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Return of Scotland’s forgotten lock Alex Craig



Return of Scotland’s forgotten lock Alex Craig

You will remember Scotland’s breathtaking victory in Paris in 2021, the late drama, the wonderful team try finished off by Duhan van der Merve that shocked and sickened the French.

But can you remember Scotland’s replacement lock that night, the big guy who played the closing minutes of one of Scotland’s most memorable victories this century?

You’d be forgiven if you can’t, because he hasn’t played a minute of Test rugby since.

It’s Alex Craig, of course. Now of the Scarlets. He has two caps to his name, both off the bench and both wins, but come Friday in Washington he’s going to have three because he starts against the USA.

“Alex picked up a little niggle so wasn’t considered last week against Canada,” said head coach Gregor Townsend. “He’s fully fit now. He’s somebody who has had to wait a little while for his opportunity.

“When we beat France in Paris in 2021 he played and was excellent that season, then he had a couple of injuries and moved to Scarlets. He’s been very consistent, has got better and better and won their player of the season last season, a huge achievement for somebody who is not a local player.

“What he bring is aggression and work rate and he goes forwards, he loves the contact side of the game. He’s a really good complement with Scott (Cummings) and how they control the lineout.”

Craig is 27, hard-bitten but still young enough and good enough – the Scarlets rave about his ball-carrying – to add to that caps total if the USA game goes his way.

With Richie Gray and Grant Gilchrist at 34 and 33 years old, Scotland need all the quality locks they can lay their hands on.

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