Scotland may go into the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship without experienced centre Nick De Luca, it emerged today.
The 38-times capped De Luca, who turns 29 the day before the tournament opens with a visit to England at Twickenham, has been ruled out of Edinburgh’s line-up for up to six weeks with an eye injury.
Although Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley downplayed the knock, saying: “If I was going to guess, he should be okay”, there was no doubting a strong element of concern.
“Nick got a crack on the eye at training so he will be out for the forseeable future,” said Bradley, adding:
“Those things can take three to six weeks to settle down. It is in the process of settling so until he can start training he will be on the sidelines.
“It is in the lap of the Gods in relation to the Six Nations.”
Flanker Ross Rennie is another Six Nations worry at Edinburgh and joining both he and De Luca on the injured list is Ross Ford although the hooker seems the least likely to be ruled out of the annual international showpiece.
Ford is an absentee from tomorrow’s Rabo Direct Pro 12 league match with Leinster.
“Ross Ford has had a couple of stinger injuries. It is becoming a bit too frequent so we are giving him a couple of weeks off,” said Bradley in taking an optimistic view of Ford’s immediate Test prospects.