Russell in 2017
|Date of birth||23 September 1992|
|Place of birth||Bridge of Allan, Scotland|
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||87 kg (13 st 10 lb)|
|School||Wallace High School|
|Rugby union career|
In 2013, he was part of the John Macphail Scholarship, in which he spent 15 weeks in New Zealand's South Island, playing for local clubs in the Christchurch area, benefiting from the state-of-the art facilities and specialist coaching offered by the Canterbury Rugby Football Union international high performance unit.
Russell, was first picked up by Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend in the summer of 2012, after impressing for Falkirk and the Scotland U20's in the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa.
With Glasgow's top players away on international duty for the 2013 Six Nations Championship, Russell was named on the bench to face Zebre on the 10 February 2013 as part of the 2012–13 Pro12 season. He came on at the 56th minute to make his professional debut. During the 2013–14 Pro12 season, Russell made his first start at the club, starting at Inside Centre against the Newport Gwent Dragons at Scotstoun Stadium on 22 November 2013. Since then, Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Gregor Townsend, offered Russell a full-time contract with the club which began in the 2014–15 season.
2014–15 also saw Russell play a prominent role in Glasgow Warriors' Pro12 title triumph. In the final match of the regular season, his personal points haul of 22 (including two tries) contributed to the bonus-point victory over Ulster needed to secure a home play-off. The following week, against the same opposition, Russell's extraordinary pass in the 75th-minute sent in D.T.H. van der Merwe to touch down and tie the scores at 14–14. Russell then stepped up to slot home the decisive conversion from a daunting position to send Glasgow into the Final.
On 29 November 2017, Russell is set to leave Glasgow Warriors at the end of the 2017–18 season to play in France Top 14 with Racing 92, where he is slated to replace All Blacks legend Dan Carter after Carter moves to Japan.
Russell earned his first call-up to the senior national team during the team's summer 2014 tour of North America. That autumn, he started in all three of Scotland's November Tests against Argentina, New Zealand and Tonga.
In 2014, Russell had what Scottish sportswriter Andy Newport called "a meteoric rise [that] saw the former Stirling County youngster blast his way into the national team in the space of six months."
Russell established himself as Scotland's first-choice Number 10 during the 2015 Six Nations Championship, starting four of the team's five matches. He missed the defeat to Italy through suspension, his sin-binning against Wales having been upgraded to a two-week ban following a citation (and unsuccessful appeal). Russell scored his first international try in the final day defeat to eventual champions Ireland.
The summer of 2017 began with Russell as part of Scotland's Southern Hemisphere tour. He created two tries in the opening match win over Italy in Singapore, and followed this with a try of his own a week later during victory over Australia.
Russell played in all five of Scotland's 2018 Six Nations Championship fixtures. During the 25-13 victory over England, he threw an audacious pass on his own 22-yard line as part of an attack which led to a try scored by Sean Maitland. This piece of skill was subsequently described by many pundits as being one of the greatest of all-time.
British and Irish Lions
In 2018, Finn Russell was capped with the Barbarians against England during the mid-year rugby tests. He scored 19 points (1 try and a 7/7 kicking conversions), allowing his team to beat England 45–63 at Twickenham.
With this game he became (with his teammate Greig Laidlaw) not only one of the few Scottish players to beat England at home in modern rugby, but also one of the even fewer Scotsmen to beat England twice the same year.
After secondary school, Russell worked for three years as a stonemason. He recalled that time in a 2015 interview with Newport:
On rainy days it could be pretty miserable. . . . It could be tough but I enjoyed it. I'd be making windowsills, door frames, fire places – even building walls. But compared to playing rugby, it's night and day. If I ever have a bad day at training, I think back to what it was like working in that cold shed.
- "Russell Receives John Macphail Scholarship". scottishrugby.org.
- "Finn Russell on a roll with Glasgow pro contract". scotsman.com.
- "Pro-player draft".
- "BBC Sport – Glasgow Warriors: Finn Russell agrees two-year deal". BBC Sport.
- Colin Moffat. "BBC Sport – Pro12: Glasgow Warriors 32-10 Ulster". BBC Sport.
- Tom English. "BBC Sport – Pro12 semi-final: Glasgow Warriors beat Ulster 16-14". BBC Sport.
- Tom English. "BBC Sport – Pro12 final: Glasgow Warriors 31-13 Munster". BBC Sport.
- "Finn Russell will join Racing 92 to replace Dan Carter at the season's end". ESPN (UK). 28 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- Newport, Andy (2 February 2015). "Finn Russell, former stonemason, hopes to chisel out Six Nations success". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "RBS 6 Nations Fixtures & Results". rbs6nations.com.
- "BBC Sport – Finn Russell: Scotland fly-half's appeal against suspension rejected". BBC Sport.
- Andy Burke. "BBC Sport – Six Nations 2015: Scotland 10-40 Ireland". BBC Sport.
- "Rugby World Cup 2015: Scotland 45-10 Japan". 23 September 2015 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Italy 13-34 Scotland: Scotland thump Italy in steamy Singapore".
- Agencies (17 June 2017). "Gregor Townsend hails Scotland's unity in hard-fought win over Australia" – via The Guardian.
- Gray, James (17 June 2017). "Australia 19 – Scotland 24: Finn Russell celebrates Lions call with historic win".
- "Lions 31 Hurricanes 31: Lawes and Henderson shine as Lions hold on in thrilling draw".
- "Lions Player Numbers". 19 February 2017.
|John Macphail Scholarship