Uncapped Bath back-row Josh Bayliss has been called up to join the Scotland squad as they prepare to play France in the third round of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations.
Bayliss qualifies for Scotland through his Aberdeen-born grandmother and has featured for Bath in every game of the 2020/21 season so far.
The 23-year-old is joined team mate Jamie Bhatti to leave the Blue, Black and White potentially short of options up front with Beno Obano, Will Stuart and Charlie Ewels already away with England, along with back Anthony Watson, while number eight Taulupe Faletau has gone back into Wales camp having been man of the match in the victory over Gloucester on Friday night.
Bayliss has been playing out of position at lock in recent weeks following a shortage of players in the second row which does not look to be improving, with England flanker Sam Underhill also still on the comeback from a hip injury.
Elliott Stooke will be eligible to play this weekend against Northampton Saints having served a three game ban for breaking national Covid rules, but with a drink driving charge also hanging over his head and court appearance this week it is unclear whether he will be thrown straight back in.
Josh McNally was ruled out late in the day this week after picking up a knock in training and Mike Williams looks set to receive a suspension after picking up a red card in the victory over the Cherry and Whites.
Both Bayliss and Bhatti will likely return to Bath late in the week but their absence will certainly complicate the preparations, with the only blessing being the Round 11 game being on a Sunday – meaning more preparation time.
Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend said: “We welcome Josh [Bayliss] into our squad as we look to build on our opening two games of the Championship.
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“We have been following his performances with Bath and a combination of his form and a couple of injuries in our squad, have given us the opportunity to involve him for the first time.
Centre Cameron Redpath remains with Bath as he rehabs a neck injury picked up in his international debut for Scotland against England.
Prop Zander Fagerson is not listed in the latest squad update. Scottish Rugby will appeal his disciplinary hearing ban of four matches, issued last week.
-- to www.somersetlive.co.uk