Glasgow and Scotland fly-half Finn Russell talks juggling, jokers and junk food

30 Minutes with… Scotland fly-half Finn Russell

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?

Gordon Reid’s dance after scoring against Treviso (in 2014). He did this weird ‘Truffle Shuffle’ sort of thing. The coaches put it up on the screen in a team meeting the following week.

Do you have a nickname?

The Muscle, because I’m so skinny.

Who are the jokers in the Glasgow squad?

Ryan Wilson is the main one. It’s quite a chilled-out environment at Glasgow, so there are a lot of jokers. Rory Hughes, Hoggy (Stuart Hogg)… quite a few guys like to have a laugh.

Any practical jokes you can tell us about?

I remember once at lunchtime a few of the guys were wearing flip-flops and while they were sitting down the sole was away from their foot. Ryan went round and put ketchup on the flip-flops, so when they stood up they were standing in ketchup.

What are your bugbears?

When someone is driving really slowly, they’re more of an obstacle than a driver, but it doesn’t really bug me.

I share a flat with my little brother and my sister, and he leaves things on the side rather than putting them in the dishwasher. But, again, it doesn’t bug me. I’m pretty chilled.

Who would be your three dream dinner-party guests?

This is hard. Michael Jordan. He’s not my sporting hero as I didn’t watch basketball growing up, but he’s a legend and seems like a cool guy. Who else? Rihanna would be good fun. And Kevin Hart – he’s funny.


Dinner invite: Would Rihanna perform at a dinner party? Photo: Getty Images

Do you have any superstitions?

When I first started playing for Glasgow, on a Friday night I’d have a burger and chips before the game. I’ve gone away from that now and just have a routine for games. But I might still eat what I want on game day.

If you could be any team-mate, who would it be?

Hoggy, because he’s on the most money!

What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever bought?

I’ve bought a lot of silly things to be honest. I got an Apple Watch and within a month I’d given it to my little brother, Archie, because I’d then bought another watch. That’s the thing – I’ll buy one thing and a month later I’ll buy something similar, so then I end up giving stuff to my brothers.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can juggle. Three things at a time, sometimes four for a little bit. I’ll juggle whatever – I can do three rugby balls. I don’t really do it to entertain the guys. My dad does it and my brothers all do it.

Finn Russell

Hands on: Finn Russell shows off his juggling skills. Photo: Inpho

Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?

How long would I be stuck in there? A day? A few hours?

Hopefully it would be fixed within a day. Let’s say a few hours…

Okay. Model Cara Delevingne.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

To stop time. No, to control time! That’s better. You could go back and forward in time. That would be good.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Cheat food. I feel bad afterwards as I probably shouldn’t have it. I’ll go to the cinema sometimes just to get pick ‘n’ mix, not to go to a film!

What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?

Win the lottery! I’m only 24 so I’ve not thought about it too much but I would like to buy a couple of properties so I have something going on as well as rugby.

I also want to get my motorbike licence, although I don’t know if I’m allowed. My uncle used to race them and I’ve always wanted to have a go since I was younger, but I’ve never got round to getting my licence.

This article feature in the December 2016 issue of Rugby World. For the latest subscription offers, click here.