Six Nations: Jade Konkel a doubt for Scotstoun Test against Italy

Forward's injury will be assessed by her club before a decision is taken on when she can return

Jade Konkel on the ball for Scotland in the 2017 Six Nations. Image: © Craig Watson.

SCOTLAND coach Shade Munro faces an anxious few days’ wait before learning whether Jade Konkel will be available for the first game of the Six Nations, at home to Italy a week on Friday. The key forward is not in the line-up for the friendly against Spain in Madrid today (Sunday) after being injured playing for Harlequins last weekend, and the London club are expected to announce later this week when she can resume playing.

“Jade has a leg strain of some sort and is being monitored by their physios,” Munro explained. “I expect I’ll find out next week what the state of play is. She played the whole 80 minutes – it wasn’t a catastrophic injury or anything like that.”

Konkel talked of her injury on an Instagram post last night, and, while not specifying how long she expected to be out for, said it had been hard to take psychologically. “With this injury, I’ve found myself struggling to articulate my feelings and emotions more than ever before and at the beginning, a lot harder to comprehend, accept and control,” she wrote. “Despite it not being as severe as some as my previous injuries, the timing of it has hit me harder than normal. Some of the greatest battles we will ever fight are with ourselves and this is okay.”


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Loughborough Lightning forwards Sarah Bonar and Rachel Malcolm, who are both just returning from injury, were in the squad for their club’s game against Waterloo yesterday and may also be passed fit to return to the squad for the Italy game. Malcolm, like Konkel, is predominantly a back-row forward, while Bonar can play at lock or blindside. Losing all three for the game against the Italians at Scotstoun would be a serious blow to Munro, whose team lost 38-0 against the same opponents in their first Test of this season.

They followed that result up with a far better performance against Canada, losing by just three points to a team ranked fourth in the world. Spain are ranked ninth to Scotland’s 11th, so should not pose so formidable a challenge as the Canadians did, but Munro knows that much depends on his squad’s mental approach to the match,

“Performing as poorly as we did against Italy had a huge positive effect against Canada,” he said. “It certainly changed the mentality of the team going into that game.

“But we don’t want to approach the Spanish game thinking that everything’s sorted because we played quite well against Canada. It’s about challenging the players to replicate that.

“Our emphasis in training has been on hard ball-carrying, speed to the breakdown and the ambition to play rugby on the front foot. We didn’t do that against Italy, but against Canada we did.”

The game against Spain is at Madrid’s Complutense University and kicks off at 11.30am British time. It is being streamed live on the website of Spanish television company RTVE and can be accessed via www.rtve.es/directo/teledeporte.


This weekend’s Tennent’s Premiership match reports –

Watsonians v Currie Chieftains: narrow win nudges visitors closer to play-offs

Melrose v Heriot’s: capital side too sharp for understrength hosts

Boroughmuir v Stirling County: pack power prevails over half-hearted hosts

Hawick v Ayr: leaders too powerful for error-prone Borderers

Glasgow Hawks v Edinburgh Accies: hosts take big step towards safety


Spain v Scotland: Shade Munro makes three changes for Madrid Test

 

About Stuart Bathgate 1412 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.