The announcement of the Scotland squad to face the Springboks in the Castle Lager Incoming Series at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday has been delayed due to a spate of injuries picked up by Scotland players in last Saturday’s bruising encounter against Samoa in Durban.
Current Scotland head coach, Scott Johnson, has established a reputation of announcing his match day squad quite early in the week preceding a test and it had been scheduled to announce his latest squad today. However, due to all the various injury concerns the squad will now only be announced on Thursday.
Scotland have lost an entire front row since the start of the tour with tight head prop Geoff Cross joining hooker Pat MacArthur on the flight home today due to injuries sustained against Samoa. Cross has an AC joint (shoulder) injury while Mac Arthur damaged his knee. It would be particularly disappointing for MacArthur who had to leave the field quite early on in his debut match as he sustained the injury making a tackle that he didn’t have to make as he didn’t hear the whistle had already blown.
However, at least the first member of the front row to leave the touring party, loose head prop Ryan Grant, did so in much happier circumstances as he was called up to the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia.
The Scotland treatment room resembled something of an Accident and Emergency unit this weekend as various players required treatment with Captain Kelly Brown picking up an ankle injury and stalwart tight head prop Euan Murray a hamstring injury amongst others.
However, the last updates regarding injury concerns on Monday by the Scottish Rugby Union only mentioned the two front rowers returning home as well as ongoing treatment to Johnnie Beattie (eighth man) for a shoulder injury and concussion of both Tom Heathcote (flyhalf) and Alex Dunbar (centre).
It has been confirmed today that Captain Kelly Brown has not recovered from his ankle injury and so will not take any further part in the tour. We are waiting to hear if a replacement will be sent out in his place.
We can confirm that a replacement has been called up for the injured hooker Pat MacArthur. Glasgow Warriors hooker Fraser Brown will join up with the Scotland squad in Nelspruit tomorrow (Wednesday). Brown captained the Scotland U20 team three years ago and showed much promise, but has had his career stalled somewhat by various injuries. The call up to the senior national team is some rise in his fortunes as he was playing for Heriots in the Premier Division of domestic rugby in Scotland earlier this season before he was drafted in by Pro12 team Glasgow Warriors to provide cover for players absent due to injuries and national duty.
It sounds as if Fraser Brown is thrilled with his call up, apparently he had just had a day of preseason training with Glasgow under his belt when he got the call to join up with the Scotland squad. He seems to be familiar with South Africa as well, having previously visited family of his who live in the country and has described the country as an “amazing place”.