Double boost for Scotland

Nathan Hines and Alasdair Strokosch today handed Scotland a much-needed fitness boost ahead of next Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations game in Italy.

Nathan Hines and Alasdair Strokosch today handed Scotland a much-needed fitness boost ahead of next Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations game in Italy.

Leinster lock Hines was forced to pull out of the team for last weekend’s dramatic defeat in Wales with calf and ankle injuries, while Gloucester flanker Strokosch missed his country’s opening two matches of the tournament with an ankle problem.

But both were named today in a 36-man squad for Scotland and Scotland A’s games against their Italian counterparts.

The enlarged party will gather at Murrayfield on Sunday and train together on Monday and Tuesday, while additional players will be called up for Scotland A duty next week.

Scotland, who have lost their opening two Six Nations matches, play Italy at the Stadio Flamini next Saturday, while Scotland A face Italy A in Biella the previous day.

Meanwhile, Scottish Rugby today confirmed Thom Evans had undergone his second bout of neck surgery at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

Scotland wing Evans suffered a serious injury after colliding with Wales’ Lee Byrne at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday and had an operation that evening.

Team doctor James Robson, who has already ruled Evans out for the season, said today: “Thom, after discussion with his family and the surgeons who performed his initial operation, elected to undergo a second procedure to enhance his recovery.

“This surgery has now taken place. Thom is in good spirits and the surgeons are delighted with his progress.

“Thom has asked me to pass on his heartfelt thanks to the thousands of people who have expressed their support.

“At this stage I would expect that, if Thom’s recovery continues in the same vein, he will be able to return home next week.”

Chris Paterson was set to return to Edinburgh from Cardiff today after recovering sufficiently from the kidney injury that he suffered at the Millennium Stadium, where he was earning his 100th cap.

Dr Robson said of Paterson, who has been ruled out of the rest of the Six Nations: “’Mossy’ was discharged from hospital in Cardiff on Tuesday night.

“He has rested for a couple of days further in Cardiff and is now well enough to travel home with his wife Claire, which is excellent news.

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson visited both players in Cardiff yesterday.

He said: “It was uplifting to speak to both players and hear first-hand that they’re both feeling better.

“Once again, on behalf of the Scotland team, I want to thank our own medical team, the Welsh Rugby Union medical personnel at the Millennium Stadium and all the staff at the University Hospital in Cardiff for the quite magnificent care they have delivered.”

Squad for Scotland and Scotland A's matches against Italy at the Stadio Flaminio, Rome, on Saturday, February 27, and Italy A in Biella on Friday, February 26:

Backs: Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Ben Cairns (Edinburgh), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow), Simon Danielli (Ulster), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Glasgow), Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Alex Grove (Worcester), Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Rory Lawson (Gloucester), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow), Dan Parks (Glasgow), Mark Robertson (Edinburgh), Hugo Southwell (Stade Francais), Nikki Walker (Ospreys).

Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow), Johnnie Beattie (Glasgow), Kelly Brown (Glasgow), Alasdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Roddy Grant (Edinburgh), Scott Gray (Northampton), Richie Gray (Glasgow), Dougie Hall (Glasgow), Jim Hamilton (Edinburgh), Nathan Hines (Leinster), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow), Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Moray Low (Glasgow), Scott MacLeod (Edinburgh), Alan MacDonald (Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Northampton), Alasdair Strokosch (Gloucester), Jon Welsh (Glasgow).

Unavailable to train through injury: Jim Thompson (Edinburgh).

Invited to attend squad training: Simon Webster (Edinburgh).

More in this section

CourtsRugbySix NationsPlace: ItalyPlace: WalesPlace: MurrayfieldPlace: Stadio FlaminiPlace: BiellaPlace: CardiffPlace: Millennium StadiumPlace: EdinburghPlace: ScotlandPlace: Stadio FlaminioPlace: RomePlace: GlasgowPerson: Nathan HinesPerson: Alasdair StrokoschPerson: HinesPerson: StrokoschPerson: Thom EvansPerson: EvansPerson: Lee ByrnePerson: James RobsonPerson: ThomPerson: Chris PatersonPerson: RobsonPerson: PatersonPerson: MossyPerson: ClairePerson: Andy RobinsonPerson: Mike BlairPerson: Ben CairnsPerson: Chris CusiterPerson: Simon DanielliPerson: Nick de LucaPerson: Max EvansPerson: Phil GodmanPerson: Alex GrovePerson: Ruaridh JacksonPerson: Sean LamontPerson: Rory LawsonPerson: Graeme MorrisonPerson: Dan ParksPerson: Mark RobertsonPerson: Hugo SouthwellPerson: Nikki WalkerPerson: John BarclayPerson: Johnnie BeattiePerson: Kelly BrownPerson: Alasdair DickinsonPerson: Ross FordPerson: Roddy GrantPerson: Scott GrayPerson: Richie GrayPerson: Dougie HallPerson: Jim HamiltonPerson: Allan JacobsenPerson: Alastair KellockPerson: Scott LawsonPerson: Moray LowPerson: Scott MacLeodPerson: Alan MacdonaldPerson: Euan MurrayPerson: Jon WelshPerson: Jim ThompsonPerson: Simon WebsterEvent: RBS 6 NationsOrganisation: ScotlandOrganisation: GloucesterOrganisation: ItalyOrganisation: Scottish RugbyOrganisation: Wales’Organisation: Six NationsOrganisation: Welsh Rugby UnionOrganisation: Scotland AOrganisation: Italy AOrganisation: EdinburghOrganisation: GlasgowOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: WorcesterOrganisation: ScarletsOrganisation: Stade FrancaisOrganisation: OspreysOrganisation: NorthamptonOrganisation: Leinster
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