Scotland flanker John Hardie will depart Edinburgh Rugby at the end of his troubled season at the club after being deemed surplus to requirements by head coach Richard Cockerill.

The 29-year-old, who was recruited from New Zealand three years ago and immediately introduced to the national squad for that year’s World Cup, underwent a lengthy suspension earlier this year as a result of allegations over off-field misdemeanours, but in announcing his departure yesterday, Cockerill insisted that Hardie’s release was unrelated to that.

“John won’t be staying. He is the same as a lot of other guys. We have a lot of young guys coming through and financially we need to spread our costs,” he explained.

“It is getting value out of our budget. We have guys like Jamie Ritchie and Luke Crosbie coming through both can play seven and are doing well. Hamish (Watson) is first choice for Scotland. Add in John Barclay who can play along the back row, (Viliame) Matta, (Magnus) Bradbury, (Lewis) Carmichael, there are a lot of good back row players.

“We need to get value from the squad. We are trying to get a balance from forwards to back and want balance through the squad."

Cockerill went some way towards emphasising that point about the imbalanced nature of their squad when wryly suggesting that the presence of Blair Kinghorn on the wing in Scotland’s starting XV in Dublin on Saturday represented something of a breakthrough.

“We’ve actually got a back who’s starting for Scotland. It’s unusual,” he observed.

Hardie is meanwhile among a quintet of Edinburgh players who have been released from Scotland duty this week in order to be available to play against Munster in the Pro14 on Friday evening, along with Mark Bennett, Bradbury, Cornel du Preez and Ben Toolis and Cockerill said he was grateful for that.

“Scotland obviously takes precedence over what we’re doing, but I have a good relationship with Gregor (Townsend, Scotland’s head coach) and between us we’re trying to work it out, what’s not going to affect the Scotland team,” he said.

Glasgow don’t play, so training-wise we’ve probably had more guys released to come and train with us because we’ve got an important game on Friday and there are guys they’re not going to use.

“We’re grateful for that, because it helps us in preparation and Glasgow are qualified (for the Pro14 play-offs). We need to still be battling away and it’s trying to get that balance, but Scotland have an important game, so whatever they need they’ll take and rightly so.

“If Glasgow haven’t got a game, so it does make sense that you even that up and guys like Mark Bennett and Ben Toolis come back into our group and guys like du Preez and Hardie and Bradbury train with us because they are very important to us and we can put out a good side on Friday and see where we get to as we have with Leinster and Ulster.”

Among those consequently recalled to the Scotland training squad is back-row forward turned centre Richie Vernon, who made the last of his 24 international appearances in the World Cup quarter-final against Australia three years ago and he is joined by fellow Glasgow Warriors clubmates Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson and Adam Hastings, the son of former Scotland and British & Irish Lions captain Gavin, as well as Gloucester centre Matt Scott who is set to return to Edinburgh at the end of the season.