Jonny Gray’s chances of making World Cup in doubt after knee injury

Second-row dislocated his knee-cap playing for Exeter Chiefs on Sunday

Jonny Gray dislocated his knee-cap playing for Exeter Chiefs against La Rochelle on Sunday. Image: © Craig Watson -
Jonny Gray dislocated his knee-cap playing for Exeter Chiefs against La Rochelle on Sunday. Image: © Craig Watson -

JONNY GRAY’s chances of playing in this Autumn’s World Cup have been described as “doubtful” by Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter after the second-row suffered a dislocated knee-cap playing for the club in Sunday’s 47-28 Champions Cup semi-final defeat to La Rochelle.

“It’s relatively serious without being the worst it could be,” said Baxter in a press briefing earlier today [Wednesday]. “From what I’ve been told, unless the operation goes exceptionally well and his recovery is exceptionally quick, I would say he is very doubtful for the World Cup.

“It’s a patella tendon injury; he’s dislocated his kneecap. Fortunately, the other major ligaments within the knee are all stable.

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“It’s a relatively complex patella tendon injury, which is going to require surgery this week, and there’s a relatively long period of rehab.’

“We are hopeful to have him back fairly early next season, especially with the Premiership starting late next year with the World Cup first.”

Scotland’s World Cup campaign kicks-off against reigning champions South Africa on 10th September (in just over four months’ time), with their four warm-up matches against Italy, France (twice) and Georgia being played between 29th July and 26th August.

While Gray has been a regular fixture in the match-day squad, when fit, since his international debut back in November 2013, the 77-times capped 29-year-old has not recently been a guaranteed starter in the way he has been for most of the last decade, with older brother Richie returning from the international wilderness to partner Grant Gilchrist in the engine-room during the most recent Six Nations. Meanwhile, fit-again Scott Cummings is arguably the next cab off the rank, just ahead of Sam Skinner.

Other second-row contenders to make the World Cup squad are Glen Young (Edinburgh) and Cameron Henderson (Leicester Tigers).

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About David Barnes 4011 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Really hope he recovers fully and quickly. As others have pointed out, thankfully we have a number of options at lock; should something similar happen to Zander, we really are in trouble come September. Sebastian was injured recently so unbelievably thin on the ground. Surely we need to look again at the likes of Rae and McCallum? I’m

  2. Saw the game – looked awful… Best of luck to him regaining fitness.

    Hunter-Hill anyone? Regular starter for the leading team in the Premiership?

  3. Terrible shame for the big laddie, however with Gilchrist R.Gray Skinner and Cummings we are fairly well served at lock. Have to admit was expecting more from Henderson- he was fairly anonymous v Edinburgh. Andy Craig looked the best of the rest but has trouble staying fit

    • Wouldn’t judge it on one game mate, especially that dreadfully dour contest in the poor weather where absolutely no one shone – apart for Wiese. Henderson is highly rated by his club and just re-signed for them. Presume they know what they are about. Craig started well a couple of years ago, but I can’t remember the last time I saw him play for Gloucester.

  4. Absolutely gutted for him – and for Scotland. But injuries happen and it is rare to go into any campaign with a full deck. For example it remains to be seen if Sexton can make the comeback at his age and be match-ready after such a long lay-off. Kolisi is also currently crocked, so every nation has its problems. If we are looking for a silver lining – which we must – then for me it is high time that young Cammy Henderson got his first cap as part of out build-up. You don’t get to be a Leicester first team regular at his age unless you have something special about you and he is a big, solid unit.

  5. Best wished for a swift recovery mate, saw the game and it looked a bad one. Can we be 4 months away from the RWC!!!.

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