Finn Russell: Big-game mentality puts fly-half in Lions frame - Gregor Townsend

Finn Russell on the attack for Glasgow Warriors
Finn Russell was man of the match for Glasgow Warriors as they beat Racing 92

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend says Finn Russell's "big game" mentality and defensive prowess makes him a contender for British & Irish Lions selection.

Fly-half Russell was man of the match again on Friday as Glasgow beat Racing 92 for a second time in six days.

"What the Lions selectors want to see is how the players play in the bigger games," Townsend told BBC Scotland.

"Finn has played really well now against Racing twice and Leicester. He thrives on these big games."

Russell, 24, made his Warriors debut in February 2013, and broke through in style the following season to earn the number 10 jersey during Glasgow's run to the Pro12 final.

The former Ayr pivot won the first of his 22 Scotland caps against America later that year, and helped the Warriors wins the Pro12 title in 2015.

"We were so pleased with Finn coming out of the academy," Townsend added. "He stepped in three years ago, and then he became one of our best players and jumped two international players [Duncan Weir and Ruaridh Jackson] to play for us in semi-finals and finals. He's done the same with Scotland.

"A night like this, he loves it, he loves making decisions, taking on the defence and also tackling really well. The Lions coaches will know he's a very good defender."

Finn Russell
Finn Russell "thrives on the big games", according to Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend

'We need to be better against Munster'

Despite another outstanding first 50 minutes against Racing, Townsend could not hide his disappointment at missing out on a try bonus-point, having scored three tries in the opening 46 minutes.

"It was probably not as satisfying as last week," he admitted. "To win out in Paris, when they had so much ball and actually played really well, was a huge achievement for this team.

"Tonight it was great we went right at them from the kick-off, we looked really dangerous and I felt we were dominant for 50 minutes. The atmosphere was great and it was a special night.

"But we need to be better than what we showed in the last 30 minutes when we come up against Munster in a few weeks' time."

Glasgow have 13 points from four matches, while Munster - with a maximum 10 from their first two matches after thumping home wins over the Warriors and Leicester - travel to face the Tigers at Welford Road on Saturday.

Glasgow face Munster at Scotstoun on Friday, 13 January before completing their pool fixtures away to Leicester the following weekend.

Top Stories