Scottish rugby will breath a collective sigh of relief at the news that international stand-off Finn Russell will play his first competitive match in almost four months tomorrow.
He will turn out for Ayr in their BT Premiership match against Hawick at Mansfield Park. The Glasgow Warriors fly-half used to play for Ayr and only recently spent over an hour kicking about with kids after a club match.
So far this season Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend has turned to Rory Clegg and Peter Horne to fill the No 10 shirt and they haven’t done a bad job with Warriors collecting ten points from their two outings.
It will be Russell’s first taste of live action since an ugly clash of heads with team-mate Zander Fagerson in the opening exchanges of last season’s semi-final defeat by Connacht in Galway.
Fagerson made a good recovery and played his full part in Scotland’s U20 World Championship campaign when they beat Australia. But Russell has struggled with head issues since and the game is much better educated on these things than it used to be.
“He’s playing for Ayr and he is looking forward to it,” Townsend confirmed. “He was training with them on Tuesday night. I’ll be able to watch it as well because we will get an overnight bus back from Cardiff.”
How long will the Glasgow coach wait before ushering his starting ten back into the Warriors’ front line?
“Straight away if he plays well,” replied Townsend. “We always looked to him playing a club game; if it means two or three club games that will depend on his form and fitness.”