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Walker misses out on World Cup

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson will reveal his Rugby World Cup squad on Monday - but Nikki Walker will not be travelling to New Zealand after being ruled out through injury.

Robinson will trim seven players from his provisional squad to form the 30-man playing party after Ospreys wing Walker suffered a knee injury in Saturday's 23-12 win over Italy at Murrayfield.

Robinson said: "It's obviously disappointing for Nikki. We all feel for him but injuries do happen in sport and you just have to deal with them."

The loss of Walker marred the EMC Test victory over the Azzurri, which gave Scotland a 100% record from their two warm-up fixtures.

Nick De Luca followed up an impressive cameo in the 10-6 win over Ireland with a man-of-the-match display and hopes to have done enough to travel.

The Edinburgh centre told Press Association Sport: "I was delighted to put my best foot forward and to hopefully give Andy Robinson an easy decision. I've put my hand up and done everything I can. I'm happy with what I've done."

The next time Scotland take to the field will be on September 10 in Invercargill in the Pool B match with Romania.

Prop Ryan Grant, flanker Robert Harley and centre Ben Cairns are unlikely to travel after not playing a minute of either of the warm-up Tests. Greig Laidlaw is set to become the victim of fierce competition at scrum-half, after British and Irish Lions Mike Blair and Chris Cusiter - on his international return following a 17 month absence - came through unscathed against Italy.

In the front row, Geoff Cross is in pole position at tighthead prop, but on Saturday Euan Murray proved his class as a replacement for Moray Low. Murray's absence against Argentina, due to not playing on Sundays for religious reasons, may result in Low travelling too.

One of the most competitive areas of the squad is in the back row, where Richie Vernon, David Denton, Johnnie Beattie and Alasdair Strokosch are likely vying for two places. Bath full-back Jack Cuthbert is likely to be another of the disappointed, having only had a short cameo appearance against Ireland, while Simon Danielli might survive the cut after Walker's blow.


From Belfast Telegraph