EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scotland’s long injury list has been shortened this week with the return of five players to the squad to face Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday, but fullback Stuart Hogg remains sidelined and out of contention.
Coach Gregor Townsend has been able to welcome back first-choice flank Hamish Watson, lock Sam Skinner, prop Willem Nel and hooker Grant Stewart among the forwards, as well as centre Stafford McDowall.
They are joined by loose-forward Matt Fagerson, fullback Byron McGuigan and prop Gordon Reid, who have also been called into the mix for the clash at Murrayfield.
Hogg has not been considered as he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury picked up in Scotland’s 22-13 defeat to Ireland in the second round of matches.
Townsend is hoping to have first-choice flyhalf Finn Russell back in action though, after he missed the 27-10 loss to France in Paris last time out.
George Horne, D’arcy Rae, George Turner, Chris Dean, Alex Allan, Rob Harley, John Hardie and Duncan Weir have all been released from the squad for this week.
Scotland have just a single victory in the Six Nations this season, a 33-20 win over Italy in the opening round, and face a formidable Welsh side on a 12-game unbeaten run and still in the hunt for the Grand Slam.
Townsend will hope his side rediscover the form they showed on Wales’s last visit to Edinburgh when Scotland cruised to a comprehensive 29-13 victory in 2017.
(Reporting By Nick Said; editing by Clare Fallon)