Greig Laidlaw says he is hoping to make his comeback from the ankle injury which cut short his involvement in this year’s RBS Six Nations championship in three to four weeks’ time.
The Scotland captain insists he has not given up hope of sneaking into Warren Gatland’s Lions squad for this summer’s tour to New Zealand.
The 31-year-old was being widely touted as an ideal candidate to lead the midweek Lions team before being sidelined with syndesmosis, suffered during Scotland’s defeat away to France just over six weeks ago.
“The injury is coming on well. My ankle is feeling strong, I’ve got all my mobility back, which is important, so I’ve got to push on now and do some running in the next week. All being well, I should be back in about three to four weeks, hopefully,” said Laidlaw,
which would potentially make him available for Gloucester’s league clash with Sale Sharks on 15 April.
The scrum-half could have as many as seven games before the end of the season.
“I’m just going to wait and see, see how I feel. The [Gloucester] boys can do me a favour by winning this weekend [against Cardiff Blues in the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals] and extending the season, which would be nice,” he added.
However, Gatland has said that this weekend’s European Cup quarter-finals will be the last chance for candidates to play their way into the squad ahead of it being named on 19 April, so time is not on Laidlaw’s side. He must hope that his reputation as a leader of men, and his performances over the last two or three years for Gloucester and Scotland, will be enough to convince Gatland.
“Time will tell. They know what I can do. I played well in the Ireland game and that got us off to a good start,” said Laidlaw. “I think we can get a fair few boys on the [Lions tour]. There’s Hoggy, of course, but there are definitely other players as well throughout the squad. We won three games and at the end we were maybe unlucky to finish fourth. I think we definitely have players in the hunt. You’re looking at Tommy Seymour, Fraser Brown, Jonny and Richie Gray, hopefully myself. WP Nel, still possibly, because he’s a quality player and should just be fit in time for the summer.”
If Laidlaw does not get the Lions nod then he says he is looking forward to being part of Gregor Townsend’s first tour as Scotland’s coach, which will take in matches against Italy, Australia and Fiji.
Laidlaw was speaking at the launch of a new partnership deal between Mitsubishi Motors UK and Scottish Rugby. As a part of the partnership Mitsubishi Motors will become title sponsors of the Schools & Youth Conference.