Who exactly will be healthy enough to play in the Rugby World Cup 2023 Six Nations? Scotland rugby head coach Gregor Townsend aspects a few assortment issues with the current injury list, but not many of the good or interesting kind. As Townsend prepares for the start of the tournament in February and the first Calcutta Cup game against England, here is a brief sample of the injured players.
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As of Friday, Edinburgh’s injured list included Stuart McInally and Hamish Watson, while Glasgow’s included Scott Cummings foot, Rory Darge’s ankle, Allan Dell’s calf, Zander Fagerson’s hamstring, Oli Kebble’s shoulder, Murphy Walker’s neck, and Ryan Wilson knee. Lock Alex Craig Gloucester is out for the exiles as well due to a shoulder injury in RWC.
Some of those, like Wilson, are less likely to be considered by the selection committee these days, but even some of the fringe props might have been thought of as backups or backups to the backups. There is serious concern regarding who will RWC play tighthead with Zander absent Walker and the newly converted Kebble might have been candidates.
Murray McCallum is serving a brief trial for Montauban in French D2, but Javan Sebastian and Simon Berghan? are both healthy. Except for McInally, all of the usual Rugby World Cup squad hookers in the middle of the front row appear to be healthy, although Fraser Brown may have injured himself during Glasgow’s impressive victory over the Stormers over the weekend.
Richie Gray may be able to keep control of at least one second-row position at the Six Nations, with his brother or Grant Gilchrist, who was off from Edinburgh duty this weekend, likely to be his partner. Even though Scott Cummings is also said to be hoping to be ready, he will only get a smaller amount of RWC game time, and Sam Skinner is also back to normal after an injury, but only recently.
Three Opensides Represent Scotland RWC Simultaneously:
It will be a distant memory to see two or even three opensides represent Scotland simultaneously. Some of the more abrasive 6/8s, like Andy Christie and Luke Crosbie, who hasn’t had much of a look in at test level since Darge and Ritchie arrived, may get Rugby World Cup game time due to the injuries to Darge and Watson. Josh Bayliss and Nick Haining could also be called up. For more about Rugby World Cup
There was at least word this week that Mish might be back in full RWC training. It still seems like Fagerson, Ritchie, and Dempsey would be the first-choice back row. Due to the absence of several key players for the club and likely country, Edinburgh bears the brunt of this one: As of this weekend, Darcy Graham, Damien Hoyland, and Duhan van der Merwe are all out.
In light of Stuart Hogg’s illness and persistent knee and heel issues in recent weeks, do we require a brand-new back three to replace the unit that dominated Argentina last time out? With a 100th Scotland cap on the horizon, it is likely that former skipper Hogg will still be a presence in the Rugby World Cup squad come hell or high water.
However, Townsend will at least need to take this into consideration because Hogg will miss Exeter’s European trip to, um, South Africa RWC next weekend due to a heel injury. Is Blair Kinghorn the backup fullback or is he not? That will be the question. On either side of Hogg, the need to build wing depth behind the obvious first choices may make Rufus Maclean or Blair Kinghorn.
Those who lack experience, are more likely to be called up. Kyle Rowe, a speedster for the London Irish, still hasn’t recovered from tearing his ACL 11 minutes into his first cap against Argentina in the summer. If you are a Scottish-qualified winger RWC playing in the south, you can anticipate receiving a call because Townsend frequently surprises them in the, er, spring. Byron McGuigan or Sean Maitland, anyone?
The center, where almost all of the centers, including Duncan Taylor at Saracens, are fit, is one area of good RWC news. Those who have also spent time in the back three Kyle Steyn, Rory Hutchinson, and Huw Jones or in both center positions Jones, Hutchinson, and Sione Tuipulotu as well as Glasgow skipper Steyn, who possesses leadership abilities, are likely to be especially useful to Townsend.
Ben Healy’s Recent Support for Scotland RWC Increases his Chance:
Jones and Tuipulotu are currently in excellent form, and it appears likely that Chris Harris and a combination of the two will serve as the starting centers. At standoff, Adam Hastings needs shoulder surgery at Gloucester, and Ross Thompson is still on Glasgow’s injured list. As a Rugby World Cup result, we will continue to expect Finn Russell. For more about Scotland Vs Tonga Tickets
Who is now probably our fifth or sixth choice, to start in the 10 jerseys. Ben Healy’s recent support for Scotland increases his chances of being called up sooner rather than later to fill in for injuries. Ali Price, George Horne, and Ben White appear to be the likely pairing for the selected fly-half, with any one of them getting the call on RWC game day.
John Cooney, a former Ireland captain, has said that he would play for Scotland Jack Dempsey-style, but would he be more than a good stopgap player to get to the Rugby World Cup if one of the other three got hurt? With that in mind and the possibility that some players will return to fitness before the start of the tournament.
It will still be possible to field a team that is close to the full strength of last year’s Scotland Six Nations squad, but as always, the bench selection will be the most interesting. If we want to have a team that is fit to compete for the higher spots on the table, the race to match the fitness of Cummings, Hogg, and Watson will be of the utmost interest.
It’s all adding up to a rather unsettling mood before the Rugby World Cup, with attack coach AB Zondagh leaving immediately for France and rumors in France that Toney himself may have applied for the position of French attack coach after the tournament. Gregor Townsend’s team will play Italy at Murrayfield on July 29 before hosting France a week later, in addition to their Six Nations games.
The Dark Blues then play Les Bleus on August 12, and on August 26, they play Georgia to wrap up their World Cup preparations. According to head coach Townsend, 2023 is a huge year for our national team, and after the Guinness Six Nations, our focus will quickly turn to the Rugby World Cup. In our preparation for the tournament, all four games will provide invaluable experiences.
Our players will be able to feel the provision of our supporters before we leave for the World Cup if we have the opportunity to play at home three times before we leave. Because we are going to spend time at our training base for the Rugby World Cup in Nice previous to the match and duplicate the schedule our players will have knowledge during the contest itself.
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