by MATT VALLANCE
WITH internationalists Adam Ashe, Simone Favaro, Chris Fusaro and Tjiuee Uanivi, plus stage three development player Matt Smith, all on the injured list, the last thing Glasgow Warriors needed was another breakaway out of action. However, bad news has arrived from New Zealand that Scotland international flanker Hugh Blake, currently on-loan to Bay of Plenty, is also crocked.
Blake will miss this weekend’s Mitre 10 Cup semi-final against Otago, after fracturing an ankle in his team’s recent match against North Harbour. Blake’s loan spell back in his native New Zealand will end at the end of this month, but he now looks likely to return to Glasgow still on crutches.
With the November Test series against Australia, Argentina and Georgia coming up, meaning that the likes of Josh Strauss and Ryan Wilson are likely to be away on international duty next month, Blake could have been a handy addition to Gregor Townsend’s depleted squad.
There is better news for another West of Scotland-based back-row forward, with Ayr skipper Pete McCallum – who was last season’s BT Premiership Player of the Year – set to make his comeback off the bench against Watsonians at Myreside on Saturday. He has been out of action since picking-up a leg injury in Ayr’s match with Gala in early September.
“I’ll be glad to be back”, said McCallum this week. “The back-row has been going really well in my absence, and with Ruaridh Mackenzie now over here from New Zealand, and Blair Macpherson scoring tries for fun from my usual position, competition for places is tough, so, I am anxious to get back to show that I haven’t forgotten how to play this game.”