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Cotter protects Glasgow trio

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has pulled three Glasgow players from weekend action as he tries to protect them ahead of next week's RBS 6 Nations clash with England.

The Glasgow trio of Tommy Seymour, Tim Swinson and Finn Russell will now sit out the Scotstoun side's Guinness Pro12 home match with Italian club Zebre.

The players will instead join a clutch of other Scotland team-mates for a two-day training camp at Murrayfield.

The Dark Blues face the Auld Enemy at Twickenham on March 14 and, after three successive defeats, Cotter does not want to risk losing any of his top figures.

Wing Seymour would have been given the green light to run out for Glasgow had club colleague Sean Maitland recovered from his shoulder injury sooner.

Ankle ligament damage suffered by Perpignan back-row Alasdair Strokosch in last weekend's 22-19 defeat to Italy means Swinson will also sit out the Warriors fixture.

Stand-off Russell, meanwhile, was due to return to playing duties against Zebre after missing the Azzurri clash through suspension.

But along with Seymour and Swinson, he will now travel to Edinburgh to join up with backs Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar and Stuart Hogg and forwards Fraser Brown, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, Jonny Gray and Euan Murray for extra practice work.

An SRU spokesman said: " Player injury has prompted head coach Vern Cotter to recall three players from club duty to train with the national team this week.

"The delayed return of wing Sean Maitland from a shoulder injury, sustained in January, and ankle ligament damage suffered by back-row Alasdair Strokosch on Sunday, have necessitated the return of wing Tommy Seymour and lock Tim Swinson.

"The pair will join Glasgow Warriors club-mate, stand-off Finn Russell - recalled as a precaution - and eight other national team players, for two days of specialist skills and strength and conditioning training at BT Murrayfield tomorrow and Friday."

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