Finn Russell available for Scotland, says Gregor Townsend
Fly-half omitted from Scotland's squad after "breaching team protocol" ahead of tournament opener against Ireland
Last Updated: 14/05/20 8:17pm
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has confirmed fly-half Finn Russell is available for selection again after being left out of the Six Nations for disciplinary reasons.
Russell was omitted from Scotland's squad after "breaching team protocol" during a drinking session ahead of their tournament opener against Ireland.
The Racing 92 back later criticised Townsend in a newspaper interview, but the pair appear to have patched up their relationship during the coronavirus-enforced suspension of action.
"We talked during the Six Nations and we talked after the Six Nations and we have been in regular contact
during lockdown," Townsend said.
"Players and coaches sometimes don't have relationships that are the same all the way through.
"I suppose it's like being in a family, you have highs and lows, you have periods when you don't understand them and they don't understand you.
"The important thing is we leave the door open for players and we make an effort to connect and build relationships with our players.
"We want everybody available to us.
"I'm sure Finn is really keen to be available and playing for Scotland, as are we with him."
Scotland are currently scheduled to tour the southern hemisphere in July, with two matches against South Africa followed by a Test against New Zealand.
However, Townsend admitted continued measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus could see the fixtures cancelled or postponed.
"To take on South Africa in a two-match Test series doesn't come round very often, the fact they are world champions made it even more special," Townsend said.
"Then to go from those two games to New Zealand to play a team we've not played away from home since 2000 would have made it the best, most physically challenging tour I can ever remember.
"I know our players would be better for that experience. Maybe we will be able to play some of those games later.
"It's disappointing but pales into insignificance when compared to what the virus has done to people and businesses around the world."