Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland Injury Update

Max Evans - © Scottish Rugby Blog

Scotland’s blindside flanker Alasdair Strokosch could miss the remainder of the RBS 6 Nations Championship on account of an injury he sustained in yesterday’s international against Wales in Cardiff, while Max Evans is also a worry.

Strokosch was examined under the care of his club’s medical team in Gloucester today and was found to have fractured his hand. 

This could be a loss at blindside, with Kelly Brown a notable absentee from Scotland’s back row thus far in the tournament. The most likely replacement is John Barclay who replaced Strokosch from the bench in the first two games. Another option would be to move success story David Denton to 6 and bring in Richie Vernon at 8. Other players such as Rob Harley, Stuart McInally or Roddy Grant may also be considered for inclusion in the squad.

Wing Max Evans, who is on crutches and wearing an immobilising boot, was being sent for a scan when the team arrived back in Edinburgh this afternoon following the ankle injury that forced his substitution during the first-half of the match at the Millennium Stadium.

“Max will be seen by the specialist ankle surgeon John McKinley at Spire Murrayfield Hospital today and we will await a further update later this week,” Dr Robson noted.

Max’s potential absence also causes a problem for any chances to refresh the midfield or perhaps restore Sean Lamont to the wing. Hogg could potentially fill in there and a new utility back come on to the bench, but it might be a better idea to let him have a run at fullback where he did quite well on Sunday.

Two other players will also require medical monitoring this week, back-row forward David Denton, who has a foot injury, and debutant prop Ed Kalman (neck pain).

The Scotland squad will reconvene next week for their third match of the championship – against France at Murrayfield on Sunday 26 February (kick-off 3pm).

16 Responses

  1. My thoughts go out to Stroker. He has been solid if not inspirational in our previous 2 games. Vernon in at 8 is now a must. He offers pace and creativity to match any French backrow. Denton to 6, Roddy Grant on the bench with Barclay dropping out the 22.

  2. I am almost inclined to agree with the Sheik. It would be good to see Vernon recalled to the squad as he is the kind of creative player we want to use. I can not see him displacing Barclay from the squad though. Barclay will start. Vernon on the bench. Hopefully not Harley.

  3. I agree with The Sheik to an extent, it is criminal that Roddy Grant hasn’t been capped for Scotland yet. Vernon hasn’t been a regular starter for Sale, and while he has a bit of gas, he doesn’t have the size to be a useful back row player just yet. Maybe put him on the programme that made Halfpenny look like Triple H? Given their form in Europe, an all-Edinburgh back row would be an exciting proposition, but I don’t see it happening.

  4. I would agree with the Phoenix on this one. I just dont see Robinson not bringing Barclay in having had him on the bench the last 2 weekends. I would prefer someone who is playing well or someone who can bring something extra to the table. Vernon is an exciting talent and offers some pace and agility to what is a fairly sizeable pack. I would hope Grant is brought in to the squad for back row cover as he has played very well all season and deserves a shot.

  5. As long as Girth is fit to play we know the forwards are in good hands. So in that respect it does not matter who is behind him as the scrum will look after itself. Even the stubborn French will have trouble dealing with Girth’s workrate and charisma. I too would like to see Vernon brought back in to the Catalina Wine Mixer as his speed and work rate around the pitch, in particular running lines off of Rennie could lead to a sold and dangeorus counter attack. RV looks like he has finally been hitting the gym with calves almost rivaling my own ‘Jonny Drama Pins’. However i think a more likely scenario is for Barclay to start and Robinson to call on Rob Harley although i really do not see why he is so rated. I remain to be impressed.

  6. Heatzillionaire, who is “Girth”? I have never heard any of the players go by this name

  7. If you do not know this then you are no fan of Scottish rugby. Some of us have been following his career since his days at Edinburgh Medics rugby. Hint.

  8. Must be Geoff Cross if you are referring to a medic. I thought he held his own at the weekend against the Lions Test loosehead no less. Fantastic in the loose and a tremendous ball carrier. Other than that first scrummage I thought he made the number 3 jersey his for France and beyond. An extremely dominant performance and there is a wave of expectation now that when he gets his hands on the ball he is going to make 5 yards each time. Exactly what Scotland needs. And he plays on a Sunday. Lions tighthead next summer??

    1. A little snide don’t you think. I follow all forms of Scottish rugby and regularly attend Edinburgh games when in Scotland but apparently I am not a Scottish rugby fan because I don’t know a players nickname. That sort of rugby club exclusion of others is why the football obsessed media don’t take to rugby. It’s a game for all, not just those who as “in the club”. Be a bit less superior please.

    2. Allan, my sincerest apologies. It was intended as a joke as to the nickname ‘girth’ which he was known as in medics rugby. Not a slant on Scottish Rugby fans.

  9. Obviously that would be the dream but even his most avid fan knows he still has a few weaknesses in his game. Notably his Jergen Klingsman approach at the first breakdown on Sunday. Still a vast improvement from his debut where he was carded whilst leaving a field on a stretcher. Classic girth. Body on the line as always. But i agree with you Platinum, a tremmendous ball carrier with yards made every time he gets on the ball which is a lot. This time next year… yes. Lions tighthead.

  10. Think comments above re Harley are a bit off the mark – perhaps a hint of east coast Rodneyism?

    Harley is by some margin the form scottish back row at the moment (hasn’t anyone found Talei a scottish granny yet??) far more effective than denton, barclay and rennie at disrupting opposition ball and the biggest hitter of all of them with a tackle count consistently higher than the rest of his back row colleagues – watching him almost single handedly frustrate the english on their ball at Netherdale was great. He’s not as effective in the loose as Denton or Rennie, but would bring a good balance to the back row.

    Grant is solid and has had some good games but seems to lack consitency, probably why his club coach has him on the bench more often than in the starting XV – would suggest we could maybe drop Barclay altogether, start with Harley and bring Grant off the bench – if nothing else, it would be good for the ‘see you jimmy’ hat sellers outside murrayfield.

    1. Just seen an interesting stat from Rabo12 – Roddy Grant has made 105 tackles this season so far with a 98.2% success rate. He’s also got quite a decent scoring record in International 7’s tournaments too.

      Certainly deserves a run out at some point in the tournament.

  11. Andy, as someone who hails from the weeg with a French mother I cannot wait for a couple of weekends time. Having been brought up in Scotland I am an avid Scotland fan and have been intrigued by a few of the previous blogs on this site. I note your admiration of Harley and would agree that there seems to be some ‘East Coast Rodneyism’ going on here. Harley is solid, makes his tackles and would be a like for like swap for Strokosch. Nothing flashy but will get a job done. If thats what we want then he could fill that no 6 shirt no problem. However given the size of our front 5 and ball carrying abilities of Girth, Gray and Denton I think I would rather see someone who offers a bit of pace and excitement in that position and I think Vernon might be the answer there. If Beattie was fit then I would get him in there with Denton at 6. As for the comments regarding Grant, from what I have read on previous blogs it seems that it is actually the other way round and he has been playing most weeks for Edinburgh so I would say your lack of consistency comment is unfounded. But as you say the sales of ‘see you jimmy’ hats would go through the roof!

  12. Andy, i hope you are sitting down for this, ready? i am also from Glasgow and a Glasgow fan when it comes to the 1872 cup. However i stand by my comment of Harley. I agree with the oeuf in that he is a solid player and will do a job but is that really what we want? Scotland have one of the best back rows around at the moment and in order to keep that momentum i would like to see Robinson pick a more positive attacking minded player like Vernon. Harley is more a like for like replacement of Strokosch but i am not sure he will stand out at international level. A fully fit Beattie is the ideal solution!

  13. I agree with ‘Andy’ even though he is an absolute jed end. Rob Harley will captain the lions. My rugby knowledge is better than all of yours. Ive tweeted loads of pros. Beat that Allan! Chuff.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion