Rugby in Brief: Mark Robertson to make first London Scottish start

SCOTLAND A cap Mark Robertson will make his first start for London Scottish when they host Plymouth Albion in the English Championship this afternoon.

The 27-year-old winger joined the Richmond-based outfit just prior to Christmas for a month’s loan spell from Scottish Rugby after 14-months out with a pelvic injury.

Since then he has been on the bench for a win over Moseley and a loss to Leeds Carnegie and he and his team mates know a victory is a must against Plymouth who are in second bottom place and just three points below them in the table. Scottish are buoyed by the return from injury of Wasps duel-registered centre Mitchell Tamiau. He replaces Charlie Hayter who suffered an injury in training over the festive period.

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Elsewhere Canadian World Cup international Adam Kleeberger makes his home debut after impressing in the previous two away games.

Toby Flood poised to miss Calcutta Cup showdown

LEICESTER have confirmed that England fly-half Toby Flood is expected to miss the start of the RBS Six Nations championship with a knee injury.

Flood, 26, suffered ligament damage against Sale last weekend and he is set to be sidelined for four to six weeks, which also rules him out of the Tigers’ do-or-die Heineken Cup clash with Ulster. England are already resigned to opening the defence of their Six Nations title against Scotland on 4 February without Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “He (Flood) hurt his knee on Sunday and we initially thought it was just like a dead leg but it swelled up overnight and he went to see a specialist to determine the exact nature of the injury.

“It turns out that he has tweaked his ligaments and is likely to be out for four to six weeks, which is not as bad as we feared at one stage.

“But it still rules him out of the Wasps and Ulster games, which is not great after Manu Tuilagi and Louis Deacon’s recent injuries.”

Flood and Tuilagi, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, will both still be named in Stuart Lancaster’s elite player squad on January 11.

Harlequins off the hook over Toulouse incidents

HARLEQUINS have escaped further sanction over incidents that took place in their technical area during their Heineken Cup victory in Toulouse last month.

Quins flanker Will Skinner was sent off during the closing stages of the 31-24 victory by referee Alain Rolland as, after being substituted earlier in the game, he prevented Toulouse from taking a quick throw.

Skinner was subsequently handed a two-week ban for “an act contrary to good sportsmanship”, but a European Rugby Cup investigation into other incidents in the Harlequins technical area during the game decided that no further punishment was required after the Aviva Premiership club took internal disciplinary action over the matter. But Harlequins have been warned over the future conduct of their staff and players in and around the technical area.