Wednesday 24 January 2018

Cotter: Dunbar loss can make us stronger

SCOTLAND head coach Vern Cotter believes the shock of losing centre Alex Dunbar for up to nine months will only bring his squad closer together.

The Glasgow back was due to start against England at Twickenham tomorrow - but now faces the real possibility that he could miss this year's World Cup after rupturing knee ligaments.

The Scottish Rugby Union has announced the 24-year-old will definitely sit out the rest of the RBS 6 Nations (games against England and Ireland) after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament following a cruel training-ground slip.

It is the latest blow to hit a Scots squad short on luck.

They have lost all three championship clashes so far and have already seen the involvement of giant lock Richie Gray and veteran wing Sean Lamont cut short by injuries. Stand-off Finn Russell was also forced to miss last month's last-gasp 22-19 defeat to Italy after he was handed a retrospective ban for tipping over Wales' Dan Biggar.

But Cotter hopes Dunbar's set-back will unite his men ahead of their clash with the Auld Enemy.

He said: "I think we can improve. We lost a bit of momentum after the Wales game with Finn being suspended and Richie getting injured.

"We've got other injuries as well. Sean is down too. But the guys are adapting. There is a lot of character in the team.

"There is a real desire to do well and we've got this Calcutta Cup game to look forward to."


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