Fraser Brown faces Six Nations fitness race after injuring knee on Glasgow Warriors duty

Six Nations fears: Glasgow's Fraser Brown. Picture: SNS Group
Six Nations fears: Glasgow's Fraser Brown. Picture: SNS Group
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Glasgow hooker Fraser Brown faces a race against time to be fit for the start of Scotland’s Guinness Six Nations campaign after being ruled out for up to two and a half months.

The forward injured a knee during Warriors’ 42-22 Heineken Champions Cup triumph over Lyon last weekend.

He is expected to miss the next eight to 10 weeks and that timescale makes it unlikely he will be ready to feature in the Dark Blues’ opening championship clashes against Italy and Ireland on February 2 and 9.

Brown has certainly been ruled out for this weekend’s return clash with Lyon at Scotstoun as Glasgow look to build on last weekend’s bonus point win.

Head coach Dave Rennie has made eight changes to his starting XV, with 20-year-old centre Stafford McDowall set to start his first game in Europe just three days after signing his first professional contract.

Huw Jones comes in to start outside of him having scored with his first touch of the ball off the bench in Glasgow’s victory away in France last Saturday. Tommy Seymour, who also extended his stay with the club this week, starts alongside Niko Matawalu and Stuart Hogg in the back three.

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Scrum-half Ali Price partners stand-off Adam Hastings in the half-backs while co-captain Ryan Wilson returns to the starting line-up to join Callum Gibbins and Matt Fagerson at the back of the scrum.

George Turner and Siua Halanukonuka start alongside Oli Kebble in the front row while lock Tim Swinson joins Jonny Gray behind them.

Rennie said: “We got five points away from home against a strong French side, so we are happy with that.

“We weren’t as clinical as we would have liked to have been, but we are working hard driving expectations and putting in a performance that we are really proud of. It was a job well done, but we reckon we have a little bit more in us.

“There is not a hell of a lot between individuals within our squad, so we don’t believe that any changes weaken us.

“When you look at it across the board, we have good players coming in and it gives them an opportunity to make a bit of a statement heading into a couple of local derbies.”

Meanwhile, Oli Kebble has also extended his contract with Warriors, committing to the club until 2020. The South African-born loose-head joined from Stormers in 2017 and has been central to some of Dave Rennie’s side’s dominant forward pack performances this session.