Cotter pulls flanker and calls up Cowan
BLAIR COWAN has been called up to the Scotland squad as a replacement for Grant Gilchrist, who was ruled out of the Rugby World Cup with a groin injury.
The openside flanker met up with his team-mates at their Newcastle base yesterday morning, having been told the night before by head coach Vern Cotter that he was being called up.
“It was a bit of a shock,” said Cowan, who had been training with his club, London Irish, for their game on Friday against Harlequins. “I had to tie up a few things with the club – I was supposed to play this Friday.”
The withdrawal of Gilchrist, announced on Monday, leaves three locks – Richie and Jonny Gray and Tim Swinson – competing for the two places against South Africa.
The selection of John Hardie as the only specialist openside was the most controversial element of the original squad, and that risk was made clear at the weekend, when Hardie was ruled out of the USA match after failing a head-injury test administered after he took a knock against Japan.
Hardie has yet to pass that test and is still a doubt for the South Africa game.