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Glasgow gaffe hits Johnnie Beattie return

Johnnie Beattie in action against England
Beattie was an impressive performer in last year's Six Nations

Johnnie Beattie's hopes of starting in Scotland's Six Nations campaign have been dealt a blow due to his ineligibility for Heineken Cup matches.

Glasgow had hoped to include the number eight in Sunday's clash with Wasps but the 25-year-old cannot feature.

This is because Glasgow have already made their one permitted change in squad personnel in the pool stage.

Beattie made his first appearance of the season in last weekend's Magners League loss to Munster.

The Scotland star has recovered from a shoulder operation but has missed five months of action.

Having watched the autumn internationals from the sidelines, Beattie was hoping to step up his recovery with two European outings for Glasgow [the Warriors are away to Newport Gwent Dragons on 23 January].

He's sure there should be no recriminations, no looking back

John Beattie senior

However, Sean Lineen's side brought in Dave McCall for the departed Chauncey O'Toole earlier in the tournament and the Heineken Cup rules forbid any further changes.

Beattie will instead turn out for Ayr in the British and Irish Cup as he bids to regain match fitness.

A statement from Glasgow read: "As our medical team state frequently, recovery from serious injury is not an exact science.

"For the avoidance of doubt, at the start of the 2010-2011 season, neither Johnnie nor, for example Chris Cusiter, were included in our nominated Heineken Cup squad because of injury.

"We are only permitted to make one change to the squad during the pool stages - and that was made on 2 December when Dave McCall replaced Chauncey O'Toole - therefore Johnnie is not eligible to play in rounds five and six of the Heineken Cup.

"Johnnie is focusing on performing for Ayr in the British & Irish Cup - a match that will be watched by a member of the Scotland coaching team - and we wish him and Ayr all the best in that fixture."

The player is sure to be disappointed at missing out for Glasgow in top level competition but his father, John Beattie, is sure his son is simply focused on getting match fit.

"He's sure there should be no recriminations, no looking back," said the BBC presenter and blogger.

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"He's now got to play a level of rugby that is below the level of the professional game and whether that's good enough to get into the team [Scotland], he'll find out pretty soon."

Scotland open the Six Nations against France on 5 February, while Glasgow's next Magners League match is scheduled for 11 February.

Scotland host Wales a day later and welcome Ireland to Murrayfield on 27 February before a trip to Twickenham on 13 March, while the campaign ends with a home clash against Italy on 19 March.

Andy Robinson's team finished fifth in last year's Six Nations, beating Ireland, drawing with England and losing out in the other three fixtures.



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see also
Munster 22-20 Glasgow
08 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union
Lineen positive on surgery pair
27 Jul 10 |  Glasgow


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