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Scotland forced to bring cover to Japan as injuries mount

Gregor Townsend has been forced to make an early change to his World Cup plans, with flanker Jamie Ritchie set to miss the squad’s flight to Japan on Monday as he receives treatment on a facial injury.

Magnus Bradbury, originally omitted from Townsend’s 31-man squad, will now travel to Japan as precautionary injury cover for Ritchie.

Ritchie’s place in the squad is in doubt following the injury, which he suffered in Friday’s 36-9 defeat of Georgia.

It was a costly win for Scotland, with Ben Toolis, Blair Kinghorn, Blade Thomson and Jonny Gray all picking up knocks.

However, Ritchie is the only major concern, and Townsend is now waiting on an update on the flanker’s fitness ahead of his side’s World Cup opener against Ireland on September 22.

The Scottish Rugby Union released a statement on Sunday morning confirming that Ritchie will remain in Scotland for treatment, before a decision is made on his place in the squad.

Bradbury, capped eight times by Scotland, came off the bench against Georgia despite being omitted from the initial 31-man World Cup squad. He had missed the three prior warm-up Tests with a rib problem.

“Scotland back-row Magnus Bradbury will travel to Japan tomorrow (Monday) as precautionary injury cover for teammate Jamie Ritchie,’ the statement read.

“Ritchie sustained a facial injury in the national team’s 36-9 win over Georgia at BT Murrayfield on Saturday and – following specialist scans at Spire Murrayfield Hospital – will remain in Scotland for specialist assessment, with the outcome influencing whether he remains part of the 31-man group for the Rugby World Cup which begins later this month.”

Scotland are in Pool A, alongside Ireland, Japan, Samoa and Russia.

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Scotland forced to bring cover to Japan as injuries mount