Bath move revitalising Finn Russell as he plots Scotland’s Six Nations strategy

Finn Russell insisted he had been revitalised by his move to Bath as he plots Scotland’s attacking strategy for the Six Nations with Gregor Townsend.

Russell helped Bath qualify for the knockout phase of the Investec Champions Cup by directing a 29-25 victory over Top 14 leaders Racing 92 on Sunday, their third win in as many group matches.

The 31-year-old Scot left the Parisians for the Recreation Ground over the summer and the change of scenery has been an unqualified success, with his new club enjoying a revival in the Gallagher Premiership and Europe.

Finn Russell (left) and Gregor Townsend have been planning Scotland's attack for the Six Nations
Finn Russell (left) and Gregor Townsend have been planning Scotland’s attack for the Six Nations (Jane Barlow/PA)

He hopes to enter the Six Nations with the same brio and has been in frequent contact with Scotland head coach Townsend ahead of the opener against Wales on February 3.

“Coming and changing teams with Bath has given me, not a new lease of life, but it has energised me,” Russell said.

“It has been a new challenge and I’ve worked with new players in a slightly different structure and with a new gameplan, which has been good fun.

“I have grown again since I have been here. It is good for me as a 10, the more experience I get, the better.

“I have spoken to Gregor quite a lot. He texted me on Saturday and every week we have been chatting.

“I have got a call with him on Monday to chat about a few options with the attack through the Six Nations.”

While the move to Bath has put a spring in Russell’s step and provided the Premiership with a new poster boy, it also helped the fly-half come to terms with Scotland’s recent group exit from the World Cup.

“Physically I was all right. I played three games out of four at the World Cup but every game I had a week off after so physically I was fine,” he said.

“It was more disappointment. I wanted to get straight back in here so I almost didn’t have time to dwell on what had happened.

“I took a week off, three or four weeks after I came back in, got away and had a proper holiday and switched off a bit, but coming back in here and getting something fresh has been really good to get over it.

“Potentially, if I had stayed at Racing I would have gone back there and it would have been the same again and dwelling on the World Cup.

“Coming into a new team with new coaches and a new environment and starting from scratch helped me get over that World Cup.”

Russell’s immediate assignment is Bath’s trip to Toulouse on Sunday with the winners finishing top of Pool 2 and guaranteed home advantage in the round of 16.

“Toulouse will be really tough but we are going there to try and win that game. They have got 40 points every game so it’s going to be a challenge, but we have got the confidence and belief to go and do that,” Russell added.