Scotland flanker under investigation

by AFP

Star Scotland flanker John Hardie will miss their autumn Tests after being suspended from all rugby on Friday as he is under investigation by the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU).

The 29-year-old New Zealand born back row forward -- who qualifies for the Scots through a Scottish grandmother -- would have been a cornerstone of the squad for the Tests with Samoa, world champions New Zealand and Australia in November.

However, the SRU issued a statement declaring his non-availability without specifying the precise nature of the alleged offence.

"Scottish Rugby and Edinburgh Rugby confirm Scotland international and Edinburgh forward, John Hardie, has been suspended from duty pending an internal investigation," read the statement.

"As a result the player will not be available for selection for Edinburgh, or the Scotland National Team.

"It is normal practice with such matters that we are unable to comment further given the nature of the investigation."

He is the second Edinburgh player to be suspended in a week with club captain Marcus Bradbury being disciplined over a head injury he suffered on a night out a fortnight ago.

Hardie has been capped 16 times since making his debut in 2015 which included some sparkling displays in that year's World Cup.

His absence adds to Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend's problems as he is already without captain and kicker Greig Laidlaw and hooker Fraser Brown.