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Owen Farrell: Finn Russell's advice over Racing 92 move for England captain

Scotland fly-half Finn Russell played for Racing 92 between 2018 and 2023, and believes Owen Farrell would be a success if his proposed move to the Paris club would go through; Russell believes embracing the language and culture in France as quickly as possible is key

Leicester Tigers v Racing 92 - Heineken Champions Cup - Welford Road
Racing 92's Finn Russell
Image: Finn Russell spent five seasons playing for Racing 92

Finn Russell has urged Owen Farrell to embrace everything about the culture in France if he is to make a success of his proposed move to Racing 92.

The England captain is in talks with the six-time Top 14 champions over joining them on a two-year contract following the conclusion of his current deal with Saracens at the end of the 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership season.

Scotland fly-half Russell spent five seasons with Racing prior to joining Bath last year and while he is in no doubt Farrell would be a hit in Paris as well, he knows from his own experience how much quickly adapting to a new way of life will be crucial for his fellow No 10.

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Sky Sports explains why Owen Farrell could be putting his international future at risk with a potential move to French club Racing 92

"I loved my time in Paris, and you've got to go there with an open mind and try to fit in and take to their way of life and culture as much as possible," Russell told Sky Sports at the premiere of Netflix's Six Nations: Full Contact documentary series.

"It is different, it is challenging at times, but if I went over there and was stuck in how I did things in Scotland then you'd find it quite difficult.

"The quicker you can get up to speed with the language and just embrace everything, even if it's tougher times, it's good fun.

"I think he'll be great over there if he does go. I'm not sure if he is going or not, but if he does go, I think he'll be great."

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I loved my time in Paris, and you've got to go there with an open mind and try to fit in and take to their way of life and culture as much as possible.
Finn Russell

This year's Six Nations Championship is just over two weeks away, with Russell and his Scotland team-mates beginning their campaign away to Wales on Saturday, February 3 as they aim to put a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign which saw them fail to progress from Pool B behind them.

Last year's Championship saw Gregor Townsend's side finish third, and retain the Calcutta Cup for the third year running - the first time they had achieved that since 1972 - after inflicting a 29-23 defeat on England in Steve Borthwick's first game as head coach.

The old rivals meet again at Murrayfield on Saturday, February 24 and England will head to Edinburgh without Farrell, who is taking a break from international rugby for mental health reasons.

That could mean George Ford, Marcus Smith, or even the uncapped Fin Smith, who has helped propel Northampton Saints to the top of the Premiership and into the knock-out stages of the Investec Champions Cup, lining up at fly-half. Although whoever is selected, Russell expects a tough game.

Scotland players celebrate with the Calcutta cup after defeating England 29-23 during the Six Nations rugby union international match at Twickenham in London, England, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Image: Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup with victory over England at Twickenham in 2023

"They're always a good team," Russell said of England. "Individually, their players are brilliant - some of the best in the world. Farrell's not there this year so that'll be different for them.

"George Ford, Marcus Smith, Fin Smith might all be there, so I don't know who is going to play, but it's always a big game when Scotland play England. It's great fun to play in these games and they're always a tough side.

"Last year it was different for them, Borthwick had just come in, so they possibly weren't at their best when we played them down here last year.

"They're a different side, they're coming off the back of a great World Cup and they'll be full of confidence. It'll be a tough game, but I'm looking forward to it."

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