Supporters of the Scottish national rugby team have backed fly-half Finn Russell to return to the Scotland squad for the remainder of the 2020 Guiness Six Nations following a UWS News poll.
The damning verdict, which comes following a crescendo in tension between Russell and Head Coach Gregor Townsend, revealed supporters were 66% in favour of the 27-year-old re-entering the national set up.
The fly-half, currently playing his club rugby in France with Racing Metro, suggested, in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times, that he is unlikely to wear the blue of Scotland again until some key changes were made in order to bring out the best in him.
‘I need to do what makes me happy and makes me play my best rugby. People can see the scenario as they want. But I need to do this for myself. It’s over a year I’ve been doing it for the country and for the fans. Before the last Six Nations, I was thinking the same. This is about me being honest and staying true to myself.’
However, both Russell and the Scotland supporter pleas for a Scottish rugby revolution look unlikely to be implemented any time soon – with yesterday, Townsend in conversation with BBC’s Tom English, stating his refusal to give in to Russell’s demands.
‘It’s unacceptable for a player to walk out on a group. We can’t cut corners on things like this.’
Scotland season ticket holder Darryl Elvin’s views however contrast those of Townsend, the 23-year-old from Glasgow instead adamant that Scotland should cover all possible bases to keep the key player happy.
‘I know that Townsend has suggested Russell, like any player, has to abide by certain team ethics and guidelines, but it seems that the player has been unhappy for some time now. For perhaps one of our only world class players to feel this way, it’s criminal and shows a real lack of not only coaching naivety, but emotional intelligence too.
‘Russell is too talented to be sat on the couch whilst we’re only managing to put six points on the board in a home match against England.
‘Both Townsend and Russell need to sit down, agree on certain changes to keep him happy and get him back on the pitch.’