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Gray out injured but Scotland are optimistic he'll return stronger


By Andy Newport

Forward Richie Gray has been ruled out of Scotland's NatWest Six Nations opener with Wales on Saturday.

The 64-times-capped Toulouse lock sat out last week's three-day training camp in Edinburgh with a calf injury.

Now the Scottish Rugby Union have confirmed the 28-year-old will remain in France this week for treatment.

But while he will miss this weekend's Cardiff clash, Scots head coach Gregor Townsend hopes to have him back for the later stages of the tournament.

Assistant coach Mike Blair said: "Richie wasn't involved in the autumn or the summer tour so it's a situation we have been able to handle in the past."

Gray's absence means his brother Jonny is likely to start alongside either Ben Toolis or Grant Gilchrist in the second row at the Principality Stadium.

But the younger Gray admits he is disappointed not to be lining up alongside his sibling.

"It would be great to have him here. It's been a while since I've seen him and I'm absolutely gutted for him," said the Glasgow lock.

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