Cameron Redpath injury concern for Scotland but coach sees the bigger picture

Gavin McCafferty, PA

Gregor Townsend is confident Scotland can improve on their winning performance against England despite concerns over Cameron Redpath’s neck injury amid a triple blow.

Redpath, Sean Maitland and Jamie Ritchie have all dropped out of the team following Scotland’s first victory at Twickenham in 38 years.

Harlequins centre James Lang, Edinburgh winger Darcy Graham and Scarlets flanker Blade Thomson have been drafted in for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Wales at BT Murrayfield.

Sean Maitland
Sean Maitland misses out (Donall Farmer/PA)

Ritchie, who has a tight hamstring, and Maitland, who has a couple of knocks, are expected to be fit in plenty of time to face France on February 28.

But Bath centre Redpath could have to wait longer for his second cap.

“With Cam, it’s slightly different,” head coach Townsend said. “With it being a neck issue, you are just waiting to see how it recovers.

“There’s a neural element there and we are just waiting to get his strength back before he returns to full training. But we are hopeful he will have a part to play in the championship later on.”

Darcy Graham
Darcy Graham is back in the Scotland team (Jane Barlow/PA)

The three replacements all played in Scotland’s Six Nations win in Llanelli in October, a first away win in Wales for 18 years.

“Blade played a number of games throughout autumn, he has been in very good form for his club, and just missed out on selection last week,” Townsend said. “Darcy would have been in the mix too but he obviously has not played much rugby in the last few weeks. James has been going back and playing well for Harlequins.

“All three have been training well and are fit and raring to go. So there’s cohesion there and there’s also the quality of the three players.”

Scotland have earned praise for the control of their display at Twickenham but, as the 11-6 scoreline suggests, Townsend feels there is plenty of room for improvement.

Scotland scored a famous victory
Scotland scored a famous victory (David Davies/PA)

“For a number of our players at the weekend, it was their first game for a number of weeks, and I don’t think Sean Maitland had started a game since September,” he said.

“So it was a testament to the players’ abilities to play so well in an international match.

“We have always got areas we can improve on and there are a few from the weekend, notably finishing off opportunities that we created.

“We will get better as a group with more understanding. But we have to play another four games which bring their own challenges and situations that you have to adapt to.

“We are hoping for better weather this week. That was a huge positive about the performance last week, that we were able to be accurate and play with width at times even though the conditions were wet.

“It’s going to be very cold but we are hoping for a dry ball this week so we can add even more to our game.”

Scotland won in Wales
Scotland won in Wales (David Davies/PA)

Scotland won 14-10 against Wales in the autumn but their opponents will travel to Edinburgh with confidence after beating Ireland in their Six Nations opener.

“We have looked at that game and what worked well for us but we also know Wales are an improved team since the autumn,” Townsend said.

“I thought they played really well last week, they had some experienced players back in the mix, and they have the confidence of an opening win.

“And I’m sure they will be determined to reverse the result from a few months ago.”

From Our Partners