Finn Russell: South Africa explain why there will be no special treatment for stand-off at Murrayfield

South Africa insist they are not focusing on stopping Finn Russell as they seek to puncture Scottish momentum in the Autumn Nations Series.

Scotland's Finn Russell impressed for the Lions against South Africa. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Scotland's Finn Russell impressed for the Lions against South Africa. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The world champions are the visitors to Murrayfield on Saturday and the old ground will be packed to the rafters once more as the home support look to see if the Scots can make it three wins in a row after beating Tonga and Australia.

Memories of Russell’s dazzling performance in the third Lions Test in Cape Town are still fresh for the Springboks but assistant coach Deon Davids says he will get no special treatment.

“We respect Finn Russell and the ability of all the other players in the team,” said Davids, mindful that not even the fly-half’s heroics could rescue the Lions in the summer.

South Africa's Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids gestures during the warm-up before the Super Rugby match against Argentina's Jaguares at Jose Amalfitani stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina on June 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JUAN MABROMATA (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP via Getty Images)

“We are not focussing on one specific player. We have a big focus on what we want to do better this weekend and, obviously, that means having an understanding of the challenges Scotland pose.

“So, we are going to ask for a collective effort to be successful this coming weekend.”

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Davids helped guide South Africa to a 23-18 win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday and then 24 hours later watched with interest as Scotland pipped the Wallabies 15-13 in Edinburgh.

“If you think about Gregor Townsend’s philosophy, the brand of rugby he played with Scotland in the last Six Nations and also last weekend, obviously part of the style of play is to keep the ball in hand, and use it to work up the field, so I think going into this game and having been successful last weekend that will be the same scenario they bring to us,” added Davids.

“Having quality players like Finn Russell and the rest of the players around him to implement that, I think they are going to ask a lot of questions of us in the game, and from a defensive point of view those are the things we need to be ready for.

“They [also] had a very good scrum performance. We know that their scrum is coached by Pieter de Villiers who has been with the Springboks and he is a very good coach and you can see the results from what they achieve in the scrums. It will be a tough battle this week.”

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