Finn Russell returns to the Scotland squad as Adam Hastings returns to Gloucester

Gregor Townsend (left) and Finn Russell have had a close relationship at times during their tenure as Scotland manager.

Fly-half Finn Russell has been called up to the Scotland squad for the autumn Test against New Zealand on Sunday, replacing the injured Adam Hastings.

Hastings has returned to his club Gloucester after being sidelined against Fiji with a head knock and is also having a knee injury assessed.

Russell, 30, was left out of coach Gregor Townsend’s starting squad, with Hastings and Blair Kinghorn preferred.

“If Adam is out, Finn would be in the mix,” Townsend said after the Fiji win.

Russell’s recall against the Lions prompted him to score a try and kick three conversions and a penalty for his Racing 92 club as they beat Perpignan 44-20 in the French Top 14.

Townsend said he had left Russell out of his starting squad because of question marks over the No 10’s “form and consistency”.

The former Lions and Scotland fly-half said he had not spoken to Russell since he was told he was not in the squad last month, but the coach insists it is not unusual.

Kinghorn played in the opening game of the Scottish Autumn series, narrowly missed with a late penalty that would give him victory against Australia.

Hastings was not available for that game as he fell out of the international window, so Ross Thompson provided cover on the bench.

Kinghorn, 25 – a defender for much of his career who is developing his game as a stand-off – will be joined by Thompson, a 23-year-old who has had little game time in Glasgow. other candidates to start at 10 on Sunday against the All Blacks.

Russell’s relationship with Townsend has been strained at times, most notably in 2020 when the former Glasgow fly-half left the squad ahead of the Six Nations and publicly criticized his manager’s methods.

The pair reconciled and Russell, who has 62 caps, returned, but Townsend was dropped from the squad for last season’s Six Nations final against Ireland within days after being one of six players on the night without permission. Edinburgh bar.

New Zealand crushed Wales 55-23 in Cardiff as Scotland labored They won 28-12 against Fiji To follow up the narrow defeat against Australia.

Scotland will play Argentina, who defeated them in a summer series and stunned England at Twickenham on Sunday, six days after facing the All Blacks at Murrayfield.

Meanwhile, Glasgow hooker George Turner remains with the Scotland squad as they prepare for the New Zealand game.

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