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Robinson positive after get together

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson believes progress was made at this week's training camp ahead of the EMC Autumn Test with New Zealand despite the squad being afflicted by numerous injuries.

A squad featuring 11 players requiring treatment assembled in St Andrews on Monday for a three-day training camp, but Robinson is departing content ahead of the November 11 Test with the world champions.

"It was a pleasing camp here in the approach," Robinson told Press Association Sport.

"When we first arrived there were a lot of injuries, a lot of players carrying knocks, but the medical team have worked very hard. We've got a lot out of our sessions. In the three training sessions we've had there was a lot of hard work produced. Matt Taylor has come in as the defence coach, bringing in new ideas.

"It's important that those are layered in, building on what Scott (Johnson, the attack coach) did in the summer in terms of our attacking game. It's a step-by-step approach. The players have responded well and we've got a lot out of our first three days."

It was the first time Scotland have come together since the June tour, when Robinson's men responded from a RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon with victories over Australia, Fiji and Samoa.

Tests with the All Blacks, South Africa and Tonga await in successive weeks this autumn, with Robinson's options limited. A propping crisis - injuries and initial absence of Euan Murray, whose views mean he is unavailable for Sunday - meant Robinson had to augment his 34-man squad with uncapped Newcastle Falcons loosehead Grant Shiells.

Shiells was brought in as training cover, but given four props are required on a matchday, any deterioration in the condition of Ryan Grant (head knock), Allan Jacobsen (hamstring) or Geoff Cross (concussion) could see him make a surprise debut.

Provided the trio are fit, it is likely Grant will start at loosehead, while providing tighthead cover for Geoff Cross, with Jacobsen and Kyle Traynor on the bench.

There are injury concerns at lock in Jim Hamilton (ribs), Al Kellock (back) and Richie Gray (ankle). Flanker Ross Rennie (shoulder), stand-offs Ruaridh Jackson (shoulder) and Greig Laidlaw (neck), centre Nick De Luca (ankle) and wing/centre Sean Lamont (facial) also required treatment during the camp.


From Belfast Telegraph