Scotland recall Maitland for Autumn Nations Cup

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Return - Scotland wing Sean Maitland (C)
Return - Scotland wing Sean Maitland (C)

Scotland recalled Saracens wing Sean Maitland on Thursday to their squad for the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup campaign.

New Zealand-born Maitland was dropped for their victorious Six Nations finale at Wales last weekend after he was involved in the breach of coronavirus protocols that led to the cancellation of the Barbarians' game against England.

But the 32-year-old has now been recalled along with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, a member of the Exeter Chiefs side that recently completed an English Premiership and European Champions Cup double.

Scrum-half Hidalgo-Clyne won the last of his 12 Scotland caps two years ago .

"We welcome Sam Hidalgo-Clyne into camp after a successful time with Exeter Chiefs and he will add further competition at scrum-half," said Scotland coach Gregor Townsend in a Scottish Rugby statement.

On Wednesday, Scotland announced Finn Russell and Adam Hastings will miss the Autumn Nations Cup with injuries suffered in the 14-10 victory in Llanelli.

Russell had to leave the field with a groin injury and replacement Hastings then dislocated a shoulder, a setback that means he is likely to miss next year's Six Nations as well. 

"It's obviously disappointing to lose two quality players like Finn and Adam, who had both been playing well," added former Scotland playmaker Townsend.

"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."

Townsend's men begin their Autumn Nations Cup campaign at Italy a week on Saturday before also playing France and Fiji in a tournament that replaces the traditional end of year Tests.

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