Dawson out as Bayfield comes back

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The Independent Online
Scrum-half Matthew Dawson, dropped by England after last season's Five Nations Championship triumph, could be out of action for two months.

The Northampton player has undergone keyhole surgery on the torn knee ligaments he suffered playing for England A against Argentina and will spend two weeks in plaster and then a further fortnight in a leg brace.

But there is better news for Saints' former England and British Lions lock Martin Bayfield, out of the game since last April, who has resumed full training after a pelvic injury.

Scotland lock Stewart Campbell has become the latest top player to sign a full-time contract with the Scottish Rugby Union. The move brings the number of "professional" players on the Union's books to 45.

Campbell, capped 13 times, signed for Melrose last May and it is believed it was the agreement with the Border club which made it difficult for the 24-year-old to go full-time with the SRU.

n Selected top flight matches in Wales look likely to go ahead this weekend despite referees' strike action over pay, but there could still be a greatly reduced programme with the dispute still far from resolved.