BACK IN THE OLD ROU­TINE

Finn Rus­sell can’t wait to get started with Glas­gow af­ter ‘bril­liant’ World Cup

The Herald - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - LEWIS STU­ART

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

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