Russell | Italy Test is a decisive moment in our campaign

Scotland stand-off Finn Russell insists the team are determined to see out their 2018 NatWest 6 Nations campaign on a high when they face Italy at the Stadio Olimpico tomorrow (17 March, kick-off 12.30pm) – live on ITV.

A win for the visitors would equal last year’s haul of three championship wins for a second year running (a feat last achieved in 1996 in the Five Nations format), something Russell believes would be a testament to the side who have built momentum over the last few years.

“Three out of five is the same as last year, although they were all at home so it would be good to get an away win this year," he said.

“I think there’s things we will look back on that are frustrating, but we’ve been building nicely and we’re looking forward to hopefully finishing on a high this weekend.

“We’ve been building as a team for the last four years, getting better each year, so if we can get three wins this year and maintain that will be great for us.”

Highs and lows tell the tale of Scotland’s campaign this year, with victories over France and England at BT Murrayfield sandwiched between away defeats to Wales and Ireland.

However, Russell believes those away struggles are all part of the team's development.

He said: “At my first Six Nations, I don’t think we won a game and that was four years ago, so to win three games last year and this year, it would show we’ve been building.

“We’ve definitely shown that on our day we can take on the best.

“At international level, if you don’t take chances you get punished for it, which is frustrating.

“In the last four years we’ve had a lot of ups and downs but we can learn a lot from them."

Don't go changing...

One thing's for certain, and that's Scotland are not about to change their fast-paced style of rugby that has seen the team continue their progress under Townsend, taking notable victories over France, England and Australia.

“We’ll definitely stick to this style of rugby,” said Russell, of a style that suits his game so well.

“We’ve had a couple of great wins, it’s working – we’re scoring tries and playing good rugby.

“We won’t be trying anything fancy just because it’s the end of the tournament, nor will we be going into our shells because we lost last week. We’ll be playing the same style of rugby we have been the whole tournament.

“Italy have been playing well so we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them. I don’t believe their results tell the full story of how they have played.

“For us, we just need to stick to our game plan and what we know, and hopefully the game will take care of itself.”