SCOTLAND’S new strength in depth will be put to the test over the next few days as interim head coach Scott Johnson bids to select a team to face Japan without top try-scorer Tim Visser.
The Edinburgh winger was given the demoralising news that scans revealed a fractured fibula suffered in Friday night’s RaboDirect PRO12 win over Treviso at Murrayfield. Visser was stretchered off after just 20 minutes and, although he did not immediately go to hospital, he left Murrayfield on crutches with his foot in a protective boot fearing the worst.
The broken bone may be the least of Visser’s concerns as he has also damaged ankle ligaments to the extent that he will require an operation. It was confirmed yesterday that he will be out of action for three to four months which, at best, would have him returning at the end of January and probably short of match fitness to be considered for the start of Scotland’s Six Nations campaign. At worst, he could miss the whole championship.
Edinburgh’s head coach Alan Solomons said: “This is really disappointing news for Tim [Visser]. We’re very sorry he’ll miss the viagogo autumn Tests. He’s an asset for Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland. We all wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back scoring tries again soon.”
The Scotland squad will today complete a three-day training camp in Glasgow before players involved with clubs outside Scotland return to their bases. Those Edinburgh and Glasgow players earmarked for squad places against Japan, and not deemed to need match practise, will not play in RaboDirect PRO12 games this weekend.
After the loss of Visser, Scotland’s interim head coach Johnson faces a number of selection quandaries across his back line before finalising his starting team for the opening autumn Test, with a handful of players sitting out training at Scotstoun yesterday.