Lawson and McMillan give Scots fitness boost
October 28, 2008
Gloucester scrum-half Rory Lawson's return from injury will provide a timely boost for Scotland © Getty Images
Scotland's scrum-half crisis eased today following positive reports on the fitness of Rory Lawson and Mark McMillan. Head coach Frank Hadden was facing a potential headache for next month's autumn internationals, with three of his possible number nines sidelined.
Lions and Perpignan star Chris Cusiter had already been ruled out with a fractured thumb, while Gloucester's Lawson was a doubt after suffering a rib cartilage injury.
That led to Glasgow's McMillan being drafted in as cover for the current warm-weather training camp in Spain but he sustained knocks to his shoulder and hip during a session yesterday afternoon.
However, things were looking up for Hadden today. Despite being forced to miss this week's La Manga trip, Lawson's injury is not as bad as first feared, while McMillan could resume training by Friday.
Team doctor James Robson said, "Rory was seen today by a specialist. He had a scan and that showed he did have some damage to his rib cartilage area, though the injury does not seem to be as bad as first feared. Rory will be re-assessed on Thursday."
Robson added, "We hope Mark will be able to progress to the extent he may be able to resume training before the end of the week."
Hadden will be hoping both recover in time for the November Tests against New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, even though captain Mike Blair is his undisputed first-choice scrum-half.
The head coach drafted in Glasgow utility back Colin Gregor yesterday as further cover. Scotland undertook a double training session in Spain today, with team manager Guy Richardson hailing the facilities on offer in La Manga.
"This training venue is ideal," Richardson said. "We are able to prepare for our opponents next month - New Zealand, South Africa and Canada - at a world-class camp. Our training session this morning went well, with Colin Gregor - who arrived late last night - slotting in.
"Accommodation is five minutes away from the training pitch and everything has gone well in terms of logistics."
Meanwhile, the All Blacks Test on Saturday week is set to mark the unveiling of Murrayfield's two new state-of-the-art giant TV screens. Described as the biggest of their type in Scotland, the 60 square metre screens are positioned in the lower north and lower south stands.
They are more than double the size of those that were hired at the start of last year's RBS 6 Nations Championship and represent a six-figure investment.
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