Scotland: Finn Russell says Gregor Townsend dispute 'out of proportion'

Finn Russell & Gregor Townsend
Finn Russell and Gregor Townsend have exchanged messages in recent weeks

Finn Russell says his dispute with Scotland coach Gregor Townsend was "blown out of proportion".

The fly-half missed Scotland’s Six Nations campaign after a breach of team protocol led to a suspension and then departure from the camp.

And after later criticising Townsend in a newspaper interview, Russell says he wants their relationship to "grow" and for him to regain his place.

"Things got blown out of proportion a bit," the Racing 92 man told BT Sport.

"It's not like there was a massive disagreement where I was saying 'I'll never play for you again'.

"That's the target we've both got, to be on the same page, working better together. Not better than it is now, but better than it ever has been."

Russell's replacement, Adam Hastings, impressed as Scotland beat France and Italy but lost to Ireland and England in the truncated Six Nations.

Townsend was Russell's coach for several seasons at Glasgow Warriors, but the player said he had "no personal relationship" with the Scotland coach, and that the approach of the staff was not working for him or the team.

But Russell revealed the pair have been exchanging texts with a view to him returning to the set-up for the summer Tests against world champions South Africa and New Zealand, should they go ahead as scheduled for July.

"When I spoke to Gregor before the France game, I said to him it's not the right time for me to come back in.

"I said we'll work on it after the Six Nations, and we were speaking about the tour to South Africa and New Zealand.

"That's the plan, to build the relationship up as well as we can and then we can get going in the summer."

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