The full Scotland squad is expected to train later today ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup match against Romania after all thirty players were passed fit to take part in the session.
Marcus Di Rollo was the only player who sat out yesterday due to a stiff neck, although his condition was not related to the knock he took in the victory over Portugal last Sunday. Andrew Henderson, who has been undergoing rehab for a dead leg, has been continuing to improve and has taken part in non-contact training over the past two days.
National team doctor James Robson said: “Andrew is doing well. He has made a massive improvement and was considerably more relaxed in yesterday’s session compared to the day before, even though his movement is still restricted. He held back from contact but was doing really well in free running.
“Marcus should train today too. The injury he sustained to his head and neck last weekend had fully settled, and as can happen on the tour when you have a change of pillows and bed, he woke up with a stiff neck which restricted his movement. That can make you more prone to injury and so it was best that he sat out the session.”
The medical team now know the players so well that they can accurately predict when they will return to training which helps the coaches’ preparations. Di Rollo’s temporary condition is just one of the many things the medics prepare for when travelling to different countries and the doctor has also had to deal with a few small infections which have hit the camp, such as tonsillitis.
Despite the minor bugs, the squad has adapted quickly to their surroundings at L’Etrat since leaving Murrayfield. Robson said: “The fact that the gym is just downstairs, there’s only a short walk to the training pitch and the weather has been good, all that is a bonus. When you gear up psychologically for a tournament, you also psych up for being away from home for weeks.
“I’m sure many of the players will take advantage of seeing their families when we come back on Sunday - I certainly will. Just being back at Murrayfield will bring its own excitement as it always gives you a big lift walking out into the stadium, and I hope that the home crowd will get behind the guys too when we play Romania on Tuesday.”
The squad is scheduled to land at Edinburgh Airport at 12.10pm on Sunday having been in L’Etrat for 12 days where they have been embraced by the locals, although that has not just been left to chance. Scotland team manager Guy Richardson said: “The main thing we wanted to do was engage the local community which applies to any group travelling to another country, and win hearts and minds.
“When I made my first visit here 20 months ago, I met with the key movers and shakers, including the mayors of St Etienne and L’Etrat, to get their support and see what we could do for the area and people during our stay. It’s a huge privilege to be here in France.
“We’ve done more community work than is expected of us under tournament rules, with daily open training sessions, a children’s coaching session and meeting local business people. We’ve been seen out and about in town just meeting the locals too and that can only be a positive thing.
“We’re now looking forward to being back in Edinburgh. Hundreds of people of all ages came along to our open training sessions at Murrayfield before we left. We really appreciate their support and we look forward to that being equalled or surpassed when we return on Sunday.”
Scotland’s team to play Romania at Murrayfield on Tuesday will be announced on Sunday afternoon.
Tickets which start at £9 can be purchased in person at the ticket centre at Murrayfield, by telephone during opening hours on 0131 346 5100, or from www.scottishrugby.org. The ticket centre will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday from 9.00am to 8.00pm and on Tuesday between 9.00am and 5.30pm.