MX23RW : Sunday, October 20 00:07:17| >> :600:2808009:2808009:
Sep 22, 2019 at 8.45am UK
Ireland
27-3
Scotland
Ryan (7'), Best (15'), Furlong (25'), Conway (56')
FT

Finn Russell: 'We are ready to show the real Scotland at World Cup'

Finn Russell: 'We are ready to show the real Scotland at World Cup'
© Reuters
Gregor Townsend's team open their campaign against Ireland on Sunday.

Finn Russell believes the real Scotland are ready to emerge from the wreckage of their injury-hit Six Nations and take the World Cup by storm.

Having had to do without a number of key players earlier in the year, Gregor Townsend's squad are almost back at full strength ahead of Sunday's Pool A opener against Ireland.

Back-rower Jamie Ritchie will not be risked as he steps up his recovery from a broken cheekbone while Exeter flanker Sam Skinner was the only casualty to be ruled out before the tournament.

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt, on the other hand, has fitness concerns over centre Robbie Henshaw and full-back Rob Kearney.

View this post on Instagram

A hot but good few days prep in Nagasaki #rwc2019

A post shared by Finn Russell (@finnrussell92) on

Now fly-half Russell reckons his side are primed to show their true capabilities.

"We're excited going into the World Cup," the Racing 92 man told the PA news agency.

"The Six Nations was up and down – it all seemed to be games of two halves. Against Italy the first half was great, then we let in three late tries. We had a good first period against Ireland too but slipped off again. Then the England game was like that but in reverse.

"What was frustrating was that we never really managed to put in an 80-minute performance. In a World Cup against the best teams on the planet you have to put in a 80-minute display every game.

Scotland v France – International Friendly – BT Murrayfield
Finn Russell says Scotland are ready to show their true colours in Japan (Ian Rutherford/PA)

"But it should be the real Scotland we see now. This is the main stage, the World Cup, so if it's not the real Scotland we see then it will be disappointing for all of us.

"On our day, if we get things right we're definitely capable of getting out of the group. From there it's knock-out rugby and you take it game by game.

"We're here to do our job and give our best performance. If we stay injury-free I think we're in a great position to do that."

Russell still had his professional L-plates on when he tasted World Cup action for the first time in 2015.

Rugby Union – Rugby World Cup 2015 – Quarter Final – Australia v Scotland – Twickenham Stadium
Russell played in his first World Cup four years ago (David Davies/PA)

But he has matured into one of the game's most creative playmakers in the time since and will be the man Scotland turn to for inspiration in Japan.

And the 26-year-old is thriving on that responsibility.

He said: "Four years ago I'd only been playing international rugby for a year. In fact I'd only been playing professional rugby for 18 months.

"So it's slightly different now!

"The game's moving on a lot but I'm more experienced. You have to adapt as things change.

"Looking at my two warm-up games I probably kicked the ball more than I ever have. Kicking's becoming more of a factor these days in terms of attacking. If you can't go through a defence you have to go over them.

"So my game-management has come on a lot from the last tournament.

"I like being seen as one of the team leaders. People say it puts a weight on your shoulders but I don't mind it. I'm pretty chilled out – but I'm also happy to say what I think is best for the team.

"People expect that of you when you're one of the more experienced guys and I'm happy to take it on."

Ireland Depart for the Rugby World Cup
Johnny Sexton is a 'classy player', says Russell (Brian Lawless/PA)

Sunday's clash at the International Stadium could come down to a battle of wills between Russell and Irish superstar Johnny Sexton.

The British and Irish Lions fly-half has endured a difficult 2019 but Russell dismissed suggestions his rival's powers are on the wane.

He said: "Johnny's a classy player. He was World Player of the Year last year so he's still up there with the best.

"He always leads Ireland really well. He's had quite a few injuries lately but his influence is definitely still as strong.

"I don't know what goes on in their camp but the feeling I get from the outside is that he is as respected as the coaches in what he has to say."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Finn Russell

Click here for more stories about Scotland

Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Ireland full-back Rob Kearney pictured in March 2018
Read Next:
Rob Kearney still in contention for Scotland match
>

Premier League
Rugby World Cup
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Scottish Premiership
League One
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swiss Super League
Danish Superliga
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
MLS Playoffs
Brasileiro
Argentine Primera Division
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Australian A-League
Chinese Super League
Gallagher Premiership
NFL

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!