Rugby World Cup 2015: Edinburgh duo added to Scotland squad
Vern Cotter drafts Ben Toolis and Dougie Fife as Tim Swinson and Duncan Taylor are expected to be out for up to three months
Scotland have called up Edinburgh Rugby duo Ben Toolis and Dougie Fife to their extended training squad for the Rugby World Cup.
The Edinburgh Rugby duo have been drafted in by Dark Blues head coach Vern Cotter as injury replacements for Glasgow Warriors lock and Saracens centre Duncan Taylor, who require surgery on ankle and shoulder problems respectively.
Australia-born lock Toolis, 23, won his only Scotland cap as a second-half replacement in the defeat to Italy at BT Murrayfield during the RBS 6 Nations, finishing the game in the sin bin as the Azzurri stole a late win.
An impressive breakout season for Edinburgh saw him start 20 of 22 matches in the Guinness PRO12 and European Challenge Cup, proving to be a dominant figure in the lineout, with his first try coming in the European Challenge Cup semi-final win over Newport Gwent Dragons.
Winger Fife, 24, won three of his six senior Scotland caps during this year’s Six Nations, scoring his maiden try in their 15-8 defeat to France in the opening game at the Stade de France.
He also made 24 appearances for the Gunners in the PRO12 and Challenge Cup, scoring seven tries, four of which came in their superb run to a first European final.
A statement released by the Scottish Rugby Union confirmed that Swinson and Taylor are expected to be out for up to three months, which would rule them out of Scotland’s four warm-up matches in August and the beginning of September.
With Cotter having to name his final 31-man squad by 31 August, the rehabilitation time could see both players fail to make the cut.
While Scotland have several options at lock, the potential loss of another centre is a blow with Glasgow Warriors centres Mark Bennett and Alex Dunbar also facing a race against time to prove their fitness for the tournament.
Bennett had surgery on an injured shoulder at the end of April while team-mate Dunbar was cruelly struck down in training with a ruptured ACL ahead of Scotland’s match against England in March.
Scotland begin their Rugby World Cup campaign in Pool B against Japan at Gloucester’s Kingsholm Stadium on Wednesday 23 September.