Finn Russell will not play for Racing 92 in Sunday’s European Champions Cup last 16 clash against Edinburgh at the Paris La Defense Arena after being handed a three-week ban by a Six Nations disciplinary committee. 

The mercurial playmaker was sent off with 10 minutes to go of Scotland’s historic victory over France last Friday night after his forearm made contact with Brice Dulin’s neck area as he tried to fend off the French full-back’s tackle. 

Russell argued that the incident should not be categorised as ‘physical abuse’ but did accept that it was an act of foul play which merited a red card. The panel ruled that he had struck Dulin with his arm, which comes under physical abuse according to rugby laws, with a mid-range entry points of six weeks. However, the suspension was reduced to three weeks after taking into account Russell’s “prompt acceptance that his actions had constituted foul play and been worthy of a red card, his disciplinary record, his attitude to the disciplinary process before and during the hearing, and his clear remorse”. 

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Edinburgh boss Richard Cockerill picks out positives despite Dragons defeat

Russell’s absence will be regarded as a boost to Edinburgh’s chances of causing a major upset against last year’s Champions Cup beaten finalists on Sunday, although Richard Cockerill’s side still face a huge challenge against the star-studded Parisians, who can still call upon the sublime rugby skills of players such as Virimi Vakatawa, Teddy Thomas and Kurtley Beale. 

“We’ve got a very, very tough assignment going to Paris, but at this point it is our season,” said Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. “We’ll go there as underdogs and we have a chance to shock them. They are a quality side, but we’ve got our internationals back for the first time in nine or ten weeks, so we’re looking forward to it.”