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Scots sweat on fitness of two of their big stars for Ireland clash

Scots sweat on fitness of two of their big stars for Ireland clash

FITNESS

Scots sweat on fitness of two of their big stars for Ireland clash

Scotland’s backline under Gregor Townsend is fast developing a reputation as one of the paciest and most lethal in the world game.

The team has been blowing hot and cold this season – devastating when dismissing Australia in Edinburgh last November, abject away to Wales in their Six Nations opener and then irrepressible again in their humiliation of England back at Murrayfield.

And, when the Scots get going, they are pretty compelling – from their mobile, tenacious backrow to the flamboyance of Finn Russell at 10 and the speedsters outside him.

Which is why the news that Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour are injury doubts for the showdown with Ireland in Lansdowne Road will be such a concern for Townsend and a cause of hope for Ireland.

Scots sweat on fitness of two of their big stars for Ireland clash

Joe Schmidt’s men are enjoying an excellent championship but the one area of consistent concern has been the capacity to leak tries out wide.

And that is exactly where Scotland are most dangerous, through their savagely quick back three of Sean Maitland and Seymour on the wings and full-back Hogg, Lions all.

Seymour, the former Ulster winger who has scored 16 tries in his 42 Tests for Scotland, has not trained since coming off injured against the English and is due to have a fitness test ahead of the team announcement on Wednesday afternoon.

Hogg, who tormented Ireland in Scotland’s win last year, injured his back in training last week and only returned to action on Tuesday for an indoor squad session.

Losing either, or both, of his two fastest and most productive attackers would constitute a massive blow for Townsend but the Scotland coach has received some good news on the injury front.

Second row Richie Gray, centre Duncan Taylor and hooker Fraser Brown are all back in contention after injury and add to Townsend’s array of options for the Dublin showdown.

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