Finn Russell has made his number 10, says Scotland coach Gregor Townsend


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dated: 2022-11-19 19:36:10 .

Gregor Townsend admits Finn Russell is now the man who ‘owns’ Scotland’s No10 shirt heading into the Six Nations after a superb half-time performance in Saturday’s 52-29 win against an undisciplined Argentina Has.

The Racing 92 stopper was controversially dropped from the original squad named for the autumn series last month, with the head coach expressing concerns about his “form and consistency” at club level as he relies on Blair Kinghorn and Adam Hastings instead.

However, Russell was called up to the squad due to his impressive form at club level and Hastings’ injury ahead of last weekend’s third autumn Test against New Zealand.

After impressing against the All Blacks, the 30-year-old was the man at the heart of Scotland’s eight-try triumph over the Pumas, firmly re-establishing himself as Scotland’s best No.10 option.

“Yeah, he’s a man in possession now,” Townsend said. “Finn has played really well the last two weeks and it will take something (special) from Blair and Adam to change that.”

Asked about Russell’s performance, Townsend said: “He was very good. There are parts of his game that may not be talked about much.

“I told him in the locker room that he had three fights in a row in the first half, so that’s where he showed his competitiveness.

“He has a very good carry game and his loads create really good line breaks.

Finn Russell impressed against Argentina (Jane Barlow/PA).

“His little kick in the second half was spot on and set up a try for Cam Redpath. His passing skills are among the best in the world.

“Maybe we expect those great passes, but they led to really good chances. It was a very good performance.”

Townsend was delighted his side ended their autumn run with victory over the Pumas after a lackluster win over Fiji in the previous Tests was marred by painful defeats to Australia and New Zealand.

“We would have taken it before the game,” he said of the result. “When they scored just before half-time, we knew it was going to be a tough second half, but I’m amazed at how the players adapted to certain situations.

Argentina’s Marcos Kremer saw red in the first half (Jane Barlow/PA).

“What we did in attack and defense had a big impact on Argentina and I liked the energy in the last 10 minutes.”

Argentina head coach Michael Cheika found his team overstretched at the break following Marcos Kremer’s first-half red card and three second-half fouls.

“There were a few key mistakes in the second half that took away chances to stay in the game,” he said. “At a certain point you just have to stay in, stay as close as you can when you have a man like that. I felt we could win the game.

“For sure we struggled to win the game, but I think we tried to solve some situations ourselves, there was just a little lack of concentration in key moments and that immediately cost us a try.”


Finn Russell has made his number 10, says Scotland coach Gregor Townsend

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