ZANDER Fagerson will miss most if not all of the Six Nations Championship after sustaining an injury in training with Glasgow, increasing Scotland coach Gregor Townsend’s selection worries for the tournament. A statement from the Warriors as part of their team announcement for tomorrow’s game against Zebre said that the tighthead prop will be out for “up to eight weeks”. Even if Fagerson is back within that timescale, he would still be pushed to regain sufficient match finish to take part in the last two fixtures, in Ireland and Italy on 10 and 17 March respectively.
Edinburgh tighthead Simon Berghan, who shared Scotland duties with Fagerson against New Zealand and Australia in November, is suspended for the opening game of the tournament, in Wales on 3 February, after being sent off against Glasgow. Berghan’s team-mate Willem Nel fractured an arm in the first Autumn Test against Samoa and like Fagerson is expected to be fit to resume training at the start of March – again, probably too late to feature in the Six Nations.
Newcastle’s Jon Welsh was called up as cover after Nel’s injury and should be next in line to start in Cardiff. There could also be an opening for a less experienced front-row man such as Glasgow prop D’Arcy Rae. Edinburgh’s Murray McCallum has played at loosehead recently, but starts at tighthead tonight.
The news on Fagerson was one of three pieces of injury news mentioned by Glasgow. Lock forward Scott Cummings would have hoped to be in contention for a Six Nations place, but is also out for around eight weeks. And openside forward Callum Gibbins is out for longer – a blow to the Warriors as the Kiwi would have been a key player during the Six Nations. Fraser Brown is also on the injury list with a head knock, so he too misses tomorrow’s game in Parma.
“Elsewhere, despite having had an achilles injury conservatively managed in recent weeks, Callum Gibbins has had to undergo surgery and faces up to 12 weeks on the sidelines,” the Warriors statement read. “Scott Cummings and Zander Fagerson suffered hand and foot injuries in training earlier this week. After seeing specialists at BMI Ross Hall Hospital, neither player requires surgery and both face a recovery period of up to eight weeks.”
Glasgow Warriors (v Zebre in Parma, tomorrow [Saturday], 3.30pm GT); R Jackson; L Jones, H Jones, N Grigg, N Matawalu; F Russell, G Horne; A Allan, P MacArthur, S Halanukonuka, G Peterson, J Gray, R Harley, C Fusaro, M Fagerson. Substitutes: J Malcolm, O Kebble, D Rae, K McDonald, A Ashe, H Pyrgos, P Horne, B Thomson.