Racing coach Travers has 'no problem' with Scotland exile Russell

2 min

Paris (AFP)

Racing 92 head coach Laurent Travers said on Friday he had no issue with fly-half Finn Russell who has been exiled from the Scotland squad during the ongoing Six Nations.

Russell, 27, has missed losses to England and Ireland after originally breaching team protocol and is unlikely to feature again in this year's tournament.

Russell left the national set-up in late January after allegedly breaking team conditions related to a late-night drinking session and then told UK newspaper the Sunday Times earlier this week his relationship with head coach Gregor Townsend had broken down.

"I have strictly no problem at all with him. In fact it's the contrary, his behaviour is very professional," Travers said.

"Despite what people say, he is someone who is calm, considered. Since his return we haven't felt any difference, he might even be giving more in terms of work and concentration."

"Scotland have a rule, there are rules. You have to be certain that the rules have been broken, maybe there are other circumstances," Travers said.

Russell's former club team-mate Leone Nakarawa was sacked by the Parisian club after returning late from the Rugby World Cup.

Travers said the incident with the Fiji lock proved the French side's stance on poor discipline by players.

"What's sure is that for me, I have rules with Racing. The players know, on the field, if you're offside, you go back 10 metres," he said.

"At Racing there are rules and if someone breaks them, as we've proven, you get straightened out."

The 51-year-old crossed paths with Townsend when they both played for Brive in the late 1990s.

Travers said he kept a positive relationship with the former Scotland playmaker ever since Russell headed to Paris in 2018.

"We worked in close collaboration with Gregor Townsend. I played with him, we know each other. I have spoken with him on the phone many times," he said.

"There were things that were put in place by the Union, which have nothing to do with Racing. In a general agreement, we decided Finn could play with us."

Racing host French Top 14 champions Toulouse this Sunday before the Six Nations resumes on February 22 with Scotland travelling to Italy.