John Barclay misses Scots' match in Samoa to arrange wedding

Vernon and Barclay in training ahead of Scotland's game against Samoa
Vernon and Barclay in training ahead of Scotland's game against Samoa

Flanker John Barclay will miss the final game of Scotland's Australasia tour - to help arrange his wedding.

Barclay played in wins over Australia and Fiji but will not face Samoa.

The 25-year-old Glasgow Warriors forward had received permission to quit Andy Robinson's squad before they travelled from Scotland.

"He has got his wedding a week on Saturday and we have always said that we were prepared to release him after two games," Robinson said.

"There are two reasons for this. One is the difficulty of travel from Samoa and the other is the risk of injury.

"Obviously, we have got plenty of back-row cover."

Ansbro picks up a head injury during the 9-6 win over Australia
Ansbro picks up a head injury during the 9-6 win over Australia

Edinburgh's Stuart McInally had already been added to the squad, but Sale Sharks' Richie Vernon could be the man to replace Barclay in the starting line-up having come on as a replacement against Fiji.

Barclay is a specialist openside but has impressed Robinson with his abilities at number eight in the two Tests so far despite doubts over his fitness because of a hand injury picked up in training - and by illness.

A stomach infection had laid him low all through the week so that he could hardly eat ahead of Saturday's 37-25 win over Fiji in Lautoka.

However, he still managed to last almost an hour in the intense heat of his 39th appearance for Scotland before being replaced.

As Barclay heads off to marry his fiancee, Hayley, in Inverness, Warriors team-mate Rob Harley will also be pressing to be his replacement having been on the fringe of Scotland selection for the last two years.

The game against Fiji left the Scots with a number of bumps and bruises, but only tighthead prop Euan Murray, who came off with a twisted knee, is causing any serious concern that he might be in danger of missing the match against Samoa at Apia Park.

"Injury-wise, we have got shoulder bruising to Al Kellock, Max Evans and Ryan Grant," added Robinson.

"Euan Murray has twisted his knee and Al Strokosch has a calf irritation.

"All in all, we seem to have shaped up pretty well. We have got to wait and see on Euan, but we have got cover in his position.

"Geoff Cross did well when he came off the bench and there is more cover in Moray Low. We do expect Ryan to be fit."

Robinson also confirmed that Joe Ansbro will be available for selection having recovered from the head wound he sustained in the accidental clash with Strokosch at the end of the win over the Wallabies.

Meanwhile, Samoa warmed up for Scotland's visit by becoming the IRB Pacific Nations champions with an exciting 27-26 triumph over Japan in Tokyo on Sunday despite having trailed 16-0 at one stage.

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