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Scotland prop Zander Fagerson criticises proposal to condense Six Nations

Scotland prop Zander Fagerson thinks proposals to squeeze the RBS 6 Nations into a four-week window are "ridiculous".

England's leading clubs have submitted plans which would see the Championship's two fallow weeks scrapped, with matches played over five consecutive weekends.

But the idea has already been met with resistance, with player welfare and increased costs for supporters among the concerns.

Now Dark Blues front row Fagerson has added his name to the list of critics.

The Glasgow forward played the full 80 minutes during Scotland's first game against Ireland before managing almost an hour during Saturday's defeat to France.

The 21-year-old insists he will be happy to turn out for club side Glasgow against Ulster this weekend - but reckons the demands of playing Test level rugby week after week would be too much.

"I think that's completely implausible," he said when asked about the suggested changes, which would kick in from 2020.

"I feel sorry for the guys who might have to play for their clubs this weekend. We get looked after pretty well so unless it's a necessity I don't think a lot of the boys will be playing.

"I don't know if I'll have the weekend off. I'm not the boss.

"If I have to play for Glasgow I'll play for Glasgow. I like my rugby and want to play every game.

"Having been in the junior World Cup, where you play five games over four weeks, it is pretty brutal, and that's at Under-20 level. Internationally it would be ridiculous. I don't think that could ever happen."

Meanwhile, Fagerson's front-row colleague Ross Ford denied Scotland will be left rudderless despite seeing skipper Greig Laidlaw ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations.

The Gloucester scrum-half damaged ankle ligaments during Sunday's loss to France, with the Scottish Rugby Union confirming on Wednesday that their worst fears had been realised.

It is a considerable blow for head coach Vern Cotter who has come to rely on Laidlaw, not only for his goal-kicking abilities but also his decision making in the heat of battle.

But 105-cap hooker Ford - himself a former Scotland captain - believes there are plenty of leadership candidates who could fill in for Laidlaw.

The Edinburgh front-rower said: "Grieg is obviously a massive part of the squad and a great leader, so it's a big blow.

"His captaincy over the past 18 months has really come through to the fore and he shows when he plays that he is a big part of what we're about.

"But we've got a leadership group that has been alongside Greig helping him out, so those boys will be able to step up and take that role on and move forward.

"We do it as a group and yeah, Greig is the focal point (but) we have a group of leaders who can shoulder the burden."


From Belfast Telegraph