Sean Maitland returns to Scotland squad for Autumn Nations Cup

Sean Maitland returns to Scotland duty (Donall Farmer/PA)
Sean Maitland returns to Scotland duty (Donall Farmer/PA) (PA Wire)
12:35pm, Thu 05 Nov 2020
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Saracens winger Sean Maitland and Exeter scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne have been drafted into Scotland’s squad for the forthcoming Autumn Nations Cup.

Maitland was dropped by the Dark Blues ahead of the final Six Nations match against Wales last weekend following his involvement in the breach of coronavirus protocols that saw Barbarians’ game against England cancelled.

However, the 32-year-old returns to the fold alongside Hidalgo-Clyne, who is the only new inclusion to head coach Gregor Townsend’s original selection at the beginning of October.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, right, has helped Exeter to domestic and European glory in recent weeks (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)

Hidalgo-Clyne won the last of his 12 Scotland caps two years ago but was part of the Exeter squad that claimed the European Rugby Champions Cup and the English Premiership double last month.

Townsend said: “We welcome Sam Hidalgo-Clyne into camp after a successful time with Exeter Chiefs and he will add further competition at scrum-half.”

It was revealed on Wednesday that stand-offs Finn Russell and Adam Hastings will miss Scotland’s fixtures against Italy, France and Fiji this month because of injuries sustained in the 14-10 victory over Wales in Llanelli.

Racing 92 player Russell is expected to be out for two months because of a groin problem while Hastings is facing double that amount of time on the sidelines as he requires surgery on a dislocated shoulder.

That leaves the Glasgow Warriors playmaker unlikely to feature in next year’s Six Nations campaign.

Finn Russell misses out through injury (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Townsend added: “It’s obviously disappointing to lose two quality players like Finn and Adam, who had both been playing well.

“However, this provides an opportunity to other players to come into the team and lead our attack.

“The squad adapted well at the weekend to the enforced changes and we have belief in those in our squad that can step up to play at stand-off.”

Lock Richie Gray, back-rower Rob Harley and winger Ratu Tagive have been released back to Glasgow.

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