Finn Russell: I feared head injury could finish my career

Finn Russell
Finn Russell is an ambassador for the 2017 Badminton World Championships in Glasgow

Finn Russell says he feared his rugby career could have been over after suffering a severe head injury.

The Glasgow Warriors fly-half was carried off after colliding with team-mate Zander Fagerson during May's Pro12 semi-final defeat by Connacht.

Scotland cap Russell, 23, was kept in a Dublin hospital for more than a week.

"There were things [the medical staff] were talking about, maybe having to go for operations that could maybe have finished me," he said.

"But although it's a bad injury, the way that I've looked at it is I haven't really let it hold me back. I'm just getting on with it, having a laugh, the usual.

"It was one of those things you can't see coming. It's not like a cheap shot or jumping up and landing funny, it was just a complete one-off. The chances of that happening the way it did are never really going to happen again."

'With a head injury it's about being honest'

Russell, who helped Glasgow win the Pro12 in 2015, hopes to be back playing for Warriors in late September or early October.

"I've not put a game down or picked a date yet," he explained.

"With the head they can't really put a timescale on it as it depends how I react, especially when I get back involved in contact work [next week].

"I haven't really been worried about getting back out there and getting into it.

"Now it's down to me. If I get any symptoms, if I've done too much, I've got to pull myself out, unfortunately. With a head injury it's all about being honest. It's a case of doing a little bit extra each day and see how you react to that."

New Warriors coach next year

Finn Russell and Gregor Townsend
Russell has praised the impact of future Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend

The coming season will be Gregor Townsend's last in charge of Glasgow, with the former Scotland fly-half taking over from Vern Cotter as national team head coach in June.

At the same time, Cotter's fellow New Zealander Dave Rennie - currently with the Chiefs - will replace Townsend at Warriors.

"As players we can't get too caught up on who the coach is," said Russell. "If you start thinking about that it might take the edge off your game.

"Gregor's shown how good he is at Glasgow and it's been great playing under him. So for us at Glasgow it should really be an easy transition going into Scotland stuff next year as we've had him as coach for a good few years.

"I've only had Vern at Scotland and Gregor at Glasgow so they are all I really know.

"But I'm looking forward to having a new coach coming in and I'm looking forward to learning a few things off him. All I hear is good things about him."