Sunday 27 May 2018

Scots sweat over Beattie

Scotland's injury-ravaged tour of South Africa is in danger of running into even more trouble after No 8 Johnnie Beattie was unable to take part in the final training session before today's clash with Italy in Pretoria.

Interim head coach Scott Johnson reckons Beattie (27) has no better than a 50-50 chance of making the game after picking up a thigh injury in training.

If Beattie does fail to make the start, Rob Harley, who joined the squad earlier this week, will start at flanker with David Denton moving to No 8.

The real problem, however, is that Scotland have run out of back-rows and would have no cover on the bench for a unit where they have lost players to serious injuries in both the earlier matches on tour.

"We have no one else," Johnson said. "We would probably have to put Fraser Brown (the bench hooker) in as the reserve cover and bring in Stevie Lawrie (as additional cover at hooker). It is all I have got really."

After a tour where Scotland lost two of their original selection before leaving the UK and seen another five go home injured, it is the kind of late problem Johnson could have done without.

Italy are Scotland's final opponents in the third-fourth place play-off match of the South African Incoming Series.

Scotland v Italy,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 1.30

Irish Independent

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