Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend insists the door remains open for Finn Russell to return to the Six Nations squad.

The fly-half left the squad earlier in the week after being informed by Townsend he would not be selected for this weekend's clash with Ireland following a late-night drinking session at the team hotel.

However, Townsend was quick to stress that he has not ruled out Russell returning to the squad later in the tournament, although his priority for now is Saturday's trip to Dublin.

"The door is open for any player, whether it is a player returning from injury like Sam Skinner, or Matt Fagerson who just missed out on selection, Darcy Graham because we are really disappointed for him that he got injured in the first day of training when he is in such good form, and Finn Russell would be likewise," said the head coach. 

"But, obviously, (Finn) is not unavailable because of injury but because of what went on and there’s got to be a link to where he would be in terms of with the team, is he able to live up to the standards expected of a Scotland team player?

"But the focus is so much on us preparing for Ireland that these are questions for a later time."

Russell was reportedly asked by both team staff and fellow players to stop drinking and Townsend, who had minimal contact with the Racing 92 player on the Sunday evening, appears to still be somewhat unclear as to why Russell left the team hotel.

"I don’t know, really, all that happened because I was in a coaches room until around 11.30 at night," Townsend said.

"But I did say hello to Finn when he arrived with Sean Maitland. During that time, Finn was drinking, and a couple of players had said to him to stop drinking. When I saw him around about a quarter to 12 he had decided to leave and his parents picked him up he left after about a five minute conversation with me, and we didn’t see him until the following evening."

Townsend had what he describes as a very positive meeting with Russell last Monday evening but is was not enough to persuade the 27-year-old to remain with the squad, with Russell jetting back to France.

Scotland face England at Murrayfield a week on Saturday in their second match of the tournament and although Townsend has, by no means, ruled Russell out of the entire tournament, he also gave the distinct impression the ball is in the fly-half's court.

"In that two and a half hour meeting I had with (Finn) on Monday night, he was aware of the consequences of his actions and aware that he wouldn’t be involved in Ireland because of that," he said.

"We had a really good conversation after that information was passed to him, and anybody who wants to come into the team, want to put their hand up for selection, form is some of it, ability, and also being able to be with the team and live up to those team standards, so that’s something that someone who is out the team just now or in the team would have to agree to and accept."