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Finn Russell returns to Scotland squad for Autumn internationals

Finn Russell has been named in the Scotland squad for the first time since 2019. Photo by Ashley Western/MB Media/Getty Images

Finn Russell has been recalled to the Scotland 40-man squad for the conclusion of the 2020 Six Nations and newly-launched Autumn Nations Cup this year, Scottish Rugby announced on Monday.

Russell has not made an international appearance since last year's World Cup after he fell out with Scotland coach Gregor Townsend.

"Our conversations have continued through the last months to as recently as just a few days ago," Townsend told a news conference on Monday.

"It's been really pleasing to see his form. It was a really brave performance he put on in the [Champions Cup] semifinal. I thought he fronted up very well and then was decisive at the end."

Scotland have named three uncapped players in the squad with Harlequins scrum-half Scott Steele moving up after representing Scotland at under-20 level, while South African-born prop Oli Kebble and winger Duhan van der Merwe have qualified through residency.

Townsend also recalled London Irish flanker Blair Cowan, who won his last Scotland cap in 2016, and Harlequins centre James Lang, who last featured in mid-2018.

"We are very much looking forward to coming back together as a coaching and playing group after such an unprecedented and challenging period in our sport and across society in general," Townsend added.

"There was a strong feeling that we were growing as a team during the Six Nations earlier this year, making progress from game-to-game as well as building closer bonds within the squad. Our aim is to keep this momentum going as we take on Georgia and Wales before competing in the Autumn Nations Cup in November."

Scotland begin their test programme at Murrayfield against Georgia on Oct. 23 before facing Wales in Llanelli on Oct. 31 in the rescheduled Six Nations fixture.

The new Autumn Nations Cup begins in November with Scotland in Group B up against France, Fiji and Italy.

Scotland squad:

Forwards:

Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Blair Cowan, Scott Cummings, Cornell du Preez, Matt Fagerson, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Rob Harley, Nick Haining, Oli Kebble, Stuart McInally, Willem Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Sam Skinner, Rory Sutherland, Blade Thomson, Ben Toolis, George Turner, Hamish Watson.

Backs:

Darcy Graham, Nick Grigg, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Damien Hoyland, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, Blair Kinghorn, James Lang, Sean Maitland, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Scott Steele, Duhan van der Merwe, Duncan Weir.