RWC23: Stuart McInally replaces Dave Cherry in Scotland squad

Veteran hooker officially joins group after accident during team day off

Stuart McInally has been called into Scotland's World Cup squad. Image: Craig Watson -
Stuart McInally has been called into Scotland's World Cup squad. Image: Craig Watson -

STUART MCINALLY has been called into Scotland’s World Cup squad as a replacement to David Cherry, who suffered a concussion after slipping on hotel stairs during a team day off on Monday and is now following the current return to play protocols.

World Rugby’s return to play protocols mean that Cherry would unavailable for at least the next 12 days after the incident which would make it touch and go for him to be available for Scotland’s next match against Tonga on 24th September, but he would have hoped to be in contention for the team’s final two pool matches against Romania on 30th September and Ireland 7th October.

McInally was part of Scotland’s World Cup training camp earlier this summer but did not make the final cut for the 33-strong squad for the tournament. He had previously announced that he would retire from rugby to concentrate on becoming a commercial pilot, but that career switch has been put on hold for at least the next three weeks.

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McInally, who is playing in his second Rugby World Cup and will earn his 50th cap if selected in the match-day 23 during the remainder of this campaign, officially joined the Scotland squad today [Thursday] after initially being put on standby following a concussion sustained by Ewan Ashman last week. Ashman is continuing his return to play protocols and is currently on track to be available for selection next week.

“I’m hugely disappointed to be leaving the squad with concussion. I’ve loved my time in camp over the summer and gaining my first world cup cap on Sunday against South Africa,” said Cherry, who played 24 minutes off the bench against South Africa on Sunday. “I want to wish the team all the best for the remainder of the competition.”

Cherry is the second hooker in Pool B to drop out of this World Cup inside the space of 24 hours, following South Africa’s Malcolm Marx, who suffered a suspected ACL injury during training on Wednesday.

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About David Barnes 4031 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. once a player has left the squad and been replaced IIRC he cannot return to it. Ashman’s RTP started earlier so should be fine. But we cannot go into next week with only one definitely fit hooker, another probably and the 3rd maybe

    Gutted for Cherry who has worked his way the hard way to full casps, but pleased Rambo should get his 50th cap

  2. Rambo deserves to retire having achieved a 50th or more cap.

    Will the unfortunate Cherry be tested for the presence of stair-rods ?

  3. Not sure I get what’s going on here. Cherry will miss Tonga match but then fit to play – assuming no long lasting affects – against Romania and Ireland and still sent home? Is he allowed/wanted back into the squad later or is this a final trip home? I get we need Rambo short-term, especially with Ashman recovering but article implies permanent replacement. Ok, line out was a mess against SA but Cherry has been extremely consistent up till now and I would even suggest 2nd pick after Turner so makes no sense to me.
    Just couldn’t make this up really – suffering concussion after slipping on hotel stairs, not exactly an everyday occurrence especially for a professional sports player in their early thirties. Mind you, apparently the cricketer Allan Lamb once knackered his neck drawing the curtains; imagine there’s a whole article to be written on freak injuries to sportspeople.

  4. No qualms about McInally being drafted in. He looked the part in the warm ups, his skill over the ball may have helped against South Afrika. Got to feel for Cherry though. It would appear he had been asked to take the fall. Concussed falling on stairs sounds dodgy. Perhaps Turner should have ‘fallen’ instead after his suspect darts on Sunday.

  5. Might there be a bit more to the incident than the article suggests? Sent home whereas Ashman, with similar protocol, is retained in the squad. Fraserburgh Brown might still get a run out if the hoover attrition continues .

  6. How unlucky can you get? Come through unscathed against the fearsome South African front row only to be floored by a flight of stairs!

  7. A terrible personal disappointment for Dave Cherry who has never let Scotland down. Most fans however won’t feel that this is a downgrade, some may even feel that this is an upgrade. Rambo missed a lot of minutes due to injury last season, mainly concussion if I remember correctly. Let’s hope he cam quickly get himself up to match fitness as this will need to be the case when we play Ireland.

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