Hagart loses fight to be fit for world championships

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Scotland Under-20s have been forced to replace Aberdeen Grammar’s Alex Hagart in the 2013 Junior World Championship squad because of a back injury.

Hagart has been pushing himself through rehabilitation in an effort to make the tournament, which will be held in France next month, but, with the squad returning to camp next week and leaving for the tournament the following week, head coach Sean Lineen took the decision to make the switch and call up Leeds Carnegie’s Ben Cooper, who came on as a substitute in Wednesday’s 24-21 warm-up loss to Ireland in Ashbourne.

Lineen said: “We are all gutted for Alex, who has done everything in his power to make the championships.

Naturally, he’s very disappointed but he’s taken it very well and agrees it’s in the best interests of the team to take a player who’s fully fit. “One of the reasons for our warm-up game against Ireland was to look at a couple of players and Ben showed up well.”