Richie Gray travelling to join Scotland in Japan

Richie Gray travelling to join Scotland in Japan

  • Richie Gray is due to join up with the Scotland squad in Japan on Monday
  • The second row is a late arrival after being released to turn out in Castres’ Top14 play-off defeat to Montpellier
  • He could now feature in their opening Test against the Brave Blossoms on Saturday
Scotland’s hopes of maintaining their perfect record against Japan has received a significant boost with the news that Richie Gray will join his colleagues on Monday. 

The giant Castres second row could now enters into consideration for the opening Test on Saturday. Gray is expected to take part in Tuesday’s training session before the team is announced on Thursday.

“He is looking forward to it,” said Matt Taylor, the Scotland assistant coach as the team prepared for their first training session since arriving in Tokyo.

“We have not named the team – we will wait to see what mental and physical shape he is in. He has been very good for us lately so depending on how he turns up will determine whether he comes into consideration.

“Today’s training is not a full-on session in terms of a lot of the contact, more about organisation. We have a hard session on Tuesday, when the bulk of the work will be done, and we hope he (Gray) will be involved in that.”

Taylor added: “There are a few similarities to how Japan played in the World Cup in some of their shapes and that they are trying to keep the ball in hand. They are kicking a wee bit more than they have in the past, so whether they keep that up we are not sure.

“Japan are only one ranking place below us, a very good side. We want to play well and put a marker down.

“We will be looking to go out there and win the game and put in a performance. I imagine both teams will be better for running together the second time around, we will be looking to play well and win.”