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Scotland call up Cochrane as cover for injured Turner

The hooker injured his knee on club duty for Glasgow in the Champions Cup on Saturday.

George Turner is set to miss the NatWest 6 Nations after suffering a medial knee ligament injury.

The Scotland hooker suffered the injury in action for Glasgow in the Champions Cup on Saturday, and has been replaced by the uncapped Neil Cochrane in Gregor Townsend’s squad.

Turner’s absence leaves Scotland short on front row options, with experienced duo Fraser Brown and Ross Ford already missing through injury and as many as six props unavailable.

Cochrane, 34, joins 36-year-old Ross Lawson in Townsend’s squad as back-up to Stuart McInally and forwards coach Dan McFarland admitted he was “gutted” for Turner.

“George is out with a medial knee ligament injury,” he said. “He will be out for around eight weeks.

“It’s not (ideal) for George or for us. George was doing well and it was an unfortunate injury.

“I feel really sorry for him. He is gutted and I am gutted for him.”

There appeared to be a similar injury crisis in November, when a depleted Scotland squad still impressed against New Zealand and Australia, and McFarland is using that as motivation.

He said: “It’s the same situation as it was in November.

“It’s really unfortunate for guys who can’t play and represent their country because of injuries, but for others it is a great opportunity and as we know from November, guys step in who many people haven’t heard of and play some fantastic rugby.

“This gives a huge opportunity for others to show what they can do, which is great.”

Edinburgh’s Cochrane is no stranger to the national camp having been called into the training squad during the autumn series, and he did enough to impress the coaching setup to earn a recall after Turner was sidelined.

McFarland added: “Neil joined us in November and helped us out then, and I was really impressed with his attitude.

“He obviously brings a lot of experience and there is a calmness to him. He gives advice and has been around the block so he will be a good addition.”

Richie Gray will also miss the three-day training camp at Oriam as Scotland start their preparations for their opening fixture against Wales on February 3, but his calf issue is expected to clear up in time while Alex Dunbar is going through the correct protocols following a head injury in action for the Warriors.

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