Hamish Watson ‘keen to get some minutes’ but Darcy Graham still ‘a while away’
The flanker, who had been sidelined since mid-November, made his comeback in Edinburgh’s narrow home defeat against the Sharks on January 28, the week before the Six Nations kicked off. He was named in Gregor Townsend’s Scotland squad for the championship but was not in the match-day 23 against England or Wales, with his club-mate Luke Crosbie starting at No 7. Watson has trained with Edinburgh this week, along with fellow Scotland squad players Dave Cherry and Sam Skinner, and all three are likely to come into contention to face Scarlets in Llanelli.
“We’ll make a call on their involvement as we go through the week,” said Mike Blair, the Edinburgh coach. “But it’s great to have them back. They’ve come with a real energy. It can be difficult psychologically sometimes, going from one camp to another, but all three arrived with their chests out, smiles on faces, lots of enthusiasm and ready to go. There’s a nice dynamic to the group at the moment.”
Watson, who suffered a head injury while playing for Scotland against New Zealand on November 13, impressed Blair on his return against Sharks. “He had a huge involvement against the Sharks, playing 80 minutes having been out for three months. He looked one of the fittest players on the pitch, which is excellent - carried the ball a huge amount. He’s been away with Scotland, and with Scotland the intensity and standard of training is high, so he’ll have got a lot out of that as well. And he’s keen to get some minutes under the belt.”
Blair said that Darcy Graham’s return was still “a while away”. The winger injured his knee against Munster in December and Townsend was hopeful that he could be available for Scotland’s round four fixture against Ireland on March 12. “It’s a longer break than we would have liked, but he’s going to be refreshed coming back playing whether it’s at the tail-end of the Six Nations or for us at the end of the season or going into the World Cup,” said Blair. “He’s not taking a full part in training - he’s working with the physios at the moment.”
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