Six Nations 2017: Six Scots passed fit ahead of Wales' visit

John Barclay in training with Scotland on Monday
John Barclay returned to training with Scotland on Monday
Six Nations: Scotland v Wales
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 25 February Kick-off: 14:25 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio Scotland, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary

Six Scotland players have been declared fit for Saturday's Six Nations meeting visit to Murrayfield by Wales following injury problems.

Flankers John Barclay and John Hardie, plus hooker Fraser Brown, suffered head knocks in the 22-16 defeat by France.

And loose forward Ryan Wilson is free from the illness that ruled him out of the trip to Paris.

Meanwhile, backs Sean Maitland and Mark Bennett have recovered from weekend knocks picked up with their clubs.

Saracens wing Maitland trudged off clutching his ribs midway through Gloucester's 31-23 win over Saracens on Friday night, while centre Bennett was left spinning with a possible concussion during Glasgow Warriors' 37-17 defeat by Ulster in Belfast the following day.

Defence coach Matt Taylor said: "They've all come into training today and are being looked at by the medical staff.

"Neither Mark nor Sean trained today, but we hope they will be right tomorrow."

David Denton made his return for Bath at the weekend after spending five months out with a hamstring tear.

Ryan Wilson is back training with Scotland after illness
Ryan Wilson missed the defeat by France through illness

The number eight will not be considered for the match against Wales but could make a return next month when the Scots round off their campaign against England and Italy.

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter is having to deal with the loss of captain Greig Laidlaw and back-rower Josh Strauss for the remainder of the tournament after injuries picked up in France.

Scrum-half Laidlaw's pin-point goal-kicking and cool-headed decision-making during the heat of battle have made the Gloucester scrum-half a key figure for the Scots in recent years.

However, Taylor insists there no shortage of contenders ready to take on the mantle of leadership.

"We haven't made a decision on the captaincy yet, but we have a number of leaders within the group," he said.

"Jonny Gray captains Glasgow and John Barclay captains the Scarlets, so we have a lot of guys who help Greig out.

"We will be looking for that again this weekend."

Laidlaw's number nine jersey is now up for grabs, with Glasgow pair Ali Price and Henry Pyrgos the two leading candidates.

Henry Pyrgos could replace the injured Greig Laidlaw at scrum-half

Price came off the bench at the Stade de France when Laidlaw limped off, but that was only his second Test appearance.

Pyrgos has 18 caps and experience captaining Warriors in domestic and European competition but is only just back to full fitness after a troublesome knee injury.

"We have a plan we want to execute, but Henry and Ali have different strengths," added Taylor.

"Ali is very exciting with ball in hand, while Henry is good with his organisation and kicking. Both will have big parts to play.

"Vern has sat down with the leaders and talked about their roles.

"Rugby is a game where people get injured and the next person has to step up. We are looking to them to come to the fore.

"Both nines have been in the squad since the start, so they know the systems and they know the rest of the guys well.

"Both will be important whether they start or finish."

BBC

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