SCOTLAND’S injury woes have deepened in the aftermath of their Six Nations defeat to Wales on Saturday with news this morning that back-three men Blair Kinghorn and Tommy Seymour are out of this coming weekend’s Calcutta Cup clash against England, plus (the widely anticipated) confirmation that Stuart Hogg will not return in time for the trip to London. However, Sean Maitland – who missed the Welsh match due to a foot problem – is back in the selection mix.
Chris Harris, who was unavailable last week due to a calf injury, is also an option to bolster Scotland’s heavily depleted back-line, while Darcy Graham and Byron McGuigan appear to have recovered from the knocks they suffered against Wales.
“All the guys named in the squad we expect to be fit, so Sean is one of them,” said assistant coach Mike Blair.
Glasgow Warriors duo Ruaridh Jackson and uncapped Kyle Steyn have also been added to the squad as back-three cover. Jackson has been capped 33 times, most recently against Canada last summer. South African born and raised Steyn is officially a member of the Scotland 7s squad but has been full-time with Glasgow for the last month and has signed a 12-month contract with the Scotstoun outfit for next season. He is eligible to wear the thistle through his Scottish mother.
“The injuries in the back three have been disappointing but at the same time it’s given someone like Darcy an opportunity to show what he can do, and I thought he was magnificent on Saturday in all aspects of his game – really dangerous on the ball and defended really well as well,” Blair added.
“Byron came on after not being involved with us for a wee while with his injuries and again showed a lot of energy. He was part of the try we did score. So, disappointed with injuries but the guys who are getting opportunities as a result are certainly putting their hands up and putting pressure on these guys you’d usually say would be first choice.”
Head coach Gregor Townsend indicated on Saturday night that Adam Hastings, who is ordinarily a stand-off but impressed when he came on at full-back against Wales, could be an option at the back this coming weekend, although it seems likely that Maitland’s greater experience in both that position and in playing international rugby will see him handed the No 15 jersey, with Graham and McGuigan on the wings and Hastings providing cover from the bench.
Meanwhile, Adam Ashe (back-row) and Tim Swinson (second-row) of Glasgow Warriors, and James Johnstone (centre) and Luke Crosbie (back-row) of Edinburgh, have been released back to their clubs.