Finn Russell: Glasgow Warriors coach Gregor Townsend confident of fly-half stay

Glasgow Warriors fly-half Finn Russell
Finn Russell is being linked with clubs in England and France

Glasgow Warriors coach Gregor Townsend is confident that Scotland fly-half Finn Russell will remain at Scotstoun at least until the end of his contract.

Clubs in England and France are reportedly interested in the back.

But Townsend said: "He is under contract and I look forward to him being here for the next season and a half and hopefully beyond.

"He is very happy here and we will make the most of his time here and cannot predict what will happen beyond that."

Warriors appear determined to rebuff any approach for the 24-year-old who came through the academy system at Scotstoun and has now won 22 international caps.

More immediately, the Pro12 club have 28 players out of contract at the end of this season and French Top 14 club Brive this week announced that prop Sila Puafisi would be joining them in the summer.

"It happens every year," said Townsend when asked if he was concerned about the number of players who could face approaches from other clubs.

"Most players sign two-year or three-year contracts, so we are going to get a situation where several are out of contract.

"We are at the halfway point of the season and we have a pretty good idea of players that we want to retain and those who might move on."

Townsend reiterated that Brive had been premature in announcing the signing of Scotland prop Ryan Grant on loan.

"Brive were wrong to say that," said the coach. "He is in the last year of his contract and there may be clubs interested, but he remains a Glasgow player."

Townsend would not comment about the possibility of a loan deal eventually being agreed and stressed that Warriors would only announce any arrivals and departures once finalised.

Dave Rennie
Chiefs coach Davie Rennie will take over at Glasgow next season

Dave Rennie, presently coaching the Chiefs in his native New Zealand, will take over from Townsend, who is becoming Scotland coach, at the end of the season.

"With Dave coming in, he might want to bring in a couple of players, but he is very confident in the group that we have," said Townsend, who has regular dialogue with his successor.

"This group can get better and do even more next year.

"We have 37 Test players, which is a huge number, and obviously we are not going to be able to keep everyone going into next season.

"That's why we are bringing in other players and bringing players through the academy."

It is believed that Scotland internationals Tommy Seymour, Peter Horne and Tim Swinson are poised to sign new contracts, but Townsend stressed: "That is not something we have announced."

However, he added: "We are speaking to a number of players who are out of contract and a lot of these discussions have been very positive."