Mercurial Scotland fly half Finn Russell looks to be leaving Glasgow Warriors after the coming season in a move engineered by former Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter.
The fan favourite, who has been called up to the Lions squad as cover following his try scoring performance in Saturday’s 24-19 win over the Wallabies, has reportedly signed a pre-contract with French Top 14 outfit Montpellier. The move would see him reunited with former Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter, who was ushered out of the national job to make room for Gregor Townsend.
The 24 year old playmaker has been with the Warriors since he was 18 and in those 6 years he has gone on to become arguably Scotland’s MVP, with a runners up spot in this year’s Six Nations Player of the Year vote cementing his place as one of Europe’s most exciting players.
If true, this will be seen a huge loss for the Warriors and to the SRU who have been desperate to hold onto Russell, Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray in particular. There will be cover in the form of 20 year Adam Hastings who has just joined from Bath, but with only a handful of top-flight games under his belt, new Glasgow Head Coach Dave Rennie will be hoping the young fly half can learn as much as he can in the next 12 months.
Many will see the move as sweet revenge from Cotter who, according to various reports, was barely thanked for his time at the helm of the national team – despite the fact he led Scotland to their most successful season in almost 20 years. However, an act of revenge does not ring true with the dignified and thoughtful man that many in Scottish rugby have come to know. His last laugh has surely come in the fact that he’s now the top paid coach in world rugby, on an estimated €1 million a year care of billionaire owner Mohed Altrad.
It looks like Russell will also benefit from the rich owner’s deep pockets, with the Scotsman reporting the offer at at least double what he’s on at Scotstoun. But the playmaker cannot expect to get it all his own way, with All Black fly half Aaron Cruden joining the club this summer.