Monday 23 April 2018

'Class act' Finn Russell backed to lift Scots

France 15 Scotland 8

Finn Russell of Scotland moves between Pascal Pape (L) and Yoann Maestri during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Scotland at Stade de France
Finn Russell of Scotland moves between Pascal Pape (L) and Yoann Maestri during the RBS Six Nations match between France and Scotland at Stade de France
France's prop Uini Atonio is blocked during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Scotland, at the Stade de France
France's centre Remy Lamerat (C) is tackled during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Scotland, at the Stade de France
France's centre Mathieu Bastareaud (3rd R) and France's flanker Thierry Dusautoir (C) vie for the ball with Scotland's lock Richie Gray (L) during the Six Nations international rugby union match between France and Scotland on February 7, 2015 at the Stade de France
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Stuart Hogg has backed Finn Russell to be the maverick playmaker Scotland need to cut through their Six Nations rivals.

The Glasgow stand-off made his championship debut in front of 80,000 fans at the Stade de France as the Scots lost to Philippe Saint-Andre's men.

It was a brave, but frustrating, display from the visitors in Paris against a French side clad in unfamiliar red.

While they scored the only try of the match after substitute wing Dougie Fife found space to dive over just before the interval, Vern Cotter's team let their hosts off the hook with a string of penalties.

Their misdemeanours were punished by fly-half Camille Lopez as he knocked over five penalties to ensure Scotland's 16-year wait for a win on French soil continues.

But there were many positives for Cotter to mull over, none more so than the display of his six-cap No 10 Russell.

He kicked with authority, but also took responsibility whenever he got the ball.

Now team-mate Hogg - once tipped to move from full-back to fly-half as Scotland struggled to find a domineering 10 - claims the side have now got the right man for the job.

He said: "Finn is different class - a class act. He's got that little bit of invention you need to unpick the top teams."

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