EDINBURGH have not had their troubles to seek so far this season, with indifferent form and a pitiful record of one win from four competitive outings leaving them scrabbling around in the lower reaches of the Pro 12 table. And to compound it all, they now find themselves in the midst of a minor injury crisis with two key positions in particular being severely depleted.
A wrist injury has kept stand-off Jason Tovey out of the team for the opening weeks of the season, and just as the Welshman has returned to training it has emerged that the team’s other frontline playmaker, Duncan Weir, has been ruled out with a fractured jaw.
Phil Burleigh, who wore the number ten jersey for much of last season, is currently out with a shoulder injury, so Tovey is going to have to get back up to pace pretty quickly. Although this could also be viewed as an opportunity for 19-year-old Blair Kinghorn, who has played almost all of his rugby during the past eighteen months at full-back, to get some senior game time in the position he played most of his age-grade rugby at.
Meanwhile, there are problems in the front-row as well, with Kevin Bryce’s transition from hooker to tighthead prop back on hold due to an elbow injury sustained in the opening minutes of last Saturday’s defeat away to Munster. He currently awaiting a scan on the joint.
Simon Berghan picked up a foot injury in the team’s first outing of the season and doesn’t look like being back in action any time soon. His situation is due for further review in October, following which his rehab management programme will be updated.
This leaves first year pro Nick Beavon (who has been playing for Melrose in the BT Premiership this season and endured a torrid time in the scrums against Ayr during last weekend’s top of the table clash) as the only bona fide tighthead in the squad as cover for the utra-durable WP Nel.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the scrum, loosehead prop Alasdair Dickinson continues to recover from a hamstring injury sustained in Scotland’s Summer Tour to Japan and is not expected to return to training until late October.
Lock Anton Bresler is still recovering from surgery to his groin, wing Will Helu is progressing well from a high-hamstring tear and is on target for a return to play in November, and hooker George Turner hurt his ankle while playing for Heriot’s in the BT Premiership and is awaiting a scan to determine the extent of his injury.
On the plus side, back-row Nasi Manu also returned to training this week.
Image: Craig Watson