Al “The Big Stroker” Strokosch has had to withdraw from Scotlands Autumn Internationals squad following an injury to his knee at the weekend. Strokosch was hurt in the later stages of the Gloucester vs Harlequins match in the Aviva Premiership, and the knee ligament damage is expected to keep him out for around six weeks.
This makes the back row selection even less difficult to predict, with Brown and Barclay as definites for inclusion and no genuine out and out Number 8 save for Richie Vernon, it is an almost certainty that Brown, Barclay, Vernon will be the starting line-up against the Uruk Hai 1st XV in a week or two. It is certainly a dynamic back row, but can it stand up to the rigours of test rugby? 2/3rds of the 3Bs suggest probably. The bench option is most likely to be Alan Macdonald, who has performed well from there in the past for Robinson, with Roddy Grant another versatile option but Robinson may well go on experience.
This weekend may well bring more injuries – although we hope not – so Robinson is holding off on any new squad call ups till after then. As the Welsh and Irish start their tests early in a desparate grab for more cash, their players will be rested which gives our improving pro-teams an excellent chance to hoover up some more points in the Magners/get injured by ageing Kiwis. No doubt Sean Lamont will be made to play for Llanelli and big Nathan expected to plug a gap at Leinster against their soon to be Scotland squadmates. Team news later in the week.