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Beattie ineligible for cup ties

Glasgow have stressed that Johnnie Beattie will be watched by the Scotland coaching staff when he turns out for Ayr this weekend after being denied a chance to boost his match-fitness in the Heineken Cup through eligibility rules.

Beattie made his comeback from summer shoulder surgery during Glasgow's Magners League defeat at Munster on Saturday and was hoping to continue his return against Wasps in the European clash at Firhill. But Glasgow have confirmed that Beattie is unavailable for the tournament because the club have already made their one permitted change to their squad.

A Glasgow Warriors spokesman said: "Johnnie is focusing on performing for Ayr in the British & Irish Cup against Birmingham & Solihull on Sunday - 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."

Beattie was left out of their registered Heineken Cup squad at the start of the season due to his injury and the number eight will instead turn out for Ayr against Birmingham in the British & Irish Cup on Sunday.

The spokesman added: "We are delighted that Johnnie Beattie has recovered from the shoulder surgery he underwent last summer and that he returned to action against Munster last weekend.

"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 December 2 when Dave McCall replaced Chauncey O'Toole. Therefore Johnnie is not eligible to play in rounds five and six of the Heineken Cup."

The development is a blow to Beattie' s chances of starting Scotland's RBS 6 Nations campaign, which kicks off against France in Paris on February 5.

Beattie's previous outing before last weekend had been in Scotland's second Test win over Argentina in June, when he won his 14th cap.

He will not get another chance to appear for Glasgow before the Stade de France encounter, with the Warriors' only other match in January also coming in the Heineken Cup against Newport Gwent Dragons.

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