HALF time and you are getting thrashed by your greatest rivals. You argue with the coach in the changing room, others throw in their tuppence-worth as well. Second half, you tear up the game plan you had trained for all week and come away with a famous draw that was agonisingly close to an even more famous win.

Boy's Own Story material? Possibly, but also real life for Finn Russell, the star Scotland fly-half who had the gumption to tell Gregor Townsend, the head coach, he had the tactics all wrong at Twickenham this year and then mastermind the kind of second half few can dream of.

A little more than four months later and now in the World Cup training camp, which is at St Andrews this week, Russell sees his half-time anger and the reaction it sparked as a real positive for the team. It is proof that the players are listened to and they can change things when it matters. With the World Cup coming up, that is a valuable lesson.

"It is what I am like. I am always going to stay true to myself. If I don’t think something is working I am happy to express it," he said.

"At half-time in that game something was not working. I was just saying what I thought we had to do. Greig [Laidlaw, who was on the bench that day] made a few points, Gregor [Townsend] had his points as well.

"I suppose rather than just have Gregor saying 'we have to do this and that' the more heads you have working together the better the outcome.

"For myself and for other boys, when we do go out, back ourselves and play with confidence, with no fear, we can put some of the best teams in the world under pressure."

There is a lot to learn from Russell's Calcutta Cup outburst and the second half that followed – the Scots coming from the humiliation of being 31-7 down to score four tries and lead 38-31 in the 80th minute before England rescued a draw.

First, five years after winning his first cap on the 2014 summer tour and with the benefit of a season of French rugby widening his horizons, Russell is now a mature enough player to understand the tactical necessities.

"You learn to control a team again," he said. "Racing in France have a lot of big names and a lot of good players, so to have to go there and improve myself was good for me. It freshened up my game, gave me the challenges I needed.

"I have had to be ready for everything in attack and in training as well. The challenge is to be at the same level as the guys I am playing with. It has pushed me on."

The second is that he felt confident enough to make his demands and spell out exactly what he wanted to do, without fearing any repercussions from the people in charge.

"With all players and coaches you need discussions like that, it has to be open and honest," he insisted. "Whether that is me or another player, you need to have these discussions and say what you think.

"You might be wrong but as long as you feel comfortable saying it. We are as tight as we are as a group, so definitely it is easy for anybody to speak up and have an input. It doesn’t matter if you are the most capped [player] or winning your first cap, everyone will see the game differently, everyone is an individual.

"I would be encouraging them, if they don’t have the confidence to say it in front of the coach, to speak to myself, Greig [Laidlaw], Rambo [Stuart McInally, the captain against England] or anyone in the team. We will get the point across – as long as we are getting the information, the more experienced players can put it across the way we see best."

There were probably some more subtle changes there as well but it was obvious that they abandoned the box kick, which England had been feeding off, varied the point of attack more to nullify the rush defence and when England had the ball made Owen Farrell, Russell's opposite number, more of a target.

"We had nothing to lose, the game was almost done at half time and we just kinda played with no fear, no worries and played good Scottish rugby. We just backed ourselves, we were confident and got a great result in the end," Russell added.

The third point is that he proved that, unlike two years before when a similarly dreadful first half was followed by an equally awful second, he has the confidence to back himself.

"I am not going to change the way I play," he added. "I suppose I can look back and say ‘I tried this pass before and it did not come off’ but the chances are that if I have tried it before it did come off.

"If I see a chance I am going to keep going for it. Until I get to Greig’s age [Grieg Laidlaw, who is 33] and my body starts slowing down a bit. Maybe then I will start changing, until then I won’t start changing the way I play at all."