returned to his club.”
Russell’s creativity will be a huge loss for the Scots, who are looking to bounce back from a disappointing World Cup in Japan which followed a poor Six Nations campaign 12 months ago during which he publicly questioned head coach Townsend’s tactics.
The only other full-time stand-off in the squad is 14-times capped Adam Hastings.
The former Glasgow Warriors star has scored 137 points for Scotland and would have been a key man in the Aviva Stadium on 1 February.
In 2018, Scottish Rugby dismissed Russell’s father Keith as director of domestic rugby but he subsequently won his unfair dismissal claim.