SCOTLAND coach Vern Cotter is expected to go with a tried-and-tested squad when he names his group of players for the upcoming RBS 6 Nations.
The Kiwi has made an impressive start to his Murrayfield posting after quitting French giants Clermont Auvergne in the summer.
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The Dark Blues were confident and assured as they beat both Argentina and Tonga and then pushed World Champions New Zealand close during the autumn Tests.
And Cotter is expected to name a similar group when he announces his squad at BT Murrayfield on Tuesday afternoon.
The New Zealander had gone for Grant Gilchrist as his skipper ahead of those three November internationals but was forced to then hand the captaincy to Gloucester scrum-half Greig Laidlaw when his former Edinburgh team-mate sustained an arm injury.
However, the big second-rower remains on the sidelines and Laidlaw will again be the man who leads out the Scots when they kick-off their championships against France in Paris on February 7.
Cotter’s injury concerns do not end there, though.
Glasgow Warriors announced on Monday that fly-half Duncan Weir would miss the next four months and the entire Six Nations campaign after tearing his bicep in the clash with rivals Edinburgh last month.
Rob Harley is also facing a race against time to play a part in this year’s tournament after the lock - who shone brightly during the autumn Tests - also sustained knee and ankle damage while playing against the Gunners during the 1972 Cup double-header.
However, Edinburgh duo Matt Scott and Dave Denton are fit again and expected to be included.
Former skipper Kelly Brown played no part in any of those last three internationals and will fear his Scotland career is finished if he is overlooked again, while fellow back-rower John Barclay will wonder what he has to do get in the side after excelling for Scarlets in recent months.
Meanwhile, Gunners prop WP Nel and Glasgow’s explosive number eight Josh Strauss - both born in South Africa - will qualify for Scotland this summer through residency rules but will play no part in the Six Nations.
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