Scotland’s Six Nations campaign has suffered a major blow with the news that captain Greig Laidlaw is to miss the rest of the championship.
The SRU announced this afternoon that a scan undertaken at his club Gloucester had confirmed the clinical suspicion that the 58-times capped scrum-half sustained ankle ligament damage midway through the first-half of Sunday’s 22-16 defeat by France in Paris.
The news will come as a major setback for coach Vern Cotter who highly values Laidlaw’s leadership and goalkicking accuracy.
Laidlaw, who is moving to French club Clermont Auvergne in the summer, “will see a specialist later in the week to determine the best course of management and estimated time out of the sport,” continued the SRU statement.
Ali Price, the 23-year-old Glasgow scrum-half, replaced Laidlaw on Sunday for his second cap and said after the match in Paris he would be ready to start the next match against Wales at BT Murrayfield a week on Saturday if called upon.
Price’s excellent club form and time spent with the squad from the autumn Tests through to the Six Nations means he is almost certain to get his first Test start, with no news yet on any additions to the squad.
Fellow scrum-half Henry Pyrgos has 18 caps and has captained Scotland on a couple of occasions. He is part of the Six Nations squad but has been struggling with form and injuries this season. He returned to play for Glasgow against Scarlets last Friday.
Edinburgh’s Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has played nine times for his country but Scotland A cap Sean Kennedy has been playing more regularly for the capital club this season and may get the call if Cotter decides to bring in another scrum-half.
John Barclay has been acting as Laidlaw’s vice-captain but he followed the skipper off in Paris and is going through Head Injury Assessment protocols, with lock Jonny Gray becoming Scotland’s third captain of the afternoon in Paris.