Autumn internationals: Scotland select five Premiership players amid dispute

Sean Maitland and Tim Visser
Sean Maitland and Tim Visser are two of the five Premiership-based Scots selected

Vern Cotter has named five English Premiership-based players in Scotland's squad for the autumn Tests.

Scottish Rugby expects to have the quintet available, despite a funding dispute that led to Premiership clubs voting to withhold players from duty.

Captain Greig Laidlaw, Moray Low, Duncan Taylor, Sean Maitland and Tim Visser are all selected by Vern Cotter.

Edinburgh's WP Nel, 30, is out of Scotland's matches against Australia, Argentina and Georgia through injury.

The dispute over the Premiership-based Scots centres on alleged outstanding injury bills and Premiership Rugby Ltd are also reportedly seeking remuneration from the Italian, Samoan and Tongan unions.

"The fact of the matter is you can't deny people the opportunity to play Test match footie," said Cotter. "I don't think you can.

"It may be frustrating at times that you have players leaving or injured or coming back injured. International rugby's important fixtures and it's pretty tough to try and deprive a player of the possibility to play for his country."

A World Rugby spokesman told BBC Scotland: "It would be inappropriate to comment on specific cases, but World Rugby is committed to facilitating the application of Regulation 9 where required to ensure that the world's top players are able to represent their national team during defined windows."

WP Nel
Nel has won 15 caps for Scotland, making his debut against Italy in August 2015

South Africa-born Nel aggravated an existing neck problem in the recent Challenge Cup win over Harlequins and requires rest.

His absence means Glasgow's in-form 20-year-old Zander Fagerson, whose one cap came in the defeat by England in February, returns to the squad.

Nel's Edinburgh front-row team-mate Rory Sutherland is also ruled out with a groin injury.

Allan Dell, who stepped in to replace Sutherland at loosehead for the win over Quins, is the only uncapped player called up by Cotter.

Centre Huw Jones - who plays for South African Super rugby side Stormers - is included after winning his first cap in the second Test against Japan in the summer, but Gloucester's Matt Scott is left out.

The Scots host Australia (12 November) and Argentina (19 November) at Murrayfield and Georgia (26 November) at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock.

It will be Cotter's last autumn series as Scotland head coach, with Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend due to take over the national job in June and New Zealander Cotter moving to Montpellier.

Scotland squad:

Backs: Mark Bennett (Glasgow), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow), Peter Horne (Glasgow), Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh), Huw Jones (Stormers), Greig Laidlaw (capt) (Gloucester), Sean Maitland (Saracens), Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow), Finn Russell (Glasgow), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Tim Visser (Harlequins).

Forwards: John Barclay (Scarlets), Fraser Brown (Glasgow), Allan Dell (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Jonny Gray (Glasgow), Richie Gray (Toulouse), John Hardie (Edinburgh), Rob Harley (Glasgow) Moray Low (Exeter), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh), Gordon Reid (Glasgow), Josh Strauss (Glasgow), Tim Swinson (Glasgow), Hamish Watson (Edinburgh), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow).

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