Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend delivered an upbeat assessment of Finn Russell's international prospects after admitting he had been in regular contact with the out-half in recent weeks. 

Russell was dropped from the squad for Scotland's Guinness Six Nations opener against Ireland following a disciplinary issue and did not feature before the tournament was halted just before their final match. 

Speaking in a conference call, Townsend said: "We talked during the Six Nations and we talked after the Six Nations and we have been in regular contact during lockdown. 

"Players and coaches sometimes don't have relationships that are the same all the way through. 

"I suppose it's like being in a family, you have highs and lows, you have periods when you don't understand them and they don't understand you."