Ugo Monye hails Finn Russell but stands by ‘maverick’ comment

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Former England and Lions wing Ugo Monye has praised Scotland stand-off Finn Russell, who he labelled last week as “flaky”, but stuck by his description of Calcutta Cup man of the match as a maverick.

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“The maverick goosed England didn’t he?” said Monye on the weekly BBC rugby podcast, which described Russell’s audacious long pass to Huw Jones in the lead up to Scotland’s second try of the famous 25-13 win as “the pass of the century”.

“I described him as a maverick and let’s look at the evidence,” said Monye. “He was awful round one then he got whipped off by his own coach [against France] because he [Gregor Townsend] didn’t feel he could close out a game.

“Then he was man of the match at the weekend. That’s exactly what mavericks do. They can lose you a game and have the ability to be man of the match.

“He plays right on the edge of things, oh my word. As a neutral supporter, which I wasn’t at the weekend, all you can do is sit back and applaud.

Finn Russell impressed during Scotland's victory at the weekend. Picture: SNS

Finn Russell impressed during Scotland's victory at the weekend. Picture: SNS

“I look at Finn Russell’s counter-attacking when he throws the ball over Jonathan Joseph’s head. We’re talking inches. This is a guy who lives on the edge. He doesn’t always get it right but on Saturday he did.”

Monye added: “I was certain of an England win last week. That’s off the evidence they’ve given me in the past two years, they don’t lose many matches. But let’s face it Scotland were fantastic in every facet of the game, played some great rugby and what an occasion.

“Hats off Scotland you were superb.”

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