Scotland are confidently expected to put the best part of 80 points on Portugal when the two countries meet on World Cup business in St Etienne a week on Sunday, so David Callam's absence from that particular starting line-up will not make a difference one way or another. The Scots will be deeply concerned if the No8 is ruled out of the entire tournament, however.
Today, Frank Hadden and his coaching team expect a final decision on the 6ft 4ins Edinburgh forward's readiness for the rigours ahead. Callam suffered a facial injury during the defeat by South Africa at Murrayfield in last Saturday's warm-up match – an injury described by James Robson, one of the most experienced team doctors in the sport, as "unusual and complex".
Concerned that the player received a blow close to his right eye and was left with blurred vision, Robson sought specialist advice from several sources, including ophthalmologists. "We hope to be in a position in the next 24 hours to confirm the extent of the injury and the prognosis for recovery," he said.
Meanwhile, United States officials confirmed that their full-back, Francois Viljoen, would miss the competition after tearing knee ligaments while training in Iowa. England's first opponents – the two sides meet in Lens in 10 days' time – have called in the Fijian-born Andrew Osborne, who faces the uncomfortable prospect of running into two implacably hostile Pacific island neighbours in Samoa and Tonga.
If the French believe this competition will be more successful, both competitively and commercially, than any of the five previous tournaments, they are absolutely certain it will be the most environmentally friendly.
A vast recycling programme has been put in place to deal with the rubbish left at venues over the course of the 48-match programme; 2,600 metres of solar panelling has been installed on the roof of the St Etienne stadium; and the organisers have struck deals with a series of retailers to ensure that much of the food on sale at matches comes from "fair trade" sources.Reuse content