The Scots play four matches in as many weeks, first again Australia on Saturday, October 29, then Fiji on Saturday, November 5, New Zealand on Sunday, November 13 and Argentina on Saturday, November 19, all at BT Murrayfield.
Townsend rested Russell for Scotland’s summer tour of Argentina and BBC Sport Scotland is reporting that the Racing 92 fly-half is set to be omitted from the group once more. Russell is not able to play against Australia as the fixture falls outside the Test window, but the BBC claims that he will not be summoned for the remaining three matches despite being eligible to participate in them.
Capped 62 times for Scotland, Russell has largely been Scotland’s first-choice No 10 since 2014, but the 30-year-old and Townsend have at times experienced a tense relationship. The 30-year-old walked out of the Scotland squad in early 2020 ahead of the Six Nations, criticising Townsend’s coaching methods, and was dropped from the Scotland team for the final match of this year’s tournament against Ireland on the back of being one of six players who went on unauthorised night out in Edinburgh.
This resulted in Blair Kinghorn assuming Scotland fly-half duties in Argentina and he is expected to be given the nod against Australia again later this month. The 25-year-old, who plays his club rugby for Edinburgh and can also operate at full-back or winger, has been capped 34 times and made the switch to permanent stand-off last year.
The full Scotland squad will be revealed on Wednesday lunchtime, with former Australia back-row Jack Dempsey expected to be named in it for the first time. The 28-year-old won 14 caps for the Wallabies between 2017 and 2019, but has a Scottish grandfather and has spoken about switching allegiances. Dempsey plays his club rugby with Glasgow Warriors and has impressed with his performances for the Scotstoun outfit. However, all eyes will be on the Russell situation, with Townsend set to speak to the press on Wednesday afternoon.