The Scottish international opener takes stock before resuming competition. He mentions in particular the ambitions of his team and his future in the Hauts-de-Seine.
Arrived in 2018, Finn Russell “wants to win a title” with Racing 92. After a frustrating 2020-2021 season, the Scottish international opener believes this season can be the right one: “I can’t see not why we would not succeed, ”he confided in an interview with AFP and at Midi Olympique.
You haven’t won anything with Racing 92 yet, are you upset? Finn Russell: There is still time to win a title! Last season was frustrating: I took this red card in the Tournament (with Scotland, editor’s note) so I couldn’t play the final phase of the European Cup. It was hard to find myself there, watching my teammates, without being able to do anything … Then in the semi-final, against La Rochelle, we probably did not play our best rugby. And we got beaten up. I would love to win a title here with Racing and I think we have the squad for it. From 1 to 23, we have a great team: I don’t see why we wouldn’t make it.
What are you missing then? It depends on the players. There is not much that the staff can do more: we are on the ground, it is up to us to do the job. In play-offs, against Stade Français, we ran over them. But, against La Rochelle, in the semi, we were no match … It has shown that everything depends on the players. If we want to do it, we can do it. Against Stade FranÃ§ais, on Matchday 1, the guys looked good so I hope we will get our revenge against La Rochelle this weekend.
What’s it like playing with a “galactic” backline? For me, that’s awesome. TO?? Next to me, there is GaÃ «l Fickou, Virimi Vakatawa, Juan Imhoff, Teddy Thomas, Kurtley Beale … And then Maxime Machenaud, Teddy Iribaren, Nolan Le Garrec … they are some of the best players of the world so I say to myself “I had better play well if I want to be at their level”. In a smaller team, you can afford to be 60-75% and that’s enough. But here they push you, you push them … I want to be at their level and vice versa.
You’re not going to play this weekend … No, I have four weeks of compulsory vacation and ten days of training afterwards. I only did one preseason week.
But can you play against Biarritz next week? I hope! My mom and dad are coming next week and they’ve told me already that if I play they will come down for the weekend. That would be great!
Racing 92 has evolved by placing more trust in players from training fields … It’s true. When I got here there were more foreigners. Donnacha Ryan, me, Dominic Bird, Simon Zebo, Ben Tameifuna, Ben Volavola, Joe Rokocoko … there were between eight and ten. It was really different. Zeebs, Donnacha and Dom have really added a lot to the group in general and to strangers in particular. I get along well with Luke (Jones, Editor’s note), Kurtley (Beale) and Ben (Volavola). There is also Mike (Prendergast) who is a coach. But Zeebs (Zebo) was an important figure in that team.
Exactly, you will find Donnacha Ryan, who has become assistant coach of La Rochelle … I think he can be really good. He really knows the game well, there is a real science of the keys. At the end, it’s funny, he asked a lot of questions: “What were you thinking about?” Why did you do that? ”As if he wanted to learn as much as possible. I think he will become a great coach and he gets along very well with Ronan O’Gara. The players will respect him, he is known. I just hope his French will improve (laughs) No, he speaks great, he speaks better than me. With Zeebs, we laughed at him, that made us laugh! I think he will train as much in French as with his hands (laughs) He gets agitated when he speaks! I wrote to him on Monday, to find out how he was, to find out when were they coming … I’m sure we’ll meet up after the game, for a beer or a meal. He’s a good guy.
the 09/10/2021 at 2:08 PM
Without being a Racing fan, there is clearly the talent, the depth of the bench and good coaches to make it happen. They just need the luck to barely turn a little … half the luck of ST last year and it can do it ..