Finn Russell could make his latest Scotland comeback against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday after being called into the national training squad by head coach Gregor Townsend yesterday morning.

The stand-off has been brought into the group as a replacement for Adam Hastings, who suffered whiplash and a knee injury during Saturday’s win over Fiji.

Russell, who is widely regarded as one of the most creative and exciting players in world rugby, was a shock omission from Scotland’s initial training squad for this Autumn Test Series when it was announced three weeks ago, with Townsend claiming at the time that the playmaker’s exclusion was down to form.

The player and the coach have a rocky history, with Russell missing the first four games of the 2020 Six Nations after a public spat with Townsend, and then being dropped from the starting fifteen to face Ireland at the end of the 2022 campaign after being one of six players to break curfew by visiting an Edinburgh bar following the team’s win over Italy.

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Since being left out of the squad this time, Russell has produced three outstanding performances at club level for Racing 92 in the French Top 14. Meanwhile, Scotland’s attack has so far failed to catch fire in their 15-16 defeat to Australia two weekends ago and their battling 28-12 win over Fiji on Saturday.

While Blair Kinghorn – who started against Australia and came off the bench early in the second half against Fiji – remains favourite to wear the No 10 jersey against the All Blacks on Sunday, Russell’s track record as a top performer in big games could see him parachuted straight into the matchday squad.

The other stand-off in the mix is Ross Thompson, who has just three Scotland appearances as a replacement to his name, and who has played only 21 minutes of rugby for Glasgow Warriors this season since recovering from back surgery.

Meanwhile, hooker George Turner, who left the field with a shoulder injury during the first half of Saturday’s match, has been retained in the squad and there have been no other call-ups.