Star duo's lengthy lay-offs
Double injury blow for Scotland coach Townsend
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has not had to wait long to experience the frustrations of being in charge of a national team.
No sooner has he returned from the summer tour which featured an historic win over Australia in Sydney, than he has been told he could be without two of his main men for the Autumn Internationals at BT Murrayfield.
Both Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray have undergone surgery which may see them sidelined for up to six months.
Glasgow Warriors full-back Hogg returned home from the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand after fracturing his cheekbone and has since gone under the knife for what his club labelled an ‘underlying shoulder issue’.
Second-row Gray has also had surgery on a wrist injury after returning home from Scotland’s successful summer tour, with medical opinion suggesting it could be the end of the year before he is fit for action again.
Townsend, who took over from Vern Cotter, will be keen to build on the positives from his first three matches in charge when the Scots welcome Samoa, the All Blacks and Australia to Edinburgh later this year, the first of those games being played on November 11.
However, he will have to plan to be without the star duo, with the RBS Six Nations a more realistic target for the pair.
There was further bad news on the injury front for Glasgow Warriors, with Ratu Tagive ruled out for six to nine months following surgery on his ruptured Achilles suffered in pre-season.
The 26-year-old winger is currently on a partnership contract with Currie Chieftains.