Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Southwell accepts World Cup absence

Hugo Southwell

Scotland coach Andy Robinson has revealed that Hugo Southwell took the news well when it was decided that he should be ruled out of this autumn's World Cup.

The 31-year-old full-back had been battling to recover from a knee injury in time for the tournament, which takes place in September and October in New Zealand, with Scotland opening their campaign on September 10 against Romania.

Although the Stade Francais player is hopeful of returning to fitness ahead of that date, an early decision has been taken to withdraw him from contention. Robinson told BBC Scotland: "He took it really well, he was fine with it. When you add it all up, it was a decision that he and I both agreed was right."

Robinson added: "You're always talking to players about where they are and the progress they are making.

"Hugo is making sound progress but we just felt that, where we are as a squad, and where he is, it was right that we came to the decision, rugby-wise, that he wasn't going to be part of the squad."

News of the omission was earlier confirmed by Robinson on the Scottish Rugby Union's website, where he said: "After talking this through with Hugo we've taken the decision to stand him down from our Rugby World Cup squad by mutual consent.

"Hugo has been working hard to recover from a knee injury but has not been able to take a full part in our training camp and while he may be fit to resume playing in mid-to-late August, both Hugo and I have decided that he will not be part of our World Cup plans.

"Hugo has been very diligent in his rehabilitation programme and I'm sure he will be determined to perform for Scotland again in the future."

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