Scotland suffered a second blow from their narrow defeat in Paris to follow the loss of skipper Greig Laidlaw with the news yesterday that No 8 Josh Strauss is also out of the remainder of the RBS 6 Nations.
Strauss, reckoned by most observers to have been Scotland’s best performer in the 22-16 defeat to France, has suffered a kidney injury that requires at least six weeks’ rest.
It means that South African-born former Glasgow captain will miss not only the three remaining games of the championship against Wales, England and Italy but also the Warriors’ European Champions Cup quarter-final match against Saracens.
Strauss received on-field treatment after taking a hit in the flank during Sunday’s game, but stayed on for the full 80 minutes.
Scotland had already used both John Hardie and Tim Swinson as back row replacements, and later in the game the final emergency option of putting Fraser Brown from hooker to the back row was lost when Brown left with a head injury.
Strauss’ flank was scanned in Paris and the results reviewed back in Scotland by the medical team and Spire Hospital in Edinburgh where the full extent of the injury was discovered.
No action will be taken other than rest but the injury will not be reviewed for six weeks, a statement from the management team said yesterday.
The casualty list from Paris may not be finished yet. Laidlaw is already out of the rest of the championship with ankle ligament damage while John Barclay, who took over the captaincy when the scrum-half went off, had a shoulder injury when he left the field for a head injury assessment and did not return.
Hardie and Brown should recover after going through concussion protocols during the bye week, and Ryan Wilson is likely to come back into the reckoning after missing the game in Paris with an elbow infection.
Wilson started at No 8 against Australia and Georgia in the autumn tests – winning man of the match honours in the second game – and will be the favourite to step into his Warriors colleague’s spot against Wales.
Scotland will likely need another back rower with Cornell du Preez next in line in camp, although David Denton is set to make his second appearance for Bath after returning from a hamstring tear this weekend.