Scotland v England: Gregor Townsend focuses on England over Finn Russell

Finn Russell knocks over a conversion for Scotland against England in 2019
Finn Russell ran in a try and pinged over two conversions for Scotland in the incredible 38-all draw against England in 2019
Six Nations Championship: Scotland v England
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium Date: Saturday, 8 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

Head coach Gregor Townsend has given a guarded response to questions about Finn Russell's possible inclusion in Scotland's Six Nations campaign.

The fly-half was dropped for the defeat by Ireland because of a breach of team protocol and is not in the squad for Saturday's home match against England.

"I spoke to him on Sunday night to let him know we wouldn't be making changes to our squad," said Townsend.

Asked if the conversation was positive, he replied: "It was a conversation."

Townsend added: "Obviously it was telling somebody they weren't going to be in the squad this week and we'll look at things next week.

"I'll reassess things after we get through this weekend."

The head coach would not be drawn on what the 27-year old had to do to regain his place in the Scotland set-up.

"I'd rather not discuss that here," he said. "We've got a big game at the weekend and I want to be talking about the 23 that will be involved in that game."

But when asked if the playmaker could yet be involved in this year's Six Nations he said: "Yeah, of course, just as there's a chance Sam Skinner, Matt Fagerson, guys that have been injured are back available to us in the next couple of weeks."

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Townsend described the match against England as his team's "most important fixture" each year.

He said: "It's a very important fixture for both teams on the back of a defeat.

"We play for a trophy, it's the oldest game in the history of Test rugby and we know what it means to our supporters if we win this game.

"We know England are a very physical team, their game is based on a few things but the number one is winning gain line in attack and defence.

"We know we have to be even more physical than we were last week to win.

"We have one game under our belt and we have one change to the side so we have had a lot of learning there that we want to put into another performance this weekend."

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