DAVID BARNES in YOKOHAMA
THE Scotland management team hope to find out later tonight the extent of the knee injury suffered by Hamish Watson during the first half of the team’s demoralising World Cup opening weekend defeat to Ireland.
“Hamish is our only injury concern. He had a knee injury that we will hopefully be getting information about tonight once he gets a scan, but, obviously, it doesn’t look good when a player is stretchered off the field,” said Townsend.
“We have always known and presumed that there could be players who will miss the [rest of the] World Cup after each game that we’ve played. Let’s hope that is not the case with Hamish. The good news is that Jamie Ritchie will be available for our next game, he’s back full training after fracturing a bone in his face in Scotland final warm-up match against Georgia three weeks ago], so if Hamish does miss that game then at least we have Jamie who can play open-side. I also thought Fraser Brown did a good job at open-side when he came on today.”
Magnus Bradbury flew to Japan as cover for Ritchie as he recovered from the injury and is still in the country, although he is not allowed to train or travel with the team. If Watson doesn’t make it, the Edinburgh man will be the next cab off the rank.
“Magnus is still in Japan. We held onto him in case we didn’t have any luck with injuries this week, and to see if the likes of Blade [Thomson] and Jamie came through training this week, so if Hamish does miss out then Magnus will come into the squad,” confirmed Townsend.
The coach added that he couldn’t comment beause he didn’t see the ruck clear-out involving Tadhg Furlong and Cian Healey which led to Watson’s injury.