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Townsend vows to power on despite injury pile-up


By Robert Jones

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has backed his makeshift front row to prove their worth in the Six Nations.

Townsend has included uncapped props Murray McCallum and D'arcy Rae in his 40-man squad along with Newcastle pair Scott Lawson and Jon Welsh, who are back after several years out of the reckoning. Lawson won the last of his 46 caps in 2014.

Fraser Brown misses out after a series of concussions, while Edinburgh prop Simon Berghan is suspended for Scotland's opener against Wales on February 3 after being given a six-week ban for a head stamp.

Zander Fagerson, WP Nel, Ross Ford, Allan Dell, Al Dickinson and Darryl Marfo are also missing from Townsend's front-row options.

Townsend said: "Every country going into the Six Nations is going to have injuries. It's something you deal with. We know we have a couple of injuries in the front row so it's down to other players to go out there and play well with Scotland."

Meanwhile, Wales coach Warren Gatland has included uncapped Worcester winger Josh Adams and Scarlets flanker James Davies in his group. Adams is currently the top try-scorer in this season's Aviva Premiership with nine touchdowns.

Davies, brother of Wales and Lions centre Jonathan, was part of Great Britain's rugby sevens medal-winning squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

George North and Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau are among a number of injury doubts who have been selected.

Gloucester back-row forward Ross Moriarty is also included, along with Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland.

Cardiff Blues prop Dillon Lewis keeps his place and experienced Ospreys forwards Scott Baldwin and Bradley Davies are both recalled.

There are no places, though, for Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts or Bath lock Luke Charteris.

Belfast Telegraph


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