‘Phenomenal’ Finn Russell lauded for work ethic after ‘significant injury’

Jared Wright
Bath fly-half Finn Russell and Head of Rugby Johann van Graan.

Bath fly-half Finn Russell and Head of Rugby Johann van Graan.

Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan has hailed Finn Russell’s work ethic to get back onto the park for the Premiership semi-finalists.

The Scotland fly-half sustained a “significant injury” against Exeter Chiefs in April but put in the hard yards to get back onto the park for Bath’s final regular season match and seal a place in the semi-finals.

Russell has been a transformational signing for the West Country side this season, steering Bath to second place on the overall standings after 18 rounds of action.

Finn Russell’s recovery

His arrival at the club shortly after Scotland’s disappointing Rugby World Cup exit emphasised his commitment to Bath’s cause.

“Finn came here to Bath because he believed in the vision I set out,” said Van Graan after his side’s bonus point victory over Northampton Saints.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s one of the lads and he puts his body on the line.

“Honestly, what he went through the last few weeks to get back in this position is phenomenal. He had a significant injury at Exeter and literally day and night worked with our medical team to get back.

“The fact he played 60 minutes today, with some of the hits he put in on his own goal line, is an absolute testament to the man. Nothing is ever a problem for him. He has a magnificent attitude.”

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Bath’s journey back to the top

While Russell’s arrival has resulted in a substantial upswing in results at Bath as they reached the Premiership play-offs, Van Graan has been just as impactful, with the South African taking the side from the bottom of the table at the end of 2021/22 to the final four this season.

The ex-Springboks assistant coach spoke with immense pride of his players and their journey since his arrival from Munster.

“Two seasons ago some of these players walked off the pitch last in the Premiership,” he said.

“Two seasons later they walk off joint with Northampton on 60 points after 18 rounds and having a home semi-final.

“It’s been some turnaround and some journey. Certainly, a dream I had was about coming to Bath and trying to make a difference. I feel incredibly proud.”

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