Although there may be a great deal of optimism surrounding Scottish rugby at the moment, Vern Cotter’s side have suffered a significant injury blow ahead of the tournament, after WP Nel was ruled out of the Championship with a neck injury.
The Edinburgh tight head missed Scotland’s autumn series with the same injury, and despite Nel’s reputation as an imposing scrummager, his chances of touring with the Lions next summer must now be in peril.
Nevertheless, according to the BBC, no decision has yet been made over whether or not Nel needs surgery. For Nel, news of his continued injury also comes at a time when the South African-born prop is reportedly being targeted by a number of Premiership and Top 14 clubs.
After making his debut against England in last season’s Championship, Zander Fagerson is Nel’s most likely replacement. Although the Glasgow Warriors tight head has impressed for Gregor Townsend’s team in both the Pro12 and Champions Cup, he remains untested at international level having only earned four caps thus far.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
In this week’s edition of The Oval Office Podcast, we speak to the Pro12 Communications Director Adam Redmond, who outlines how the league will evolve in the coming seasons.