Richard Cockerill backs Gregor Townsend on Finn Russell's exclusion

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill has backed Scotland boss Gregor Townsend on his way of handling the situation of Racing 92 playmaker Finn Russell during the ongoing Six Nations tournament.

Russell was not considered for the opening two games of the tournament against Ireland and England for an alleged late-night drinking session at team hotel and his participation in the remainder of the competition is also uncertain.

With the Top 14, including Russel's Racing 92, offering big salaries, the money is no longer a big draw for the international scene if there are conflicting personalities within the camp. French clubs are involved with sponsors like or best bingo app offering financial options above and beyond that of the Premiership, giving them the pulling power when it comes to X-Factor players.

"He has no choice - the players can't set the rules," he said.

"He has to decide how environments are run and the culture of the team. You have input from players but the coach decides because it's his team.

"Everybody has to conform in some way, shape or form and you work together to get on with your job."

Recently, Russell opened up on the incident and said he was never comfortable with Townsend despite playing under him for eight years - first with Glasgow Warriors and then Scotland. He also added that the current environment and set up in Scotland is not conducive for him and Cockerill believes the 27-year-old has done further harm to his comeback chances.

"After the '99 World Cup I wrote a book and criticised Sir Clive Woodward," added Cockerill.

"He asked me to apologise, I said no and never got picked again. He then won the World Cup and I watched it on television.

"There are some things you regret in life, hopefully common sense will prevail and everyone will get together."

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