Scott Gray called up to training squad

NORTHAMPTON Saints flanker Scott Gray has been called into the Scotland training squad as they began their preparations for the RBS Six Nations yesterday.

The 31-year-old, who won the last of his eight caps against England last year, came in after fellow flankers Ross Rennie and Al Strokosch were forced to sit out the session. Rennie will require further assessment to the knee injury he sustained in Edinburgh's closing Heineken Cup victory over Stade Francais at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland team doctor James Robson reported that Strokosch was stepping up his rehabilitation following an ankle injury he sustained on club duty with Gloucester.

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Mike Blair is also making encouraging progress after an ankle injury, while fellow Edinburgh scrum-half Greig Laidlaw was invited to the training camp in St Andrews but a shoulder knock prevented him taking part.

Edinburgh back Jim Thompson (swollen knee) and 20-year-old Glasgow lock Richie Gray (facial blow) were also forced to watch from the sidelines.

Andy Robinson's first Six Nations campaign as Scotland coach gets under way against France at Murrayfield a week on Sunday.