Braveheart Russell fully committed to Scotland cause

Warrington Wolves full-back Matty Russell remains fully committed to Scotland at international level.

Born in Irvine, Ayrshire, to a Scottish father and an English mother, Russell is eligible for England, and is also Super League‘s in-form fullback.

There is no chance of him swapping the dark blue for the white jersey, though, with the Four Nations ahead of him.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he told Love Rugby League.

“I’ve spoken to Steve McCormack a few times, and we’ve touched base.

“Obviously, with the injuries I’ve had, I’ve not been able to play for Scotland in the last few years.

“I was actually gutted I couldn’t play for them, apart from in the World Cup.

“It’s real big year for us, and we’ve got the World Cup after the Four Nations.

“Being part of that squad is going to be huge.

“I think Steve has got one or two players who want to jump on board too from the NRL and Super League.

“It’s going to be interesting, and it’ll be good to see how we go against the top three teams in the world too.

“It’s definitely a challenge for us, but it’ll be good for Scotland if we can come out the other side looking like a good team.”

With a new England coach in place in Wayne Bennett, one might suspect that the in-form Russell might start to attract attention from from the English coaching team ahead of the Four Nations at the end of the season.

Russell knows where his loyalties lie, though, and he will not be changing nationality for short-term gain.

“I am eligible, but I think England have got their outside backs and full backs in place already,” he said.

“It’s going to be a tough selection for England this year, and I don’t think putting myself in there would be the best move for me.

“I’m grateful for Steve McCormack giving me the opportunity with Scotland in the World Cup.

“After a year playing Under-20s in Gold Coast, he gave me that chance again to get back into Super League.

“So I’m grateful to Scotland. But it’s my roots too, and I’m happy there.”

The Scotland Rugby Union have in recent years approached league players like Danny Brough and Kevin Locke to try and tempt them into the 15-man code.

Russell is happy in league at the moment, but he ackowledges that playing for Scotland at rugby union might be something which appeals to him in the future.

“I can’t really comment on that,” he said, when asked if the SRU had been in touch with him at all.

“It’s maybe something I looked at when I was a bit younger, and thought maybe it would be good if I got the chance, to represent Scotland at rugby union, and things like that.

“I’ve got another year at Warrington left after this one. After that, I’ll have a look at my options and see if I go up that route, or stay in league.

“I enjoy league, but I do enjoy watching union, and I did play it in high school.

“So you never know what could happen, but I’m happy in league.”

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