Scotland will be without star fly-half Finn Russell for their Six Nations opener against Ireland next weekend after he was sent home from their pre-tournament training camp.
A Scotland team spokesperson revealed on Thursday that the 27-year-old would return to club side Racing 92 after being disciplined for a “breach of team protocol”.
“Stand-off Finn Russell will play no further part in preparations for Scotland’s Six Nations opener against Ireland, having been disciplined for a breach of team protocol during the week’s camp in Edinburgh,” the announcement read.
“He has returned to his club.”
The absence of Russell for Scotland’s Six Nations opener in Dublin on February 1 is a major blow and it remains to be seen if the player will return for their subsequent fixtures.
Gregor Townsend’s side take on England in the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield on February 8 before trips to Italy and Wales are sandwiched between another home clash with France on March 8.
Scotland – fifth-place finshers last year – are looking to produce a strong Six Nations showing after failing to advance from the pool stage at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.