SCOTLAND captain Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell (who has been dropped to the bench for tomorrow’s match against Ireland), Ali Price, Darcy Graham, Sam Johnson and Sione Tuipulotu have all been subject to an internal disciplinary process following a visit to a bar in Edinburgh after last Saturday’s victory over Italy, it has been reported.
The group were punished after leaving the team hotel following the squad’s return from Rome. The players were ordered back to the team base after Scotland management became aware of their illicit excursion.
“The Scotland management team have this week dealt with a post-match matter involving six players following the game against Italy last weekend,” said a Scottish Rugby statement, according to the BBC.
“The players involved have been spoken to individually and those conversations and outcomes will remain private.
“Preparations for the match against Ireland this week have been good and the whole squad is fully focused on achieving a positive result on Saturday.”
Russell has a tempestuous history with Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend. He missed the first four rounds of the 2020 Six Nations, before the Covid interruption, due to a fall-out over whether he could have a second beer in the team’s hotel bar on the eve of the start of their pre-tournament training camp, with the stand-off making it clear during the very public spat which developed that he felt the issue ran deeper than that, and related to issues such as game-plan and the fundamentals of his relationship with the coach.
Tuipulotu has been released from the squad and has been named on the bench for Glasgow Warriors against Edinburgh tonight [Friday], while Hogg, Graham, Johnson and Price will all start against Ireland tomorrow.
The presence of Hogg on the trip to the bar is perhaps the biggest concern given his role as captain and his reputation for having tunnel-vision focus when it comes to playing for Scotland.