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Scotland add four players to squad as three drop out

By Josh Raisey
Rory Sutherland of Scotland warms up during a training session at the Rugby World Cup France 2023 at Stade des Arboras on September 14, 2023 in Nice, France. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Scotland have called up four players to their squad this week as they prepare to take on Italy in Rome on Saturday in round four of the Guinness Six Nations.

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Tighthead prop Javan Sebastian, loosehead Rory Sutherland, lock Marshall Sykes and scrum-half Jamie Dobie have all been drafted into Gregor Townsend’s squad, while the injured Sione Tuipulotu, prop WP Nel and lock Alex Craig have all dropped out.

The four new additions all played over the weekend, with Sebastian replacing Nel for Edinburgh in the second half of their United Rugby Championship win over the Ospreys. Sykes also came on from the bench in that match.

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Simon Raiwalui on what his new role with World Rugby entails

Former Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui chats about his new role as High Performance Pathways and Player Development Manager at World Rugby.

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Simon Raiwalui on what his new role with World Rugby entails

Former Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui chats about his new role as High Performance Pathways and Player Development Manager at World Rugby.

Dobie started in Glasgow Warriors’ win over Benetton, while Sutherland featured from the bench in Oyonnax’s loss to Montpellier in the Top 14.

Tuipulotu leaves a huge hole in Scotland’s midfield for the remaining two rounds of the Six Nations after sustaining a knee injury in the Calcutta Cup win over England. His Glasgow head coach Franco Smith recently revealed that the centre is set to be sidelined for over two months.

“He’s going to be out 10-12 weeks, maybe even quicker, but we are conservative with it,” Smith said. “No operation is needed, which is important.”

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Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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