Finn Russell believes Owen Farrell will be the ideal fit for Racing 92 as England’s fly-half follows in the footsteps of his 2021 Lions team-mate.
Farrell will become ineligible for England selection until 2026 after agreeing a two-year deal that will bring an end his trophy-laden time at Saracens, his only professional club.
The move to Paris next season will reunite the 32-year-old with Stuart Lancaster, Racing’s head coach who gave Farrell his England debut in 2012.
Russell spent five years with the Top 14 leaders before joining Bath after the World Cup and the Scotland playmaker, speaking before Racing confirmed the move on Monday, is backing Farrell to make it a success.
“I loved my time in Paris,” Russell told the PA news agency at the premiere of Netflix’s Six Nations: Full Contact documentary series.
“It’s really close to London so it will be easy for him to go backwards and forwards to his family.
“I don’t know what it’s like under Stuart Lancaster and it will potentially be better for Owen with Stuart being there. The two of them will know each other from the past because of Lancaster’s time at England.
“It’s a great club and a great city to live in. I loved my time there. Owen will be great, he will fit the way they are playing just now really well.
“Everyone views him as a kicking 10 but he’s got a great attacking game as well. He will be great for them.”
Russell’s own change of scenery has revitalised the 31-year-old as well as Bath, who are riding high in the Gallagher Premiership and have reached the knockout phase of Europe.
Scotland fans will be hoping some of that magic rubs off on their team heading into the Guinness Six Nations in the wake of a disappointing group exit from the World Cup, albeit having competed in one of the toughest pools in the tournament’s history.
What is being seen as a ‘golden generation’ of Scottish talent has yet to produce tangible success in the Six Nations and Russell, one of two co-captains for the Championship, wants to end a period of underachievement.
“For us the Six Nations has been frustrating over the last few years,” Russell said. “Last year we got off to a good start but never managed to continue it.
“This year it’s ideally about doing a bit better and winning the first two, three or four games if we can.
“It would definitely be frustrating if we didn’t manage to finish up with a title given the players and strength in depth that we have in the squad. However, all the other teams are getting stronger as well.
“We’ve got great strength in depth in the squad now and we potentially have the chance to win something, but we’ve had that for the last few years and we haven’t managed it.”