Cross and MacArthur Out of Scotland Tour

Scotland have been hit with a front row crisis ahead of Saturday’s Test against South Africa in Nelspruit.

Yesterday, hooker Pat MacArthur was ruled out of the remainder of the tour due to the knee injury he sustained against Samoa in Durban.

MacArthur sustained a knee injury early in the first-half at King’s Park and after further assessment by the Scotland medical team on arrival in Nelspruit, will be heading home.

Lead physiotherapist Paul McGinley reported an extensive casualty list following the 17-27 loss.

“We have seen some 15 players for treatment following the game and, of these, four have significant injuries and two are subject to the concussion return to play protocol,” he explained.

In addition to Pat, our flanker Kelly Brown will be subject to on-going treatment at QCKinetix for an ankle injury, while No 8 Johnnie Beattie [has a] shoulder joint sprain. Captain Kelly Brown went for a scan in Nelspruit this afternoon on his ankle injury and further assessment will be required on the flanker.

“Stand-off Tom Heathcote and centre Alex Dunbar are both now on the concussion return to play protocol and a number of other players are carrying the sort of soft tissue injuries that arise from full-on Test match rugby.”

Scotland flew to Nelspruit late morning and met up with Glasgow Warriors prop Jon Welsh – a replacement for British & Irish Lion, Ryan Grant – this afternoon.

Today Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross, who won his 22nd cap on Saturday, suffered the same fate as MacArthur, the AC joint injury he suffered against the Pacific islanders meaning that his tour is also over. He must have played through a fair amount of pain, as I don’t remember him going off, having come on as a replacement in the second half.

Both MacArthur and Cross will fly home tomorrow (Tuesday). No decision has yet been taken on a replacement for either, but short of calling Chunk out of retirement the Scotland team may have a fairly make-shift look for the next couple of weeks. Not ideal with a match against South Africa on Saturday and potentially our old foes Italy or a rematch with the Samoans on the cards for the weekend after.

As a consequence of the injuries the Scotland team to face the Springboks – which was due to be announced tomorrow – will now be named on Thursday.

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