Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Crosbie and Gray Out for rest of Six Nations

Richie Gray - pic © Peter Watt/N50 Sports
Richie Gray - pic © Peter Watt/N50 Sports


2024 Guinness Six NationsSat 3rd Feb 2024Principality Stadium, CardiffKick-off: 4:45 pm (UK)26-27


Referee: Ben O'Keefe (NZR)| TV: BBC Sport / S4C

Luke Crosbie will miss the remainder of the Guinness Six Nations due to a shoulder injury, while Richie Gray has been ruled out of the championship due to a bicep injury.

WP Nel and Darcy Graham are reported to be recovering well from their injuries and they will resume training with Edinburgh this week ahead of potential re-integration after the first fallow week.

With the squad otherwise at fairly full strength and Rory Darge also expected to be in the mix for selection this week ahead of the second round visit of France, no full replacements have been announced at this stage.

Glasgow Warriors Max Williamson and Alex Samuel (both locks) are training with the squad this week, along with Jamie Dobie and Euan Ferrie. Javan Sebastian is fully in the squad now but faces a battle from the two newest Scotland caps for his bench spot.

Gray’s place alongside Scott Cummings will go to one of Glen Young, Sam Skinner or Grant Gilchrist, most likely Gilchrist. Nevertheless, it is a huge blow for Scotland at lineout time where for both Glasgow and Scotland the lineout seems to go better when Gray is in it. After his yellow card at the weekend, George Turner comes under increasing pressure from Johnny Matthews with Ewan Ashman failing to hit his darts when Scotland badly needed to retain possession.

In the back row positions, the shuffling could be more extreme with squad co-captain Rory Darge likely to take the 7 shirt. Jamie Ritchie might shuffle to blindside but it seems equally possible that he drops out entirely and Saracens’ Andy Christie could have his club form rewarded with a start, leaving Ritchie, Matt Fagerson, Jack Dempsey and Josh Bayliss all competing for Number 8 and a bench role.

It will be an interesting week ahead for Townsend for sure, starting with a review as to how the second half against Wales went quite so badly wrong.

18 Responses

  1. My preferred line up vs France:

    Jones– Steyn – Tuipulotu – Redpath – Van Der Merwe – Russell – White – Dempsey – Bradbury – Christie – Gilchrist – Cummings – Z. Fagerson – Matthews – Schoeman

    Healy – Hutchinson – Horne – Darge (if fit) else M. Fagerson – Skinner – Nel – Hepburn – Turner

    Lots of attacking threats there, decent cover for every position, two back-up goalkickers on the bench, Redpath as a second playmaker, and some much-needed grunt in the back row.

    1. Agree fully with the selection. The back row and hooker are the crucial changes that must be made if we are to get a result.

    2. Like this 15, these backs should be nailed on. Not seen much of Christie or Bradbury this season, but sounds like they’re going well?? Needs to be something changed up in the pack. Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a Ritchie, Watson or M Fagerson, preferably only one. Dempsey has to start. Is Darge fit?

      1. Ah, if he’s good enough for MoM Exeter v Saracens in his last game… hopefully gets some game time!

  2. Both players are a big loss although Richie Gray with a pair of step ladders still wouldn’t reach some of Ashman’s throws. Changes required in the back row, if Darge is fit then it has to be him, Dempsey & Christie with Fagerson on the bench. Ritchie on current form doesn’t deserve to be in the 23.

  3. if we didnt have bad luck we would have no luck at all. Townsend is not calling up Bradbury, the best we can hope for is Darge, Christie and Dempsey. Maybe Skinner or Young as back ups.If Ritchie or Fagerson are in the 23 its a complete travesty. Ritchie is bang out of form and Fagerson is no more than a good club player who gives his all but its not good enough.

    1. It’s not just bad luck, TT, it’s Toony.

      His disinclination to bring Bradbury into the squad means that we’ll either be playing with a lightweight back row, one that includes someone (Skinner?) playing out of position, one that includes an out of form player (Ritchie), someone who’s just back from injury (Darge), or a combination of the above. Against the French…

      1. Painfully accurate. Gilchrists return isn’t something that is overly looked forward to either, given the opposition..

  4. Bradbury is turning into what Richie Gray used to be – that player who everyone apart from Toonie thinks has merited a place in the squad.
    I can live with M Fagerson being in the 23 given that he can cover 6 and 8 but Ritchie needs to go back to Edinburgh to find some form.
    Johnny Matthews has to be involved.

  5. Dear Gregor

    On behalf of everyone who supports Scotland, please call up Magnus Bradbury now & start him against France


    The Scottish rugby community

    1. As a Scotland (and Edinburgh fan) I for one don’t sign up to to the theory of Bradbury,

      As often happens during 6 Nations players from the Premiership who haven’t been selected seem to have their performances massively inflated.

      Bradbury, is, still and always has been a player who rarely actually plays to his physique and will let games pass him by far too often and his form isn’t at the level many in the Scottish Rugby public are writing it to be, he is being spoken about a lot higher in Scottish fan groups than he is Bristol

      1. Bradbury has been mostly average for Bristol this season hence them moving to sign Mata.

        But he gets better and better in the minds of Scottish fans with each game he misses. Fans who may have at most seen a highlight reel or two.

  6. Mmm not sure these negative posters on Bradbury have watched Bristol this season? Have watched most of their games & Bradbury has received several man of the matches and scored plenty of tries. Most importantly though his carrying and work in the lineout has been excellent.

    Mata will be being brought in to compliment the back row and play with Bradbury who will move to the flank where he is also very good.

    He’s absolutely worth his place in our squad at the bare minimum

  7. So, Bradbury- he has every conceivable physical attribute but was never entirely convinced for Edinburgh Scotland – Dempsey much more effective.
    IMO – Can’t have Gilchrist and Cummings starting due to lack of go forward grunt, especially pertinent due to Crosbies injury.

  8. My preferred out of what we have available…
    Jones– Steyn – Tuipulotu – Redpath – Van Der Merwe – Russell – White – Dempsey – Darge– Christie – Skinner – Cummings – Z. Fagerson – Matthews – Schoeman

    Healy – Hutchinson – Horne – Bayliss – Young – Sebastian – Hepburn – Turner

    Gilchrist is such a penalty machine and just always seems a lightweight when going gets tough. Young is more physical and mobile. Fagerson and Ritchie out…just not playing well enough imo. Nowhere near what GT will pick Im sure.

You might also like these:

Craig is joined by Jonny and Rory to look back at the disappointing end to Edinburgh's season and Glasgow's march towards the semi finals.
Gregor Townsend has named a largely experimental squad for the summer tour of the Americas. It's not a question of who misses out, but rather who is actually going, writes Rory.
Iain is joined by Jonny and John to discuss the penultimate round of URC fixtures as well as the recent Scottish Rugby Writers' Awards
Craig is joined by John on the injured reserve list to have a wee look at the URC action from the weekend.

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion