Ex-Falkirk rugby star Finn Russell set to miss out on place in team for Lions' game against Japan in Edinburgh
Former Falkirk rugby star Finn Russell is one of only two Scots in this summer’s British and Irish Lions squad unavailable for their game on home turf later this month.
The 28-year-old is ruled out of that warm-up game against Japan at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday, June 26, as he’s still on club duty, and the same applies to Scotland captain Stuart Hogg.
Russell, at Falkirk for the 2011-12 season after moving on from Stirling County, lines up for France’s Racing 92 against La Rochelle in the semi-finals of the Top 14 tomorrow night, June 18, and Hogg, also 28, will be turning out for Exeter Chiefs against Sale in the Gallagher Premiership play-offs the day after.
All the other six Scots in the Lions squad, currently at a training camp in Jersey ahead of their trip to South Africa in July and August, are available for selection by head coach Warren Gatland, and all are keen to play in their homeland, according to scrum-half Ali Price, one of their number.
“It is massive for all the Scottish players to try and get ourselves involved in the 23 for that Japan game,” said Norfolk-born Price, 28.
“Our friends and family will be able to come and watch, albeit from the stands, and there will be no meet-and-greet after the game, but they will be there for most of the Scottish lads, bar Hoggy and Finn.
“It's an opportunity to get the first game under your belt for the Lions, so it's a big carrot.”
It’s yet to be decided if the Japan game will be given full test status.