John Hardie returns to Scotland squad after serving cocaine ban

John Hardie has been called into Scotland's squad for the first time since serving a three-month ban for alleged cocaine use.

He joins fit-again Richie Gray in the 40-man squad for the remainder of the NatWest 6 Nations.

The experienced second-row forward returns from a long-term injury to be named in Gregor Townsend's revised squad ahead of their final two fixtures against Ireland and Italy, with 10 players added in total.

Alex Dunbar, Zander Fagerson, Darryl Marfo and Fraser Brown - who all featured in last year's autumn internationals - are also recalled after injuries, while George Horne has been handed a first senior call-up.

It caps an impressive season for Horne, whose older brother Pete is already in the squad, having scored 10 tries in his first 14 appearances for Glasgow this season to force his way into Townsend's thinking.

Flanker Hardie returns to the squad following a three-month suspension earlier in the season by his club, Edinburgh, for alleged cocaine use.

Hardie returned to action against Leinster in February and has started the last two games to earn selection.

Byron McGuigan and Lee Jones return from hamstring and head injuries respectively to rejoin the group, while Magnus Bradbury has been recalled.

Scotland travel to Dublin this weekend looking to back up an impressive 25-13 win over England last time out before finishing their tournament in Rome a week later.

- PA

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