Scotland: Greig Laidlaw to miss autumn Tests after ankle fracture

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw will miss the autumn Tests because of a fractured ankle, his club side Clermont Auvergne have announced.

The former Edinburgh and Gloucester scrum-half was injured in his side’s weekend Champions Cup

Laidlaw will be unavailable for Scotland’s home matches against Samoa, New Zealand and Australia next month.

Stand-in skipper John Barclay could also miss out as he continues to battle against an ongoing concussion issue.

Laidlaw is expected to be out for 10-12 weeks but should return in time for Scotland’s Six Nations opener against Wales in Cardiff in February.

John Barclay had been deputising for Laidlaw as captain but he is also injured

The captain has not played since tearing ankle ligaments.

Paris on Six Nations duty, although Clermont have yet to confirm if his current problem is with the same ankle.

Either of Glasgow Warriors’ scrum-half pair of Ali Price and Henry Pyrgos could deputise in the number nine jersey next month.

Scarlets back-row Barclay is still undergoing Head Injury Assessment (HIA) protocols.

His club boss Wayne Pivac has expressed a fear that Wales prop Rob Evans could be out for a period that would include their 2017 autumn Tests.

“At the moment, both the boys are failing those protocols so they can’t go on to the next step if you like, to get closer to playing,” he said.

Celtic endured a European night to forget as they were swept aside by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Thomas Muller blasted in the opener from close range after Craig Gordon saved a header from Robert Lewandowski, who was afforded far too much space.

Joshua Kimmich’s perfectly placed header from Kingsley Coman’s delivery made it 2-0.

Mats Hummels nodded in the third after the break for a Bayern side that passed up a number of excellent chances.

Celtic are third in Group B after three games, three points clear of bottom side Anderlecht, who lost 4-0 at home to Paris St-Germain.

Celtic were a defensive shambles for much of the night and the mess at the back started as early as the first minute when a Kimmich corner came worryingly close to being turned in by Muller. That was a warning – and there were others.

The Germans had a goal disallowed moments later, then they had a clear penalty waved away by referee Sergei Karasev. That was a huge break for the visitors given that Mikael Lustig quite obviously pulled Lewandowski’s shirt as the Pole sped away from him.

Lustig was playing centre-half in place of the injured Jozo Simunovic, with his own place at right-back filled by Cristian Gamboa.

The patchwork nature of the defence raised, again, the old issue of why Brendan Rodgers did not sign an established centre-half in the summer. That decision came back to hurt him at the Allianz Arena.

Gamboa had a wretched time trying to handle Coman. In the opening half, every time the French winger got one-on-one with the Celtic man he skinned him and caused mayhem.

It was no surprise when the opener came and no surprise either that defensive calamity was at the heart of it.

The wonderful Kimmich dinked a ball into Celtic’s penalty area, over the unaware Lustig and on to Lewandowski’s head. Gamboa stood idly by as the striker headed on goal, Gordon making a fine save low to his right. Muller was first to the loose ball, driving it high into Celtic’s net.

The second came just before the half-hour, Coman going by Gamboa and crossing for Kimmich, all alone, to brilliantly guide his header into the top right hand corner of Gordon’s net. The Celtic goalkeeper had to beat away a Lewandowski shot a minute later.

Celtic were panic-ridden. Their use of the little amount of ball they got was abject, player after player being spooked into giving it away cheaply.

 

  

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