RWC23: Stuart McInally to fly home less than a fortnight after call-up

Veteran hooker has suffered a neck injury

Stuart McInally's World Cup campaign is over after a neck injury. Image: © Craig Watson -
Stuart McInally's World Cup campaign is over after a neck injury. Image: © Craig Watson -

GREGOR TOWNSEND has paid tribute to veteran hooker Stuart McInally, who was called up to Scotland’s World Cup squad just a week and a half ago as emergency cover when Dave Cherry suffered a concussion, but is now about to fly home again with a neck injury.

With the 33-year-old due to retire after this World Cup window, he has been deprive the chance to bow out on the biggest stage, and steps away from playing whilst stranded on 49 caps.Johnny Matthews of Glasgow Warriors has now joined the squad as a replacement.

“Right now, he [McInally] is very emotional,” said Townsend “He got a presentation in the changing room from the players and Grant Gilchrist gave him a fantastic speech. It’s a very emotional time for all of us, especially Stuart.

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“To get the news on Saturday that he wasn’t going to recover in time from a neck injury he picked up in training is so disappointing for him. We all thought this would be a great way for him to end his career, coming out and getting his 50th cap and contributing to our World Cup career.

“That was something he deserved and had earned given what he had put into that jersey over his career and what he has put in over the last three months.

“It’s just bad luck – it wasn’t even an injury in the session, it was more that at the end of the session he felt pain in his neck. It didn‘t recover for two days and we had him scanned on Saturday, to see if there was a bigger issue, which there is.”

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About David Barnes 4012 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. So sad for him but thankful for the memories and his service to the jersey. As Pete said, watching him skin Johnny May and Owen Farrell when we were 31-0 down has to be up there with the best memories of his time in the jersey. Kickstarted what is still the most incredible rugby game I’ve ever seen.

    Enjoy the skies, Rambo

  2. the 50 caps should have came before now. No harm to Townsend but he sticks to his picks for ages after they’ve gone pale. Turner has been off for some time, Ashman has failed to convince for 3 years now but Mcinally who bursts a gut every time he pulls on the jersey has been deemed surplus.
    Been a pleasure watching you Rambo.

  3. Have watched him since his club days a proper rugby player and a fine servant to every club he played for

  4. Doubly cruel ending to a great career, thanks for the memories Rambo – none more so than that solo try at Twickenham in that bonkers game – all the best for the future.

    • That try was the best by a hooker that I have ever seen.
      Often forgotten in the tryfest which followed, but not by me.
      Been a great servant.

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