Six Scots in fitness race ahead of the Six Nations

A HANDFUL of Scottish players are in a race to prove their fitness for the opening RBS Six Nations match against England, after patchy involvement in training yesterday.

The SRU confirmed that back-row forwards David Denton and Johnnie Beattie took a limited part in training in Glasgow yesterday, having taken knocks to the knee and wrist respectively in their clubs’ Heineken Cup matches at the weekend.

Scotland team doctor James Robson said: “Both are progressing in their recovery and will be subject to further assessment this week with a view to being available for consideration for our opening RBS 6 Nations Championship match against England a week on Saturday.”

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Another back row, Glasgow openside flanker Chris Fusaro was said to be “continuing his rehabilitation running after a groin problem” while Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist is under review after spraining his ankle in his club’s Heineken Cup defeat by Saracens on Sunday.

Edinburgh wing Tim Visser is receiving treatment for a foot injury, Glasgow backs Ruaridh Jackson and Sean Lamont are both recovering from rib injuries and hooker Pat MacArthur from an ankle sprain. Those six were, however, due to play some part in training yesterday.

New Scotland coach Scott Johnson gathered his squad for the first time on Monday and hooker Dougie Hall believes that the plain-speaking Australian is exactly what the Scots need.

“He won’t miss the wall if he is trying to hit it, that’s for sure,” Hall said. “That’s what you need though. You have to be very honest in this job, with yourself and with each other. If you’re not, you won’t make any progress. If you are hiding behind something and not telling yourself the truth about why things are going wrong, then you have got no chance. Johnno is strong at that and he is a good communicator.”