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Gregor Townsend fires ‘commitment’ warning to Finn Russell

Scotland head coach issues statement after exiled playmaker's 'no relationship' claims.

Gregor Townsend fires ‘commitment’ warning to Finn Russell

Head coach Gregor Townsend said the door was open for Scotland exile Finn Russell – if the playmaker could “commit to being a trusted member of the team”.

Russell hasn’t played in either of Scotland’s first two Six Nations fixtures after being sanctioned by Townsend for missing a training session on the back of a late-night drinking session.

However, in a weekend interview with The Sunday Times, the Racing 92 fly-half insisted the fall-out runs a lot deeper than him enjoying a “couple of beers” at the team hotel.

And he seemed to hint that he is willing to wait until Townsend’s three-year stint in charge comes to an end before he returns to a dark blue jersey.

Russell said: “Just now, there’s no relationship, we don’t work at all together.”

In a statement on Monday, however, Townsend said there would be no exceptions or compromises over the standards expected in his squad.

He said: “We have players who come from around a dozen different clubs and it’s really important they commit to an agreed standard of behaviour, which builds trust and is at the bedrock of a high-performance environment.

“The door will be open to any player with the required level of ability – if they commit to being a trusted member of the team. It’s been made clear that Finn could be a part of that future.

“However, he stated at the weekend that everything else has to change for him to come back, rather than accept and adhere to the standards currently being lived by the group.”

Meanwhile, Scotland’s Six Nations campaign has been dealt another blow after Jonny Gray was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.

Gray suffered a hand injury during the Calcutta Cup defeat by England on Saturday and the Scottish Rugby Union confirmed he would return to his club, Glasgow, for “ongoing care and assessment”.