Scotland have suffered a blow as they are set to be without fly-half Adam Hastings for the entirety of the Six Nations due to a shoulder problem.
Gregor Townsend’s men continue to be plagued by injury issues in the lead-up to the tournament, which starts with a game against England on February 4.
Hastings suffered the shoulder injury whilst on duty for Gloucester in their loss to Leicester Tigers on Christmas Eve, with surgery required on the problem.
Surgery for Hastings
A statement on the Cherry and Whites’ website confirmed that news while coach George Skivington said earlier this week “he will not be back any time soon”.
The Premiership game against the Tigers was the Scotland international’s first run-out since he suffered an injury in the Test against Fiji on November 5.
That led to the return of Finn Russell and it seems likely he will don the number 10 jersey, with Scotland struggling for other options in the fly-half spot.
Blair Kinghorn could well feature and is a preferred candidate of Townsend’s, while Glasgow’s Ross Thompson is still battling his way back from injury.
However, one leftfield call would be to fast-track Ben Healy in, with his move from Munster to Edinburgh at the end of the season confirmed on Wednesday.
Healy is Scottish qualified and has impressed for Munster, playing a key role off the bench in their recent United Rugby Championship win over Ulster.
Hastings’ injury though is a further blow to head coach Townsend as he prepares to name his Six Nations squad, with trio Zander Fagerson, Darcy Graham and Hamish Watson – all of whom would be expected to start if fully fit – currently working their way back from injuries and deemed doubtful to take on England.
Injury issues for Scots
Edinburgh wing Graham, who was excellent last year, sustained medial ligament damage at the beginning of December and is expected to be out until February, while his club-mate Watson has been sidelined since suffering a head injury in Scotland’s Autumn Nations Series 31-23 defeat to New Zealand in November.
Glasgow Warriors revealed last month that Fagerson would be “out for the foreseeable” with a hamstring injury, while the prop’s Warriors team-mates, Scott Cummings and Rory Darge, are also in a race to be fit for the Six Nations as they fight to recover from injuries that ruled them out of the end-of-year Tests.
However, Warriors assistant head coach Nigel Carolan offered an encouraging update on the progress of the trio this week when – referring to Fagerson, Cummings and Darge – he said that “it might be too late for us (Glasgow Warriors) this block of games, but hopefully Scotland will benefit from their return.”
After facing England at Twickenham in their Calcutta Cup opener, Scotland will host Wales before a week’s break and then a trip to take on holders France.
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