BACK IN THE OLD ROUTINE
Finn Russell can’t wait to get started with Glasgow after ‘brilliant’ World Cup
THERE are times when jumping the gun pays off – as Glasgow Warriors demonstrated when they leapt in before the big-money vultures from France and England had started to circle around Finn Russell and signed him up for a further three years.
The fly-half spoke about the deal for the first time as it was made public yesterday, at the same time as the club announced another three-year deal – this one a six-figure sponsorship agreement with ScottishPower.
But it was Russell, fresh from his World Cup exploits, who was the centre of attention on the day he returned to club training after five months on international duty.
“It was brilliant to sign, especially with the way Glasgow have been going over the last few years,” Russell said. “It is good to have a bit of security. I am happy at the club.”
It is an excellent move for 23-year-old Russell, who has cemented his place in both the Scotland and Glasgow sides so firmly that it can sometimes be hard to remember that it was only in March last year that he finally got his chance to play professional rugby and, with only 32 games for Glasgow and 13 for Scotland under his belt, he is still very much learning his role.
The World Cup had been just another stage in that development, though he admits that the way it ended required a little time to recover.
“It took a few days after we got knocked out to get over it, but that is sport,” he said. “You just get back into it and it was good to get back to work in Glasgow.
“Pre-season was tough but good fun and then the World Cup itself was brilliant. It was fantastic to be involved. When you are young you watch it all but actually to be involved was great and to have done as well as we did made it a good first World Cup for me. I was with some of my mates from before I turned professional the other day and to see them do the job I used to do and think I have played in a World Cup is a bit different.
“I am really appreciative of everything I have achieved but I am still new to it all and I am loving it. I aim to take all the experience I have had over the last year-and-a-bit and build on that.
“I am still young, but from everything that has happened, I have gained loads of experience and need to keep building on that. The way the club is going, we have targets to achieve in the next three years and need to keep building towards them.”
Like most of the Scotland players who were used heavily during the World Cup, he is unlikely to be forced back into action this weekend, but clearly Gregor Townsend, the Glasgow head coach, reckons there is still a lot more to come from his protégé.
“I would imagine he was in demand elsewhere so it is good he has committed his future to us – and for a substantial amount of time too,” Townsend said.
“He has played very well in big games, he has a really good temperament for the challenge, he seems to rise to the occasion.
“What we are working on with him is that he plays as well as he can in every game, whether it is a PRO12 final or a home game against a team at the bottom of the league. What I really like about Finn is that he is a really quick learner. He has that composure and confidence when he plays but he takes in information and you see it all going in pretty quickly.”
THAT’S SETTLED: Finn Russell says he is pleased to have the security of a three-year deal at a club where he is happy