England v Scotland: Finn Russell can make difference in Six Nations – Adam Hastings


Adam Hastings & Finn Russell
Adam Hastings thinks Finn Russell can make the difference at Twickenham
Venue: Twickenham Stadium Date: Saturday, 6 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen to commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Scotland; Live text commentary and post-match video highlights on the BBC Sport website and app.

Adam Hastings says Scotland’s forwards must give Finn Russell the platform to “open his box of tricks” if Gregor Townsend’s men are to beat England.

The Scots open their Six Nations campaign at Twickenham on Saturday, where they have not won since 1983.

They were denied victory at the death on their last visit in 2019 when Russell orchestrated a stunning fightback from 31-0 down.

“There’s a lot of flair in that back-line,” said Hastings.

“I think if our pack goes well and gets going we should be very dangerous.

“If Scotland manage to front up in that set-piece area and get good front-foot ball for the likes of Finn and Hoggy, I think you’ll see Scotland go well.

“If Finn gets front-foot ball and he’s got all these game-breakers, these weapons to use then he’s going to use them well. Hopefully he’ll open his box of tricks and others around him will do the same.”

With no crowd in attendance, the Scots will not have the vocal home support to contend with that has so often seem them wilt under the pressure in the last 38 years.

Hastings, who started four of Scotland’s five matches in the 2020 Six Nations following Russell’s well-publicised fall-out with head coach Gregor Townsend but is currently injured, says that makes it “completely different”.

“It will still feel like an away game, but without crowds it’s much less of an advantage playing at your home ground,” he said.

“They’ll be excited to go down there and if there’s a time to end that unbeaten run for England then this is definitely it.

“A lot of the English boys haven’t played too much – especially those Saracens lads – so potentially there’s an opportunity to catch them there, so fingers crossed.”

A shoulder injury suffered in the final match of the 2020 Six Nations against Wales has seen Hastings sidelined since October.

Having recently announced he will join English Premiership side Gloucester in the summer, the Glasgow fly-half is now back training and has not given up hope of playing some part in the Six Nations.

“I’m hoping so. I’m not taking anything for granted,” Hastings said on the BBC Scotland Rugby Podcast.

“When I get the all-clear I’ve got to play well. I can’t turn up the day, play alright and expect to be called-up.

“It’s given me that extra motivation to hopefully put on a Scotland shirt in the Six Nations this year.”

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