Finn Russell on the ‘biggest honour’, Argentina’s physicality and why he’s poised to dash back to Paris

Finn Russell is braced for a huge physical challenge as Scotland look to end their year with a victory over Argentina at Murrayfield today.

Finn Russell gets a feel of the ball during the Scotland team run at a rainy Murrayfield ahead of the Argentina match, with Chris Harris on the left. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Finn Russell gets a feel of the ball during the Scotland team run at a rainy Murrayfield ahead of the Argentina match, with Chris Harris on the left. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Gregor Townsend’s side lost two from three against the Pumas when they toured South America in July but can even things up this afternoon. Russell was rested for the summer series then surprisingly dropped by Townsend when he named his initial squad for the autumn Tests. He was recalled ahead of last week’s match against New Zealand following an injury to Adam Hastings and impressed as Scotland led going into the final quarter only for the All Blacks to overhaul them and win 31-23.

Russell has retained his place for the Argentina game and is not expecting too many surprises against opponents who have one very familiar face in Emiliano Boffelli. “We know what they are like as a team,” said the Racing 92 stand-off. “The boys played against them in the summer. It is a very physical challenge but they have got some outstanding backs as well and Boffelli, he is at Edinburgh, so the boys know him pretty well. We are facing a huge physical challenge. The passion they have for their country will be massive as well so we will see how it goes.”

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Russell played with a controlled assurance against New Zealand and appeared to relish his return after being overlooked as starting stand-off in Scotland's previous six Test matches. “It is great to be back in,” he said. “The All Blacks was a brilliant game to play in. To come back to a packed house at BT Murrayfield was outstanding. I love playing for Scotland. It is the biggest honour you can get.”

Russell’s partner, the athlete Emma Canning, is due to give birth to their first child in Paris and the player is primed to leave the Scotland camp should he get the call. “The due date was yesterday [Thursday] so hopefully it holds on for another couple of days so I have time to get back,” he said. “I can’t wait and really looking forward to it.”

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