Hibs' Kevin Nisbet is cleared for Scotland duty - but Martin Boyle Australia situation is more complicated

Easter Road striker Kevin Nisbet has been cleared to join up with Steve Clarke’s Scotland side for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers despite the Covid outbreak that has prompted the postponement of Hibs’ matches against Ross County and Livingston.
Kevin Nisbet is in the Scotland squad.Kevin Nisbet is in the Scotland squad.
Kevin Nisbet is in the Scotland squad.

The former was scheduled to take place in Dingwall last Saturday but was rearranged for tonight when positive tests on the morning of the game made it impossible for the Leith team to field a side.

But, the number of players infected soared in the past few days. There are now 15 players – eight from the first team and seven from the development squad – and three members of staff who have tested positive for Covid and a further four players have been forced into isolation as the virus exerts itself.

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SPFL rules stipulate that teams need a squad of at least 13 players and that 10 of them must be aged 18 or over, but with Hibs unable to meet that criteria, their matches earmarked for this evening and Saturday will be rescheduled.

That cast doubt on Nisbet’s ability to join up with the national team for the vital head to heads, away to Moldova on November 12 and then at home to Denmark three days later.

But, according to Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell, who has ordered the closure of Hibs training ground in an attempt to contain the virus and allow players and staff to isolate where necessary, Nisbet is still expected to join the national set-up on Sunday.

“The impact on Kevin Nisbet is minimal, we expect him to join up with the Scotland team,” he said.

But things are less straightforward for others in the Hibs squad, who may have to fly into camps late or miss out completely this time around.

“With Martin Boyle [who was expected to link up with his Australia team-mates for a double header against Saudi Arabia and China], it’s down to the period of time he has to stay isolated and it is being discussed currently with the relevant authorities. For our other internationals, it's down to what their governing bodies suggest.”