France v Scotland: Why Sean Maitland was excluded from Gregor Townsend’s squad

France v Scotland: Why Sean Maitland was excluded from Gregor Townsend's squad

Sean Maitland is out of Scotland’s 29-man squad for Friday night’s Guinness Six Nations game against France.

Sean Maitland has left the Scottish squad for the game against France. Photo: Craig Williamson / SNS

It emerged that Gregor Townsend’s side were limited to the number of English staff they could choose for the match in Paris under the players’ release agreement with PRL, the coordination group that represents the best English clubs.

This left the Scottish coach with a difficult decision to make and he chose to exclude Maitland.

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The Saracens man played at the back in the record-breaking 52-10 win over Italy at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.
He was replaced after 55 minutes by Jaco van der Walt in a tactical change that saw Stuart Hogg move from a deadlock at the back, van der Walt entering at 10.
Jonny Gray is another notable absentee from the squad to face Italy. The Exeter Chiefs forward missed the Italy game with a shoulder injury.
The Adam Hastings clash returns to the squad after missing the game against Italy with a suspension following his Glasgow Warriors’ red card against Leinster last month.
Finn Russell is set to start at 10 in Paris after missing out on victory over the Italians with a blow to the head against Ireland the week before.
Adam Hastings is back in the Scottish squad after a suspension. Photo: Craig Williamson / SNS
Winger Rufus McLean was called up after scoring an exceptional solo try in Glasgow’s loss to the Dragons in Cardiff on Sunday. Grant Stewart, the Glasgow hooker, is also included.
A number of other England players have dropped out of the squad including Jamie Bhatti, Bath propeller, Cornell du Preez, Worcester back-row forward, Ewan Ashman, Sale hooker James Lang, the center of the Harlequins and Duncan Taylor, the center of the Saracens.
Scotland were due to travel to Stade de France last month, but the match was postponed following a coronavirus outbreak in Fabien Galthie’s squad.
As this week’s rearrangement date falls outside the international window, English clubs were under no obligation to make their players available. But an agreement was finally reached on Saturday evening, the English clubs having been compensated.
Ally Miller, Edinburgh vanguard, Damien Hoyland, Edinburgh full-back, were also left out for the game against France.
The match in Paris will conclude this season’s Six Nations. France can still win the championship while Scotland can finish second.
SQUAD SCOTLAND (to play France in Guinness Six Nations in Paris on Friday)
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh), David Cherry (Edinburgh), Alex Craig (Gloucester), Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Nick Haining (Edinburgh), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Oli Kebble (Glasgow Warriors), WP Nel (Edinburgh), Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh), Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs), Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Sutherland (Edinburgh), George Turner (Glasgow Warriors), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) )).
Jamie Dobie (Glasgow Warriors), Darcy Graham (Édimbourg), Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors), Chris Harris (Gloucester), Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs), Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors), Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors), Rufus McLean ( Glasgow Warriors), Duhan van der Merwe (Édimbourg), Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors), Finn Russell (Racing 92), Scott Steele (Harlequins), Jaco van der Walt (Édimbourg).

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