WP Nel is out of the 1872 Cup clash at BT Murrayfield on Boxing Day as his neck injury continues to linger.
The tighthead prop hasn’t played since Edinburgh’s win over Harlequins on October 22 and was forced out of Scotland’s autumn Test series. He was initially ruled out for four weeks rest followed by an assessment.
Acting Edinburgh coach Duncan Hodge said the prop, who has been tipped as a potential Lions starter in the summer, has not had surgery but added: “He is still rehabbing and not available for the next couple of weeks.”
Hodge confirmed that he would miss the festive inter-city clash with Glasgow and was asked if he would be fit for the Six Nations which get under way on February 4.
“He’ll continue his rehab then get reassessed. Hopefully,” was his response.
There was better front row news for Hodge as Scotland loosehead Alasdair Dickinson was ruled fit enough to make his comeback in tonight’s home European clash with Stade Francais after almost six months out with a hamstring injury.
“It’s always good to have someone with that experience and knowledge, in terms of leading the other guys, but also just in terms of having him on the pitch,” said Hodge.
“It’s a big ask for him – he’s not played since the Japan game, which was five and a half months ago. It’s a big break for him but he’s worked hard. The last six weeks has been very frustrating for him. A lot of people thought he was almost there and then little things held him back.
“Allan Dell has been absolutely magnificent for us, but by starting Dicko it allows us to manage his game time because if you do it the other way around it’d be tough considering he’s been out for a long time.”
Hodge believes Dickinson’s return will be a boost to the scrum, which is always a key battle against French teams.
The coach said: “Having some people back certainly helps but it’s about more than that. We played against a good scrum against the Ospreys, but it’s something that we’ve put a lot of work into and in which we pride ourselves.”