Six Nations boost for Scotland

by AFP

Scotland are welcoming back several experienced forwards from injury ahead of next week's Calcutta Cup clash with  reigning champions England at Murrayfield.

The Scots' campaign started with a 34-7 defeat by Wales but they were without several front-row forwards for the match in Cardiff before bouncing back to beat France 32-26 in Edinburgh.

However, props WP Nel and Zander Fagerson have returned to training, while hooker Fraser Brown is also nearing a comeback but won't be ready to face England.

Nel has been out of action since suffering a broken arm in the November opener against Samoa, while Fagerson suffered a foot problem at the start of January. 

But the pair were both seen training in an open session at Gala, Scotland coach Gregor Townsend's former club.

"He (Nel) is running around," Townsend said Friday. "He trained with us on Wednesday and we are just having a look.

WP Nel has been ruled out of Scotland's clash with the All Blacks. Photo: Getty Images"Zander trained with us today because Glasgow have a game so we will see how they get on this week and potentially next week we will be able to make a call on whether they are available, or it could be after the England game."

As for Brown, former Scotland playmaker Townsend added: "We hope he will resume full training next week, but that's likely to be with his club but he should be back available pretty soon.

"It is a huge boost to have those experienced players in similar positions is a boost.

"The other is Richie Gray and we will know more this weekend whether he will be back full training too."

The lock has suffered several back and calf injuries and there were fears he could miss the whole Six Nations, but Townsend is optimistic he could return for Scotland's final two matches, against Ireland and Italy.

Gray remains in France with his club in Toulouse and Townsend said: "He's not with us, (but) he should know over the weekend whether he can resume full training."

Scotland hosts England on Saturday February 24 4:45pm local, Sunday 3:45am AEDT.