Russell missed Scotland’s Guinness Six Nations defeat in France after suffering concussion while playing for Racing against Toulouse then failing the return to play protocol. However, he confirmed yesterday that he has recovered fully.
Racing went into the match in eighth spot having lost four of their previous five league matches. As a result, they were desperately in need of a win. That meant that Russell was required. The 26-year-old orchestrated affairs as Racing dominated proceedings. Then with the match won, the Scotland stand-off was replaced by the Fijian Ben Volovolo for the closing stages.
Racing opened the scoring in five minutes with a try by Dominic Bird. Russell added the conversation. He was off target with the kick after Teddy Thomas added a second touchdown two minutes later but booted the kick after Racing winger went over for a second time with only 12 minutes on the clock.
Jordan Joseph bagged try number four for the Parisians and shortly before the break, after a converted score by Jeremy Sinzelle for La Rochelle, Russell capped a spell of pressure from Racing by crossing the whitewash to score try number five and establishing a 29-7 half-time lead.
Sinzelle scored his second converted try for the visitors before Racing took control of the game. Russell’s contribution ended with 15 minutes to play and he watched from the sidelines as his colleagues added further tries from Thomas, Juan Imhoff and Henry Chevancy. The result moves Racing into the top six in the table.
Elsewhere, Greig Laidlaw was rested by Clermont Auvergne for their match at home to Grenoble.
Meanwhile, Richie Gray will continue his return to fitness when he starts on the bench for Toulouse away to Stade Francais this afternoon.