Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend says that the coronavirus is not responsible for one of his Scottish players not being included in the squad to face Wales.


Number eight  Nick Haining was listed as unavailable through illness, despite a strong performance against France in Murrayfield.

Last week a Scottish womens’ international tested positive for coronavirus after the team returned from Northern Italy following an aborted Six Nations match. Naturally, the question was asked was Haining suffering with the respiratory disease that is currently sweeping the globe.

Townsend said:

“One is illlness-enforced – Nick Haining was struggling after the weekend with an illness, and given the six-day turnaround we felt it was better to go with Magnus and Matt Fagerson who were 100 per cent fit and fresh,” explained the coach.

“It’s tough on Nick – he may have recovered in time for the game at the weekend. He’s doing really well in this Six Nations and added real depth to our back row.

“No [not coronavirus].


“Really feverish, and obviously we played a demanding game on Sunday, so we’re managing the team as best we can this week knowing that Matt, who came off the bench against Italy, and Magnus, who has started a couple of games for us this year, are raring to go. It’s Nick that misses out.”

It is not clear if Haining had actually been tested for coronavirus. Townsend fully expects the match to go ahead.

“We’ve followed all procedures and protocols regarding contact and washing hands. We hope that we get to play this weekend. We understand if that’s not the case it’s for serious reasons.”

“We’re two days away from the game. We played last weekend. I do understand that things move fast, but we’re two days away so it would be a surprise if the game was called off this late.”


– additional reporting PA

WATCH: Press conference with Gregor Townsend after the Scotland head coach named his team to face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday. #SixNations

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