Hamish Watson will miss the rest of the season and Scotland’s summer tour to the Americas after deciding to have surgery on a shoulder problem.
The Edinburgh openside, whose last match was the Six Nations victory over Italy, took the decision after consulting Gregor Townsend and Richard Cockerill.
“Hamish Watson is going to have surgery on his shoulder on Thursday, because he’s got a problem with his a/c,” Edinburgh head coach Cockerill revealed.
“[It’s] something that we probably could have managed through, but he’s been struggling with this for a little while, so we’ve chosen to get it done now because he’ll then be fully fit for pre-season and he can have a summer off and he can recuperate. It’s going to be a big season.
“He’s a relatively small man in the modern game who plays big, and it’s a World Cup year, so in consultation with Gregor I think the right thing to do for the player is to get that done now, rather than him play at 80, 90 per cent.
“He’ll have a full pre-season for the first time in a long time. If you look at guys like [Stuart] McInally and [Grant] Gilchrist, this summer not going on tour and having a good rest and a good pre-season has actually been very good for them.
“Hamish has had a high workload, he plays in a very combative position and he’s a very combative player who’s not a massive man, so I think it’s just sensible that we look after him, he has his clean-up on his shoulder and has a good break. He’ll start with us in pre-season and be available for the start of the season and he’ll be fresh and ready to go.”