Guinness Six Nations
Fitness boost for Scots ahead of Wales visit
Hamish Watson is back for the visit of Wales (pic: SNS Group)
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has welcomed the return from injury of five players – and added three others – ahead of this Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Wales at BT Murrayfield.
Forwards Hamish Watson, Willem Nel (both Edinburgh) and Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) are joined by Glasgow Warriors pair Stafford McDowall (centre) and Grant Stewart (hooker) in returning to the squad.
They are accompanied by incoming trio Matt Fagerson and Byron McGuigan – who missed out on initial selection through injury – and London Irish prop Gordon Reid.
As a consequence of their inclusion the following eight players, split evenly between injury and those released back to their clubs, are no longer part of the current Scotland squad.
They are injured quartet scrum-half George Horne (shoulder), prop D’arcy Rae (ankle), hooker George Turner (graduated return to play protocol for concussion) and centre Chris Dean (back), plus prop Alex Allan, back-row Rob Harley (both Glasgow Warriors), back-row John Hardie (Newcastle Falcons) and stand-off Duncan Weir (Worcester Warriors).
Full-back Stuart Hogg is not being considered for the visit of the Grand Slam-chasing Welsh following the shoulder injury he sustained against Ireland in the second round of the championship.
He remains under the joint care of the Glasgow Warriors and Scotland medical teams, with his rehabilitation progress and review ongoing.
Kick-off on Saturday in Edinburgh is 2.15pm.