Connect with us

Bath Rugby

Ben Spencer on the ‘rollercoaster’ of playing with Finn Russell

Bath Rugby and England scrum-half Ben Spencer has described playing alongside Finn Russell as a ‘rollercoaster’, but praised his influence on the side following his switch to the Rec. 

Scotland international Russell swapped Paris for the West Country this off-season, and has quickly established a fine partnership alongside Spencer. Together, the pair have steered Bath into their first home semi-final since 2015, and will look to reach the big dance with a win over Sale on Saturday.

Speaking to the media today, Spencer was full of praise for his outside half: “It’s a bit of a rollercoaster to play with him, you never know what to expect at times. One thing I do know about him is he cares a lot and he wants to win.

He added: “For him to come in and give boys a belief and the confidence to back themselves. He gives the guys inside and outside so much confidence around their own game, and that oozes through the team. I can’t speak highly enough of Finn.”

Russell’s form this season saw him nominated for Premiership Player of the Season. Since arriving at the Rec, Russell has scored 192 points; kicking 29 penalties, 48 conversions, and has overall had a huge impact on their attack.

The British and Irish Lion has also had to overcome some hurdles of his own. He arrived at the Rec straight after a World Cup campaign, and also suffered a ‘significant’ groin injury. Since his return though, he has put in impressive performances against Newcastle and Northampton.

The arrival of Russell has also brought the best out in Spencer too. The former Saracen has regained his spot in the England team, and has also been named in the Premiership Team of the Season alongside Thomas du Toit.

Johann van Graan on impact of Finn Russell

Russell was Bath’s headline signing coming into the 2023/2024 campaign, but his impact has even surprised Johann van Graan

Speaking previously on Russell, van Graan said: “He does everything in life with with a smile, and he didn’t come for himself,” he said. “He’s had a huge impact in our group and I’d say potentially more off the field than on the field.”

He added: “Finn’s got an incredible attitude, he’s got an incredible belief and I’d say he’s one of very few players that I’ve coached that have got this ability to put the past behind them. I can’t speak highly enough of him really.”

Finn’s X-factor quality brings a certain aura around him, but van Graan insists his star-player is just ‘one of the lads’.

“He’s fitted into the group so so well, he’s one of the lads!” he exclaimed.  “Finn’s just a normal guy that loves the game of rugby.”