Richie Gray drops out of Scotland’s Nations Cup squad

Glasgow team-mates Rob Harley and Ratu Tagive are also released by national team head coach Gregor Townsend

Richie Gray has played 65 times for Scotland but is not now going to add to that tally this Autumn. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Richie Gray has played 65 times for Scotland but is not now going to add to that tally this Autumn. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND head coach Gregor Townsend has confirmed the addition of Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to his Nations Cup training squad, and the reintegration of Sean Maitland following his exclusion from the Wales game as a consequence of breaking Covid protocols whilst on Barbarians duty the previous week.

Glasgow Warriors triumvirate Richie Gray, Rob Harley and Ratu Tagive have been released from the squad, which, following yesterday’s news that the injured stand-off duo of Finn Russell and Adam Hastings will take no more part in this Autumn’s Test schedule, reduces the group of players down to 35.

Gray was released back to Glasgow last weekend but didn’t play due to a delayed concussion.

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

“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 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.”

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that there will be no spectators at Murrayfield for any Autumn Test this year.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting many aspects of public life in Scotland the move by the Scottish Government to a new tiered level of restrictions on travel and households meetings across the country means it will not be possible to host spectators at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh for the Autumn Nations Cup in November,” said a statement from the SRU.

“Scottish Rugby has consulted with the Scottish Government  regularly on this matter and they agree it will be unlikely crowds will be possible in the coming weeks, due to the restrictions now in place.

“Scottish Rugby is disappointed supporters won’t be able to come to the stadium this autumn, but consultation continues with the Scottish Government in the expectation crowds can return at some capacity soon and specifically for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, should the public health guidelines allow.

Scotland kick-off their four match Nations Cup campaign away to Italy next Saturday.

Scotland squad for the Autumn Nations Cup:

FORWARDS (20): Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh), Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Cowan (London Irish), Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors), Cornell du Preez (Worcester Warriors), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Jonny Gray (Exeter Chiefs), Nick Haining (Edinburgh), Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Willem Nel (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh), Blade Thomson (Scarlets), Ben Toolis (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) and Hamish Watson (Edinburgh).

BACKS (15): Darcy Graham (Edinburgh), Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Exeter Chiefs), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs) CAPTAIN, George Horne (Glasgow Warriors), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh), James Lang (Harlequins), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Steele (London Irish), Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh) and Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors).


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About David Barnes 3908 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

3 Comments

  1. No 10 will be an issue and midfield looks weak, no Bennett, Taylor, Scott? Duncan is solid but no Finn or Hastings.. I think this could be a really tough Nations cup. The opposite of recent Scotland teams! Great pack but little flair in the backs apart from the back 3. Lets hope the opposition kicks long!!

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    • Totally agree and it is a crying shame when we look to have good strength in depth up front apart from the problematic number eight position and arguably 5 or 6 first choice backs injured. Duncan Weir certainly won’t let the side down.

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