Scotland will likely be the most grateful side ahead of the two-week hiatus until round three of the Six Nations as the list of injury concerns comes in following their narrow defeat to France on Sunday.
Despite an impressive display across the park, including periods of domination, France emerged victorious thanks to the boot of Camille Lopez in a evenly matched 22-16 contest.
Coming into the game off the back of a resounding display against Ireland, Vern Cotter’s side showed the same ambition against France and were first to cross the try line thanks to another lightning strike from Stuart Hogg.
As France responded with their own try, via Gael Fickou, the high tempo and hard hitting contest began to take a severe toll on the visitors.
Greig Laidlaw, Scotland’s architect for success against Ireland, limped off after 25 minutes. Following the game he was seen leaving on crutches with his right ankle heavily strapped.
It has been reported now by BBC Sport that he has returned to the Glasgow Warriors for assessment and could be a doubt for the visit of Wales on February 25th.
Adding to Cotter’s woes are the potential concussion injuries to John Hardie, Fraser Brown, John Barclay and Alex Dunbar. All three left the field early against France looking worse for wear, particularly Hardie. While Dunbar did return to the action, return to play protocols now face Barclay, Brown and Hardie.
With a rest week to come in the Six Nations Championship, time is on the side of the three Scots and fans will be hoping that they can all return in time for the crucial Wales contest.
In perhaps their best form of the last decade, to lose these three pivotal players would be a cruel blow for a side that is looking to finally return to the top table of European rugby.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
This week’s edition of The Oval Office, we speak with Niall Ronan, David Arnott and talk all things Six Nations.