What’ll happen this time when a high ball rains down on Finn Russell, with 75,000 English fans screaming at him and Mike Brown flying through the air in his direction?
“I’ll just run the other way,” joked the fly-half, apparently as happy-go-lucky as ever despite the experience of the Welsh game, a retrospective red card and the attendant disciplinary panel and appeal, and not least now the daunting task of Twickenham for his Calcutta Cup debut this weekend.
Banned for the Italy game perhaps crucially as Scotland badly missed his excellent tactical kicking game Russell should return for England, but he knows what to do this time if the high ball comes in his direction.
“It’s Hoggy’s job this week,” he said. “No, to be honest I doubt I will get into that sort of situation again but if I do, from the experience I have had, I know to get there as soon as possible and get up in air.
“If I’m not managing to get there in time, it’s a different situation and it’s slightly different if I’m chasing my own kick. It’s just the split-second decisions that you have to make and hopefully I’ll make the right one.
“It was more frustration than anger. A split-second decision, and you have to do the perfect thing. But it’s another experience to help me in my career.”
Russell barely missed a training session on his unexpected week off, but opted to stay away from Murrayfield for the Italy game.
“The whole time I was hoping that the review would go my way and I’d be able to play against Italy, but the panel clearly thought otherwise,” he said.
“I watched it on telly back at the house, I was trying to chill out. But it was pretty frustrating watching it because you see a lot of things that you don’t see on the pitch.
“I was shouting at the TV but more just saying things like, `why don’t they do this or why don’t they do that’ but it’s obviously so much easier to see that when you’re not in middle of it.”
Russell wanted to play for Glasgow last week against Zebre but was withdrawn by the national management team perhaps wisely as Sean Lamont suffered the knee injury in that game that rules him out of Twickenham, a place Russell will see for the first time live in tomorrow’s team run.
“It’s going to be a different experience, and Scotland against England is obviously one of these games you look forward to, but in the end it’s just another game,” he continued.
“It’s a big crowd, but I think we can shut that out by the way we play. It’s like in France, the crowd never got into it too much because we never let France score. I think if we manage to do that down there it will be similar.”
Russell has gone head to head with England’s George Ford recently, when Glasgow met Bath at the Recreation Ground in the European Rugby Champions Cup.
“We were on opposite sides in the Under 20s but weren’t on the pitch at the same time,” he said. “We spoke briefly after the Bath game, he’s another young ten trying to make his mark and establishing himself as the England ten.
“That Bath game was another of those little margins things, a bopunce of the ball our way and we could well have won it. I know a bit of what he likes to do from that but then again he’ll know a bit about me as well.”
Russell knows that the Scots have not won at Twickenham in their last 12 tries, but stresses that many of this Scotland team are coming into the experience fresh.
“Ross Ford and Grieg (Laidlaw) have been there plenty times and can help you, but we haven’t won there in 32 years and we will definitely be the underdogs,” he said.
“But I think Scotland are underdogs quite a lot of the time when they play games and on the pitch its 15 against 15 and there is everything to play for. If we manage put out the performance that we can we can then we can get the result. If the bounce of the ball goes our way then you never know.”