Stuart Hogg has backed a revitalised Finn Russell to light up the 2021 Guinness Six Nations and says he can’t wait to link up with the Scotland fly-half.
Russell missed most of the 2020 Championship due to a breach of team protocol but returned for Scotland’s Round 5 win against Wales.
However, an injury suffered in that game subsequently ruled him out of the Autumn Nations Cup, and it is only now that the No.10 is getting his feet back under the table.
Russell is expected to win his 52nd Test cap against England in Round 1 and Hogg is excited to see him on the pitch.
“It’s exciting for everybody, especially myself as a back-three player [to have him back],” Hogg said.
“To have Finn playing beside you is only going to create opportunities.
“I’ve just loved the way he’s come into camp during the autumn and this Six Nations campaign. He’s almost coached the boys around and put us into positions where he wants us.
“It’s a totally different mindset that he’s got and we’re absolutely loving it.”
After next weekend’s trip to Twickenham – which will mark the first time Scotland have been back since their epic 38-38 draw in 2019 – Gregor Townsend’s side host Wales in Round 2.
They then visit France in Round 3, where Russell has been so electric for club side Racing 92.
“You can see how well he’s been playing for Racing over the past year and hopefully he can bring that form into Scotland,” Hogg added.
“We believe he is one of the best 10s in the world, and quite possibly has the best kicking game out of everybody, so we’re very fortunate he’s part of our squad.”
Meanwhile, Scottish Rugby chief operating officer Dominic McKay is leaving to join Celtic FC in June.
McKay has been with Scottish Rugby for 13 years after initially joining as director of communications and public affairs in 2008.
McKay said in a statement: “Joining Celtic FC as chief executive is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have been incredibly impressed with the vision and people within the club and I look forward to working with them.”