Scotland worry over Gray as he is 'isolated' with stomach bug

It was not quite a "Who shot Bambi?" moment, although Jeremy Guscott might have seen it that way.

Richie Gray, the 6ft 8in stand-out performer on the opening weekend of the Six Nations, was placed "in isolation" by Scotland yesterday and rated as a big doubt for the engagement with Wales at Murrayfield today.

Described by Guscott as "Bambi on ice" and "too slow and cumbersome" ahead of Scotland's visit to Paris last Saturday, Gray proceeded to look more like Red Rum at Aintree as he galloped around the Stade de France like a second-row thoroughbred. Still, the skids have been put under the towering Glasgow lock.

"Richie has got a stomach bug," Andy Robinson, Scotland's head coach and a team-mate of the princely Guscott in his playing days at Bath, reported after lunchtime training yesterday. "He's been isolated from the camp and we'll make a decision tomorrow morning about whether he plays."

Edinburgh's Scott MacLeod has been drafted into the squad and the chances are that he will be on bench duty today, with Richie Vernon moving up to a starting berth at No 8 and Kelly Brown switching to openside flanker and Nathan Hines into the second row. "These things happen," Robinson said. "You just have take them in your stride"

Perspective is one thing that is unlikely to be lacking as Robinson's Scots, buoyed by an impressive performance in defeat (34-21) against the French, lock horns with a Welsh side beaten 26-19 by England in Cardiff and short on confidence after a run of eight games without a win. It was in the reverse fixture in last year's Six Nations that Thom Evans, Scotland's right wing, suffered the serious spinal injury that ended his highly promising playing career.

At 25, the second cousin of radio presenter Chris Evans is attempting to rebuild his life with another change of career. A member of the successful boy band Twen2y4se7en before making the international grade in rugby union, Evans is on an acting course in Los Angeles with hopes of breaking into movies. He has also been busy dating Kelly Brook (below), the actress, model, and sometime partner of his former Wasps colleague Danny Cipriani.

Thom was offered a date at Murrayfield today, to watch his brother Max win his 17th Scotland cap, but the prospect was too much for him to bear. "He watched the France game on television and it was hugely emotional for him," Max said. "He has seen me playing rugby since the injury but that was the start of the Six Nations, where it all happened last year. I'm sure it would have been even more emotional this week.

"He's very comfortable in Los Angeles. He's thoroughly enjoying the acting. It's still early days but I've no doubt that he will make it in whatever he pursues. It's like when he met up with Kelly Brook. He happened to be in the right place at the right time and he was able to work his magic."

With Max Evans on the left wing, Scotland will be looking to work the kind of try-scoring magic they performed in Paris (where they crossed the home whitewash three times) but while losing the turnover habit that cost them four tries and regaining some clout at the scrum. "We made 200 passes last week," Robinson said. "I was delighted with that. It shows that we're improving our skill levels.

"I'm really looking forward to this Test against Wales. You've got two sides who want to play and who play with width. The key for both teams is how they get go-forward ball. Wales have got some big ball-carriers – Jamie Roberts, Ryan Jones, Bradley Davies, Matthew Rees – and we've got to make sure they don't get that go-forward."

Wales have Ryan Jones at No 8, the former captain replacing the injured Andy Powell for a return to the arena in which he bagged his solitary international try six years ago. "I've been in and around the environment for a long time now, and been through some highs and lows," the 47-cap veteran said.

"There are certain players in this environment that others will look to when things aren't going so well. If those guys are walking round with their heads down, it does have an effect on everyone else. We're the slight underdogs and we've got to thrive on that. We've got to make sure we are bold, brave, and more clinical."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam