6N: Coach says Dunbar training injury will motivate Scotland
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Scotland flew south to London on Thursday within hours of watching center Alex Dunbar rupture knee ligaments in training for the Six Nations match against England.
During a morning run-out at Murrayfield, Dunbar tried switching direction when he fell to the ground clutching his left knee, and was rushed to a nearby hospital. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament, and will be out for six to nine months, meaning he will miss the rest of the championship, and possibly the Rugby World Cup.
Coach Vern Cotter tried to put a positive spin on the shocking incident, by believing it will help bring his side closer together.
“We’ve lost Alex Dunbar just before we got on the plane, but I think it has tightened the team up, and that’s important for the clannish nature of the game, and this group of individuals,” Cotter said.
Before he knew how bad the injury was, Cotter said: “It will be a fine cut for him to make the World Cup. But the doctors are pretty good at getting these type of injuries back.”
The injury to the 14-cap center meant Cotter made five changes to a side which has lost all three of its championship matches, the last 22-19 at home to Italy.
Flyhalf Finn Russell was back after serving a one-match ban for tripping Dan Biggar in the Wales defeat.
Jim Hamilton was in at lock for the benched Tim Swinson, and No. 8 David Denton was recovered from a calf strain to take over from Johnnie Beattie. Matt Scott fills in for Dunbar, and Dougie Fife for injured winger Sean Lamont.
Scotland has not beaten England at Twickenham for 32 years.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Dougie Fife, Mark Bennett, Matt Scott, Tommy Seymour, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw (captain); David Denton, Blair Cowan, Robert Harley, Jonny Gray, Jim Hamilton, Euan Murray, Ross Ford, Alasdair Dickinson. Reserves: Fraser Brown, Ryan Grant, Geoff Cross, Tim Swinson, Johnnie Beattie, Adam Ashe, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Greig Tonks.