Sam Hidalgo-Clyne won't let Scotland snub ruin the biggest two weeks of his career
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has been given a new lease of life since moving to Exeter Chiefs and the Scotland scrum-half is now on the cusp of something very special.
The Devon club will spend the next two weekends contesting two cup finals as they seek to be crowned champions of England and Europe.
However, it hasn’t been enough to earn Hidalgo-Clyne a recall to the national side and the No 9 admits his exclusion this week from Gregor Townsend’s 40-man squad was tough to take.
“It was obviously a hard pill to swallow because I thought I’ve been in very good form,” said the 12-times capped player. “But on the flip side you’ve got to see the positives. For me I get the opportunity to start the season fresh and get a real run of games.
“Gregor tried to call me and he left a voice message, and I dropped him a message back. I said I’d take his points on and work hard here, and that I’ve got a couple of big weeks here so I’d ring him in a couple of weeks’ time and see where we’re at. I just wanted to focus on the present on the two biggest weeks of my career. If the Scotland stuff happens, then it happens, but if it doesn’t then I’ve just got to keep working hard. If it does in due time come into place then great, but if not then we go again.”
First on the agenda for Hidalgo-Clyne is an appointment with Racing 92 in Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup final in Bristol. Seven days later he hopes to be in the Exeter squad that takes on Wasps at Twickenham in the English Premiership final.
It’s a remarkable end to the season for the former Edinburgh player who moved to Sandy Park just before lockdown and then had to spend the next few months in limbo.
“I ended up in an Airbnb for three and a half months with no equipment trying to keep fit by running up hills. Strange times,” he said.
He was slowly integrated into training with Exeter as lockdown restrictions eased and now stands on the brink of double glory.
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