SCOTLAND forward Molly Wright will miss the rest of this year’s Women’s Six Nations after being given a three-week ban for the red card she received against England.

Wright, a second-half substitute in her team’s 52-10 defeat in Doncaster, had only been on the field for three minutes when she was sent off for a dangerous high tackle on England’s Vickii Cornborough. A disciplinary committee met yesterday and decided that the offence merited an entry point of six weeks in accordance with World Rugby’s sanctioning framework for any offence involving the head, then halved that as a result of several mitigating factors.

“The Disciplinary Committee identified no aggravating features,” a statement from the Women’s Six Nations said. “In terms of mitigation, the Disciplinary Committee gave credit for Ms Wright’s prompt acceptance that her actions had constituted foul play and been worthy of a red card, her exemplary disciplinary record, and her clear remorse (shown by her attempts to make contact with the England No 1 post match to offer her apologies). The suspension was reduced by three weeks accordingly, so that the final period of suspension is three weeks.

“The Disciplinary Committee determined that the suspension should, in the first instance, cover the two remaining matches to be played by the Scotland Women’s team in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations Championship, (Scotland v Italy on Saturday 17 April, and Scotland v TBD on Saturday 24 April). Due to club rugby not currently being permitted under Scottish Government COVID-19 restrictions, the final match to which the suspension will apply is to be determined by the Disciplinary Committee once subsequent fixtures involving Ms Wright’s club (Watsonians, Edinburgh), or any other meaningful match is notified to Six Nations Rugby and agreed by the Committee. Ms Wright has a right of appeal.”

In other words, if Scotland were to arrange a summer tour or any other fixtures before the club game can get up and running, Wright would be forced to sit out a third international match in addition to the game at Scotstoun against the Italians and the play-off game a week later against either France, Ireland or Wales.

Meanwhile, Scottish Rugby appears increasingly unlikely to appoint a direct successor as chief operating officer to Dominic McKay, who is to leave his post a week on Friday to take over as chief executive at Celtic FC.

McKay’s departure from Murrayfield, three months ahead of the original schedule, was confirmed yesterday by the governing body. When his second-in-command’s impending move was announced at the end of January, SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said the organisation was conducting “a strategic review to plan its post-Covid future”. That review, Dodson said, would inform the decision whether to recruit a replacement.

There has been no confirmation from Murrayfield of its plans, but there have been several indications over the past two months that, at least for the short term, the outgoing COO’s duties will be shared among several officials. For example, former Glasgow Warriors CEO Nathan Bombrys has moved to Edinburgh to serve as the union’s head of international commercial projects - a side of the business with which McKay was closely involved.

Other projects that often fell under McKay’s remit could also be dealt with in future by Toni Blackhurst, the head of marketing and sponsorship, Claire Harkness, the head of stadium and events, and Shona Bell, the head of people and internal communications, who recently became an executive director on the SRU board. In addition, the past year has seen McKay work extensively on liaising with the Scottish Government on pandemic-related issues. If the Covid situation continues to improve, the amount of work generated by that issue will decrease.

The SRU confirmed McKay’s departure in a short statement yesterday, saying: “Further to the announcement issued on 29th January, Scottish Rugby can confirm Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of the Guinness Pro14 Dom McKay will be leaving the organisation on Friday 16 April following a successful handover of his duties and responsibilities. Dom leaves to join Celtic F.C with everyone at Scottish Rugby’s best wishes for this new exciting chapter in his career.”