While professional rugby – with its protein shakes and obsession with family-friendly corporate branding – might not be the most rock-and-roll way to make a living, the Scotland midfield axis of Finn Russell, Sione Tuipulotu and Huw Jones shows that there is still room in the game for individualistic characters who march to their own beat.

Tuipulotu hinted yesterday that his involvement alongside Russell in last year’s infamous “Edinburgh Six” incident, when a group of players apparently broke team protocols by visiting an Edinburgh bar after the team’s win over Italy, helped forge the bond we have seen during Scotland’s promising start to this Six Nations campaign.

“He [Russell] is a player you do need to learn how to play with, for me anyway,” acknowledged the Australian-born midfielder who has been Scotland’s breakthrough star this season. “When I play at Glasgow there is a bit more of an even share of creativity – from the 10 to the 12 to the 13 to the full-back – whereas at Scotland we’ve got this guy who is a bit of a magician and we’ve got to learn how to play with him and play to his strengths.

“I think it took me five or six games to get used to Finn but, to be honest, I think where we made the biggest strides was in our relationship off the field and we started to trust each other through our many experiences, as you guys [in the press] probably know!

“I don’t know if we bonded on the naughty step, it was more just after games you have beers together and you spend a bit of time off the field. You gain each other’s trust and you just become more comfortable with each other.

“I just became more comfortable talking to him and sharing my opinions on the game. I think we’re now in a place where we know where we want each other to be, and I suppose that’s what you want for your 10 and 12.”

Tuipulotu added that a shared love of fashion has also helped the two midfielders get on the same wavelength.

“I don’t know if you guys have seen but I’m quite into my fashion – I like shoes and clothes – and Finn, weirdly enough, is really into that type of stuff,” he said. “The type of stuff he wears is pretty out there!

“I don’t know if he always dressed like that or maybe since he’s moved to Paris he’s become quite edgy. He wants to express his style like that, and I enjoy it, so we often send each other stuff on Instagram.

“I suppose it is just something pretty chill, away from the game, we’ve bonded over.

“He’s also a bit of a ‘code head’, He portrays that he doesn’t think about rugby away from the game but, no, he’s always ‘in the books’ as we call it. He puts a lot of time into studying the game, so we bond over that kind of stuff as well.”

Turning his attention from his inside-man to his partner-in-crime in the centre, Tuipulotu acknowledged another kindred spirit in Jones – who is enjoying a terrific career renaissance after a tough two years when he fell off the radar for both club and country.

“Before I came to Scotland, Shuggy [Jones] had this patch where every time I was on social media and Scotland were playing, it was: ‘Huw Jones scores a try from 60 metres!’,” he recalled. “When I came over here, Huw wasn’t involved as much, but when he came back to Glasgow I could see he was still a really good player, so it was kind of confusing as to why he wasn’t playing for Scotland.

“Rugby can be a rollercoaster ride where you go in and out of the team at times due to form and maybe people stop believing in you, but Shug’s never stopped being a good player. We’ve got players around him now who really help him use his strengths.

“That’s why I enjoy working with him so much. I feel like I get the best out of him and he gets the best out of me as well. We go hand-in-hand in terms of that chemistry. Part of the reason why we go together so well is that we see the game in similar ways.”

This midfield triumvirate will be key for Scotland against France on Saturday if they are to continue their winning start to this Six Nations campaign in their biggest test yet, against the world’s No.2-ranked team in their own backyard.

“It is a happy environment because we’ve been winning, but it’s also pretty intense as well,” said Tuipulotu of the build-up to this game. “The coaches have really set that standard where we’re not satisfied after just one or two wins. We want to keep going and play to our potential, which we don’t think we’ve done yet.”