Mark Bennett, the Glasgow Warriors centre, believes that Finn Russell's burgeoning talent as a top-level playmaker will help the club to cope with the loss of Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson next season.
Jackson's summer move to Wasps was confirmed yesterday afternoon in statements from the Warriors and the English club. The 23-times-capped 26-year-old has been with Glasgow for the past six seasons, but Bennett suggested that 21-year-old Russell, who rose to prominence at Falkirk, has everything he needs to plug the gap at No.10.
Russell has played just a handful of games for Glasgow since making his debut last November but he has become an increasingly influential member of the side. His performances for Warriors in their last two matches - victories over Munster and Ulster - brought praise from many quarters, including Bennett.
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"Finn has shown in the last couple of weeks that he has something about him," he said. "He's got this air of confidence and it just seems that he's got forever on the ball. He never seems under pressure. It's nice to play outside someone who's got that.
"I played with him in the under-20s when he played at 12 and I played 13. I know how he plays and he has shown in the last couple of games that he has a touch of class about him. It's nice to have someone there that you know well."
He is well aware of the strengths of the man whom Russell will replace, too. Jackson made 82 appearances for Glasgow in the RaboDirect Pro12 and 26 more in Europe. The Scot reached his century of first-team outings in continental competition - against Toulon in the Heineken Cup in January.
He joins Wasps having shown an aptitude for scoring from No.10, his tally for the Warriors having reached 443 so far. A full 403 of them came from his boot. Speaking about his exit from Glasgow, Jackson said: "I've had the opportunity to play in some massive games and I've played with so many quality players. There is still a lot of rugby to be played this season and I'm looking forward to some big games ahead."
His contribution was also noted by Gregor Townsend, the Glasgow head coach, in a statement yesterday. "Ruaridh has been a key driver of the club's improvement in recent seasons," it read. "I've really enjoyed working with Ruaridh and I'm confident that he will be successful in the next stage of his rugby career."