Scotland’s Autumn Nations Cup hopes have suffered a major blow after Gregor Townsend confirmed stand-offs Finn Russell and Adam Hastings have both been ruled out with injury. In a further setback, Hastings is unlikely to feature at all during next year’s Six Nations campaign.
Russell suffered a groin injury as he made his first start for the Scots in more than a year during Saturday’s win over Wales in Llanelli. The 28-year-old was replaced by Hastings, but the Glasgow playmaker did not finish the 14-10 victory in the final game of this year’s delayed Six Nations either after suffering a dislocated shoulder.
“Finn we hope will be back in time for the Six Nations, but it’s unlikely Adam will be back before the end of that tournament,” Townsend told BBC Scotland. “At the very best he’ll come back at the end, but that will depend on how things go.”
The Scots kick off their Autumn Nations Cup campaign away to Italy a week on Saturday before also taking on France and Fiji in the one-off eight-team tournament.
The captain Stuart Hogg ended last weekend’s victory – the Scots’ first in the principality since 2002 – at 10 but the Exeter full-back has already admitted he would prefer to stay in the back three, meaning Worcester’s Duncan Weir could be handed a recall after his last start came against Ireland in March 2016.
Scotland are scheduled to open their Six Nations campaign away to England on 6 February.