SARACENS back-row Andy Christie has dropped out of the Scotland training squad ahead of Saturday’s clash against Wales at Murrayfield and has returned to his club due to a dead-leg.
Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors second Scott Cummings will train with the squad this week during the final stages of his return to action from a foot injury which has kept him out of action since October.
Given how long he has been out of action, Cummings is not in contention to play this weekend. “We haven’t taken him into consideration for team selection,” confirmed scrum coach Pieter De Villiers. “But Scott being part of our wider group and an important figure going forward, it was important to get him back into the mix as soon as possible so he can start connecting with the players again.”
Everybody else in the squad is fit and expected to be available for Saturday, including Zander Fagerson and Hamish Watson, who didn’t quite make the cut for last weekend’s Six Nations opener.
“Apart from the usual bumps and bruises, and some soft tissue here or there, we’ve got the group ready to go,” added De Villiers. “Zander is available for selection, so is Hamish, and we’ve also got a lot of players in form in those two positions of loose-forward and front-row, so the competition will be stiff in those two departments.”
De Villiers paid tribute to WP Nel, who stepped into the breach at tight-head prop last weekend after it was decided that the England game had come a week to soon after his hamstring injury at the start of December, but also hinted that the 36-year-old might be rotated out to the bench this week.
“WP was once again brilliant when the squad needed him,” he said. “He’s up there with the best. We sometimes need to manage him because he’s been around, but he’s definitely up there with best when it comes to set-piece experience and power.”