Scotland boss Townsend open to Russell recall if Hastings unfit

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend said on Saturday he could recall Finn Russell if Adam Hastings is ruled out of next weekend's Autumn Nations Series Test at home to New Zealand.

Gifted fly-half Russell, who plays his club rugby for Racing 92, was controversially left out of Scotland's end-of-year squad following what appeared to be the latest breakdown in his relations with Townsend.

The former Scotland stand-off insisted Russell had been omitted due to concerns over his "form and consistency" levels, with Blair Kinghorn and Hastings chosen instead to wear the No. 10 shirt.

Hastings, however, left the field early in the second half during Scotland's 28-12 win over Fiji at Murrayfield on Saturday with a head injury.

The son of Scotland great Gavin Hastings is also undergoing assessment regarding a knee problem, prompting concerns he will be unable to face the All Blacks.

Townsend, asked if he would now summon Russell into his squad, replied: "If Adam is out, Finn would be in the mix, of course."

The coach added he had not spoken to Russell since informing him last month he had been left out of the original squad, but Townsend insisted the gifted playmaker had not been singled out for special treatment.

"If people are not in the squad I don't phone them up regularly unless there's something to talk about," Townsend said.

"But I'd imagine he (Russell) would be available. He was disappointed not to be in the squad.

"If we decide to bring another 10, he'll be one of the ones we'll be looking at."

Russell's fine club form this season continued on Saturday with a 14-point haul comprising a try, three conversions and a penalty in Racing's 44-20 win over Perpignan in the Top 14.

jdg/iwd