SCOTLAND rugby coach Scott Johnson has defended his decision to include full back Sean Maitland and prop Ryan Grant in today’s viagogo Autumn Test against South Africa after the pair were charged with assault following an alleged late-night attack in Glasgow last month.
Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s match at Murrayfield, Johnson said: “The fact is that’s external stuff and this is rugby stuff and I’m not going to get the two confused at the moment. It’s not my place to do that.”
He added: “There are things in life that you have to handle away from the pitch and it’s just an example of that, so no. The answer is no. There was no thought from our end [of excluding them from the squad].”
The Scotland and British and Irish Lions players, who both play for Glasgow Warriors, were charged last week with a serious assault on another player and an assault on another person following the alleged attack, which is said to have happened last month at a kebab shop in the west end of Glasgow. Maitland will start in today’s match, while Grant is a substitute.
Two other Glasgow Warriors players, Rory Hughes and Ryan Wilson, have also been charged in connection with the alleged incident.
The alleged victim Ally Maclay, 29, who plays for Glasgow Hawks, was treated at the Western Infirmary.
Following the charge, a Scottish Rugby Union spokesman said: “We have been kept fully appraised of the alleged incident and we will continue to monitor closely any developments. We cannot offer any comment on the alleged incident at this time.
“However, we do reiterate that it is imperative that the values of our game are upheld by all those involved with the sport.”