Richie Gray and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne have been ruled out of the 2017 Scotland summer tour through injury.
Second row Gray has been ill recently and also has a back complaint, and taking the time off will allow him a full recovery over the summer in sunny Toulouse.
Scrum-half Hidalgo-Clyne was himself a late inclusion to the squad to replace Greig Laidlaw who is with the Lions. He injured his hamstring during a training session at Oriam, Scotland’s training base and has subsequently been ruled out of the tour by medical staff.
Sean Kennedy has been called up as a replacement for the specialist position, although George Horne must have been in consideration following a strong showing in the last two World Series sevens events. Although part of the Scotland camp in 2013, Kennedy is currently uncapped and along with Nathan Fowles has been rotating through the Edinburgh number 9 shirt that Hidalgo-Clyne initially held with such confidence.
Officially no replacement will be made for Gray at this time although Scott Cummings has been spotted by some eagle-eyed snoops in the training group photos posted on Twitter.
Rob Harley is most likely to fill in at lock if Townsend chooses not to augment Jonny Gray, Tim Swinson and Ben Toolis with a permanent replacement.
Meanwhile WP Nel, currently in full training with Scotland, has been added to Vern Cotter’s strong Barbarians squad that will play England (28th May) and Ulster (1st June). Also in the squad is Edinburgh signing target Robbie Fruean, along with the likes of Ruan Pienaar, Adam Ashley Cooper , Alex Goode and captain Thiery Dusautoir. One or either game should give Nel a chance to get up to speed before departing with the Scotland touring party on the 3rd.