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Jonny Gray: Richie will return from latest injury

The 29-year-old Toulouse forward will miss the autumn Tests for the Scots after suffering a back injury.

Jonny Gray has no doubt big brother Richie will be seen again in a Scotland jersey despite the giant lock suffering yet another injury set-back.

The 29-year-old Toulouse forward has suffered fresh frustration after it was confirmed last week he will sit out the November Test series with a back injury.

His lay-off is expected to last up to four months, putting him at risk of also missing the Six Nations.

Having registered just 27 minutes of Test rugby in the past 18 months, this new lay-off has prompted some to wonder if Gray the elder – capped 62 times by Scotland – will ever be fit enough to fight his way back into Gregor Townsend’s plans.

Richie Gray's only appearance for Scotland this year came as a second-half substitute against Italy back in March
Richie Gray’s only appearance for Scotland this year came as a second-half substitute against Italy back in March (Adam Davy/PA)

No-one knows Gray like his younger brother, however, and Jonny insists the passion to pull on a dark blue jersey once more will fire up his sibling for the recovery work that lies ahead.

The Glasgow second-rower, speaking after joining up Scotland’s St Andrews training camp ahead of their November 3 autumn opener away to Wales, said: “It’s horrible. I’m gutted for Richie, absolutely gutted for him. I miss him, it’s been a while since I’ve seen him. It’s a shame.

“He came back and I thought he was playing well but has now got this injury. I just wish him all the luck with his recovery.
 
“Rich is one of the most determined guys I know. Growing up with him, and I’ve said this before, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be playing professional rugby. That’s the influence he has.

“It’s a tough one for him to take but I’m sure he’ll come back from it. It’s been a bit frustrating but hopefully this will be the last of a bad run.
 
“He’ll do his recovery and everything else he has to go through. When you speak to Rich you don’t see it but he is one very determined guy.”

Townsend has named a 40-man squad for next month’s fixtures but he will only be able to call upon his Glasgow and Edinburgh players for the clash in Cardiff, which falls outside of the world rugby window for international games.

But having seen both Scottish sides win at the weekend in their Heineken Champions Cup meetings with Cardiff and Toulon respectively, Gray reckons there is enough talent based north of the border to make amends for there 34-7 Six Nations humbling on their last visit to the Principality Stadium back in February.

“It’s good for both teams to come off good wins,” he said. “It was an unbelievable result for Edinburgh.

“When you look at the form they’ve (Edinburgh) been in, they’ve been playing really well.
 
“We knew going into the game against Cardiff, who got a good away win against Lyon, it was a big pressure game. We knew we had to perform so we’re happy with that. It’s good to come into camp with those wins.

“The last time we played Wales they beat us and deserved to beat us. They played really well. There were a few things we were disappointed with and we know it’s not going to change, we’ll be going up against a good team in Cardiff next week.
 
“It’s something you don’t forget. It wasn’t good. But we’ve improved a lot since then.”


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