Scotland’s injury jinx shows no sign of going away as they embark on Mission Impossible against South Africa.
The latest casualty is hooker Steve Lawrie, whose back injury has failed to respond to treatment, opening the way for Fraser Brown to potentially win a cap off the bench having played only 44 minutes of professional rugby.
Scotland’s interim head coach, Scott Johnson, was up front in admitting that they will try to get Scott Lawson, the starting hooker, to play the full 80 minutes, but if Brown does get on it would be a remarkable turnaround for the former Under-20 captain whose career looked over two years ago when he was axed from the Edinburgh club academy aged 22 after a neck operation.
He has managed to get his career back on track and had just signed a full-time contract with Glasgow. Still, it shows the severity of Scotland’s front-row injury problems that he is probably no higher than seventh choice in his position and yet could be about to win his first cap.
“You talk about his life, a farming boy, a tough boy,” said Johnson.
“Tell you what, he is an impressive kid. It is a big ask, let’s not kid ourselves. [But] there is something there, there is no doubt about that.
“That is the way it is and we can’t get away from that. Out of this, it might be the greatest learning curve we have got; necessity is the mother of invention. We have to find out about him. If he gets out there it is not ideal, not ideal for him and certainly not ideal for us, but a lot of good will come out of this. We can’t buy this experience.”