GLASGOW WARRIORS and Scotland back-three player Ollie Smith is facing an eight to 12 month lay-off with a knee injury suffered playing for his club in last weekend’s Champions Cup victory over Bayonne.
“He has suffered a serious knee injury,” confirmed Warriors head coach Franco Smith earlier today [Thursday] as he talked through his team selection for tomorrow night’s 1872 Cup clash versus Edinburgh at Scotstoun. “It will be an eight to 12 month injury. It’s more serious than we hoped and it was confirmed on Wednesday night that he has ruptured ligaments in his knee.
“It’s similar to what happened to JP du Preez. There was no contact, he was running and it just happened. Quite strange.”
With Sebastian Cancelliere (neck) and Kyle Steyn (ankle) also currently unavailable through injury, Warriors are short on options in the back-three forcing head coach Smith to shift Huw Jones from centre to the wing.
“I hope it’s a positive surprise,” said Smith. “Stafford McDowall [who take over in the centre] has been playing really well, and with Ollie, Seb and Kyle being injured in that role, and Facundo Codero returning in the A game against Edinburgh at the Hive on Thursday afternoon [having been out of action since pre-season with an ankle injury], it made sense.
“My philosophy is to play with three centres, four sometimes if I can, and two full-backs instead of necessarily wings, so that they can fit in anywhere.
“It’s also a position where Huw can offer to Scotland. It’s a good opportunity and he’s been very excited about playing there.”
“As far as I understand it, he has played there [before]. I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter, I didn’t take that into account when I made the decision.”
Smith added that Cancelliere should return to training in early January while Steyn picked up his ankle injury in November and at that time was hoping to be back in time to have a role in the Six Nations.