Not sure I Agee folks, I wouldn’t play Russel again. Any player thinks he’s bigger than the team is not worth having besides he’s so hot and cold. The odd brilliant snip is generally offset by poor play giving games away. I thought young Hastings was far more consistent and actually better each game. Exeter shows just what the Kiwis and Springbocks excel at, good set piece is the foundation that allows the clever bits to happen
In an ideal World you would go out and acquire the sort of players you need to play the sort of rugby you want.
If you have massive player numbers to choose from you can keep an eye on whats coming up all the way through from academy and steer the talent the way you want. If you are the sort of club that wants to play forwards orientated rugby (lets say) and you don't have what you need coming through then you acquire as necessary.
At international level, much the same story. For example neither England nor SA rugby DNA has changed very much, same really with Australia and the ABs. The point is the players are guided toward the system and are rewarded (with selection) accordingly. The style changes slowly and the players fit the style. So for example Englands most talented 10 never a got a run, the harum scarum stuff of Cipriani went down as well at Twickers as bringing a stripper to a family gathering.
If you have tiny player numbers you can't rely on the conveyor belt. Or you can, but you will just be permanently **** So when a player with well above capabilities comes along you have to play him and try and adapt your game to maximise what you have been fortunate enough to have been gifted. Putting aside the front row there are 3 or 4 in the Scotland squad like that at the moment Watson, Richie and Russell. The Scottish game suits the 2 back rows anyway but you just cannot turn down what Russell brings.
Hastings is a very marginal international at this stage imho, conversely Russel the most naturally gifted 10 playing in the Northern Hemisphere. If you watch for it (as everyone does these days) he can be singled out for errors but at both Racing and Scotland his contribution is so far into the black it's not really debateable. While one observer blames him for the European Final loss the other notes the try he magicked up in the first half plus the general genius at the heart of the comeback and also recalls that had he not cut Sarries open 4 or 5 times the week before the Parisian All Stars would have been watching the final on telly at home anyway. The intercepted pass (intercepted isn't really the right term, so cack handed was it) sticks in the memory, however remember the second half rout at Twickenham amongst the numerous days in the sun in Paris. If you are Scottish you take the possibility of a day in the sun every single time