Scotland recall Maitland, add Hidalgo-Clyne after flyhalf injuries

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(Reuters) - Scotland have recalled Sean Maitland and added Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to their squad for this month’s Autumn Nations Cup after losing flyhalves Finn Russell and Adam Hastings to injury, the Scottish Rugby Union said on Friday.

Coach Gregor Townsend drafted in scrumhalf Hidalgo-Clyne from European and English champions Exeter Chiefs.

Hidalgo-Clyne came on as a replacement for Chiefs as they beat Racing 92 to win the European Champions Cup title last month and then a week later against Wasps in the English Premiership decider.

Maitland was left out of the Scotland squad last week after his alleged involvement in breaking bio-secure regulations with members of the Barbarians squad having been selected to play in a warm-up game against England last month.

The loss of both Russell and Hastings, injured in last weekend’s narrow Six Nations win over Wales in Llanelli, was a major blow, added Townsend.

“However, this provides an opportunity to other players to come into the team and lead our attack. The squad adapted well at the weekend to the enforced changes and we have belief in those in our squad that can step up to play at stand-off,” he added.

Hastings will require surgery on his shoulder and could be out for up to four months, while Russell has returned to his French club Racing 92 for rehabilitation on a groin injury that is expected to keep him out for two months.

Veteran lock Richie Gray, Rob Harley and Ratu Tagive have been released back to Glasgow Warriors, Scottish Rugby added.

Scotland begin their Autumn Nations Cup campaign away in Rome against Italy next weekend, followed by home clashes against France and Fiji.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis