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Major injury problems for Scotland

Scotland have been left to count the physical cost of their 27-17 loss to Samoa.

Fifteen players needed medical treatment after the match, with one already heading home for further tests and another five not certain to take part in the remaining tour fixtures. The worst damage was sustained by Pat MacArthur, the hooker making his Test debut, who hurt his knee only two minutes into the game.

A medical assessment on Sunday morning before the team left for Nelspruit, the South African town where they will play their hosts on Saturday, revealed "significant" damage so he is on his way back to Scotland for further scans.

Captain Kelly Brown will also face further tests, though his ankle injury seems not to be as bad as first feared, while fellow forwards Geoff Cross and Johnnie Beattie will have shoulder injuries assessed.

Centre Alex Dunbar and fly-half Tom Heathcote will have to pass concussion tests before they can play again following blows to the head.

The five will all stay with the tour party and interim head coach Scott Johnson does not intend to call out any further replacements - Jon Welsh has already arrived with the squad as cover for Ryan Grant, who was called up by the Lions.

That means Johnson is gambling with going into the final two matches with only two fit hookers, Steve Lawrie and Scott Lawson.

The sheer scale of the physical damage to the team comes as a serious blow to the Scots since they have some hefty rebuilding to do after the dispiriting defeat by the Pacific Islanders.

The injuries are also likely to prevent Scotland training with the intensity they appeared to require while they were being bullied out of the game by the robust and dynamic Samoans.


From Belfast Telegraph