#RWC2019: Magnus Bradbury called up as cover for Jamie Ritchie

Following scans Jamie Ritchie will remain in Scotland for specialist assessment

Magnus Bradbury
Magnus Bradbury in action for Scotland against Georgia at Murrayfield. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson.

MAGNUS Bradbury will fly to Japan with the Scotland squad tomorrow morning as cover for the injured Jamie Ritchie – who, for the team being, remains officially part of the 31-man party for the World Cup. 

After sustaining facial damage in Friday night’s victory over Georgia, Ritchie will remain in the country for further assessment instead of setting out with the rest of the Scotland party when their journey gets under way. While he is still a member of the squad as things stand, a further decision will be taken once a clear prognosis for his recovery has been made.

The news was announced this morning in a brief statement from the SRU, which read: “Scotland back-row Magnus Bradbury will travel to Japan tomorrow (Monday) as precautionary injury cover for teammate Jamie Ritchie.

“Ritchie sustained a facial injury in the national team’s 36-9 win over Georgia at BT Murrayfield on Friday and – following specialist scans at Spire Murrayfield Hospital – will remain in Scotland for specialist assessment, with the outcome influencing whether he remains part of the 31-man group for the Rugby World Cup which begins later this month.”

As well as travelling with the squad, Bradbury will be able to train along with his team-mates once they arrive – until the World Cup officially begins on Saturday 14. At that time, either Scotland will have to de-register Ritchie and replace him with Bradbury, or Bradbury will have to leave the group.

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Bradbury  is himself returning to match fitness after injury. His appearance off the bench at Murrayfield on Friday was his first outing since he sustained a rib injury.

While the two Edinburgh players have abilities in common, head coach Gregor Townsend would have to reassess his back-row options if he were to lose Ritchie, whose role includes providing back-up at openside for Hamish Watson. John Barclay and Ryan Wilson would then be likely to take on that role, with Bradbury providing an option at blindside and No 8 as well as being able, if required, to fill in at lock.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1392 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.