Russell pulls the strings as British & Irish Lions win tour opener

Former Falkirk RFC fly-half Finn Russell helped guide the British & Irish Lions to victory in their opening game of the 2021 tour of South Africa last Saturday.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 10:46 am
Finn Russell assisted two scores as the British & Irish Lions won 56-14 (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Finn Russell assisted two scores as the British & Irish Lions won 56-14 (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The Lions won 56-14 against club side Sigma Lions in Johannesburgh with Russell contributing two assists, firstly for fellow Scotland international Ali Price and then for Wales’ winger Josh Adams.

That try, the Welshman’s second of four 13 minutes in to the second half, was a particular highlight with Russell sending him in for a simple finish with a beautiful kick pass to the corner on the five meter line.

Despite Adam’s scintillating scoring form, it was Scotsman Hamish Watson who won the man of the match award scoring once in the first half but, more importantly, impressing with his ball carrying and work.

The Lions now face Durban based club side Cell C Sharks, again at Johannesburg’s Emirates Airline Park, on Wednesday night.

As expected, head coach Warren Gatland has rung the changes with Russell dropping out of the side completely along with Watson while fellow Scottish starters from Saturday’s win, Stuart Hogg and Rory Sutherland, drop to the bench.

Duhan van der Merwe and Zander Fagerson are Scotland's representation in the starting XV as they aim to lay down a marker on a starting test jersey.

Russell will have done his chances of a test cap no harm at the weekend and it will be the turn of Wales’ Dan Biggar against Sharks to show why he is favoured to be the starting 10 against the Springboks.