Townsend slams Sarries' schedule
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has revealed Saracens' playing schedule has affected his Six Nations squad selection.
The Scots are preparing for their tournament opener against Ireland in Dublin on February 1 and Townsend announced his squad for the championship on Wednesday.
Townsend has chosen Saracens' Sean Maitland but Duncan Taylor misses out, with the coach admitting Taylor was unlucky to be omitted and was not helped by the fact Sarries play Harlequins just six days before the Ireland Test.
"We're training five sessions from Monday 20 January to Monday 27 and those Saracens players can only make one of those sessions," Townsend said.
"It's not Duncan's fault, or Sean's fault, or Saracens' fault. But to have a fixture the Sunday before a Six Nations - none of the England players will be playing, they're away in a camp in Portugal the whole week - does make it really difficult for us to prepare the team as best we can.
"We rate Duncan very highly," Townsend added. "But, unfortunately, Saracens play Sunday-Sunday the next week which to me is ridiculous, that a Premiership club have got a game six days before we play Ireland.
"Duncan's been unlucky in that regard. The fact we know he's only going to make one of those five sessions means we've not included him this time."
Scotland players are set to convene in Edinburgh on Sunday before flying to Spain for a warm-weather camp seven days later ahead of the showdown with Andy Farrell's Ireland.
Alex Jack is a Yorkshireman with Scottish connections and well versed in a number of sports. A Leeds United supporter, who also enjoys both codes of rugby. Leeds Rhinos is where you can find him in the summer, while Alex is an avid supporter of Scottish rugby union.