SCOTLAND’S back-row problems could deepen significantly ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash against France if Josh Strauss is unable to travel to Paris for the crunch match after losing his passport.
With John Barclay, Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson, Sam Skinner, Dave Denton and Blade Thomson already unavailable due to injury, and Magnus Bradbury and John Hardie both on the comeback trail from injury, the absence of the 32-year-old No 8, who has been in excellent form during the opening two rounds of this Championship, would be a major blow.
The Sun newspaper reported this morning that Strauss, who has a South African passport having qualified to play for Scotland through the three year residency rule, can’t find his passport or get a replacement in time for the weekend.
David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland, has intervened to try to help secure safe passage for the player.
“MP David Mundell found out about this and asked the Foreign Office to help,” a UK Government source told the newspaper. “They have been in talks with France today trying to sort this out.”
A Scottish Rugby spokesperson added: “We are working with the relevant authorities to secure Josh’s safe passage to Paris.”