Sean Maitland axed by Scotland after breaching Covid protocols with Barbarians

Sean Maitland has been left out of the Scotland squad for Saturday’s Six Nations match against Wales.

Sean Maitland poses in Barbarians kit after being picked to play against England. The match was cancelled after players breached coronavirus protocols. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images for Barbarians
Sean Maitland poses in Barbarians kit after being picked to play against England. The match was cancelled after players breached coronavirus protocols. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images for Barbarians

The winger was one of a dozen Barbarians players who breached the squad’s ‘bubble’ by leaving the team’s hotel in Mayfair last week to go out drinking.

Their actions were a clear breach of coronavirus protocols and led to the cancellation of the match between Barbarians and England which should have been played on Sunday.

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Footage later emerged of a number of Barbarians players, including Maitland and former England captain Chris Robshaw, playing drinking games in a London pub.

England’s Rugby Football Union is investigating the players’ misconduct with a view to bringing disrepute charges against any wrongdoing.

Now the Scottish Rugby Union has announced that Maitland will not join up with Scotland this week and will play no part in this weekend’s match in Llanelli.

Head coach Gregor Townsend said his situation would be “reviewed in the coming weeks”.

With Damien Hoyland also out, through injury, Glasgow Warriors wing Ratu Tagive has been called up.

The squad is further bolstered by the arrival of Exeter trio Stuart Hogg, Jonny Gray and Sam Skinner following their double-winning season with the Chiefs.

Matt Fagerson, who suffered an ankle injury in the win over Georgia on Friday, will stay with Scotland under the supervision of the medical team but Grant Gilchrist has been ruled out of the autumn series with a groin injury.

Townsend said: “We welcome four players this week as we embark on our preparation for our final Guinness Six Nations match against Wales. Ratu was unlucky to have missed out a couple of weeks ago, picking up an injury on the weekend we selected our training squad. It’s great to have him with us now in addition to our three Exeter Chiefs - Jonny, Sam and Stuart.

“We are working hard to ensure our training camp remains secure in terms of Covid protocols and as such Sean’s actions last week with the Barbarians mean that he won’t be able to re-join our group now and we will review the situation in the coming weeks."

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