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Cockerill gives Barclay update

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Cockerill offers update on Scotland captain John Barclay

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill has confirmed that John Barclay will not be available for the start of Scotland’s Six Nations campaign.

Barclay is recovering from a ruptured Achilles he suffered last May, and while Cockerill said he expects the 32-year-old to make his debut for Edinburgh this year, he is out of the frame for the start of Scotland’s Six Nations campaign in February.

“As that [Six Nations] is not very far away he certainly won’t make the start of it by the looks of it,” Cockerill told The Scotsman. “There’s no date at this point. He’s had a serious injury and he’s an aging player, so there are no definitives on those.

“Achilles tendons can be notoriously a little bit tricky, and he’s an older player, and older players heal slower.

“He’s on target, but that could be six months or nine months, which is what we were told at the start.”

Barclay ruptured his achilles in last season’s Pro14 semi-final and hoped to return to rugby in time for the 2019 Six Nations.

The initial six-month recovery period lapsed at the end of 2018, and Cockerill said he didn’t expect Barclay to feature until “late January-early February”. It now seems doubtful Barclay will play a role in Scotland’s campaign.

Barclay has made 71 appearances for Scotland and linked up with Edinburgh in 2018 after a five-year stint with Scarlets, whom he represented 104 times.

Elsewhere, Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg looks in line to make his return for Glasgow, with head coach Dave Rennie hopeful that he will line up against Cardiff Blues in next weekend’s Champions Cup fixture after coming off injured at half-time against Edinburgh last weekend.

“Hoggy has had a bit of a tight groin but we think we will be alright for next week,” Rennie said.

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Cockerill offers update on Scotland captain John Barclay