Bradbury called up

Watson knee injury adds to Scots’ World Cup woes

Hamish Watson

Blow: Hamish Watson (pic: SNS Group)

Scotland’s World Cup woes have deepened with the news that flanker Hamish Watson will play no further part in the tournament.

The 28-times capped Edinburgh star was hurt towards the end of the first half of the disappointing 27-3 defeat to Ireland in his country’s opening Pool A match in Yokohama.

A post-match scan confirmed head coach Gregor Townsend’s worst fears and Watson will now fly home from Japan.

Edinburgh back-row Magnus Bradbury, who has been in Japan as precautionary injury cover for Jamie Ritchie, will replace his team-mate in the 31-man squad.

Ritchie missed the Ireland loss with the facial injury suffered against Georgia in the Scots’ final warm-up match but will be fit for next week’s meeting with Samoa.

It is another crushing blow for 27-year-old Watson, who missed this year’s Six Nations with a broken hand.

Townsend said: “While there is a high probability of picking up injuries during a Rugby World Cup, it is always disappointing to see someone having to head home.

“We feel for Hamish, who had worked so hard for this opportunity, and wish him well in his recovery.”

Townsend has a lot of hard thinking to do as the Scots look to get their campaign back on track when they take on Samoa next Monday in Kobe.

“The World Cup has just begun and we have to play much, much better in our next three games if we’re going to make it out of this pool,” he said.

“But I believe in this squad and that they will bounce back and be much better against Samoa.”

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