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.
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.