Gregor Townsend has revealed that Scotland winger Sean Maitland is “really disappointed” to miss out on his country’s Six Nations decider against France.
Maitland is one of several Scotland players to miss out on selection due to head coach Townsend being able to select just five players based in England, as the game falls outside of the international window.
Townsend was speaking to The Scotsman about the current circumstances which means he was forced to drop certain players, revealing that Maitland, among others, were gutted to miss out on the game with Les Bleus.
Matt Fagerson will miss Friday’s #GuinnessSixNations match against France through injury, with Ryan Wilson called into the Scotland squad as a replacement.
Edinburgh’s Nick Haining starts at number 8, with Wilson in line to make his 50th appearance from the bench.
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“He was really disappointed, as was Jamie Bhatti, who has been on the bench for us the last two weeks,” Townsend revealed.
“There are other players who may have come into consideration like James Lang, Duncan Taylor, Cornell du Preez, other guys who had been in our squad.”
Negotiations with English clubs.
The match was originally scheduled for the 28th of February, but after a number of positive coronavirus cases in the French camp, the game was postponed.
As a result, the game has rescheduled for this Friday, which is outside the official international window, meaning that clubs aren’t required to release their players for international duty.
The Scottish Rugby Union had to negotiate with English clubs over the release of their players, but were only able to secure the services of five English-based players for the game with France.
However, Townsend is happy to have those five English-based players, as well as Racing 92 player Finn Russell, at his disposal for the game in Paris on Friday night.
“It’s much more satisfactory than I thought it was going to be on Saturday, when none of our players were going to be available, and we were putting together a team of home-based players and Finn Russell,” Townsend said.
“I’m glad we did get a resolution that some of the players would be available – not all of them, but most of them.”