Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Gregor Townsend hopeful Hamish Watson will only miss first Argentina Test

Hamish Watson is recovering from a knock (David Davies/PA)
Hamish Watson is recovering from a knock (David Davies/PA)

Gregor Townsend is confident that key man Hamish Watson will only miss one of the three summer Tests against Argentina after the Edinburgh flanker was left out of this Saturday’s clash in San Salvador de Jujuy.

The 30-year-old, who was part of the British & Irish Lions squad last summer, picked up an injury last week and will not be risked in this weekend’s meeting with the Pumas.

However, he is expected to be available for the second Test the following weekend.

“We believe it’s the strongest squad we have available for what will be a very challenging test away from home,” said Townsend, reflecting on the team he has selected for the first Test at Stadio 23 De Agosto.

“We’ve got everyone available now apart from Hamish Watson who picked up a knock around his chest/shoulder area at the end of last week.

“The fears at first were that he might have to leave the tour but he has progressed well. He will integrate in training certainly by the start of next week but maybe tomorrow as well with a view to being available for us next week.”

Luke Crosbie, who captained Scotland A in their victory over Chile last weekend, will make his first start for the full Scotland side on Saturday, while his Edinburgh team-mate Mark Bennett will start his first match for the national team since 2016.

Northampton’s Rory Hutchison will play at full-back as he makes his first international appearance since 2020 in a team captained by Grant Gilchrist.

Townsend believes his team will face a formidable challenge against an Argentina side containing Edinburgh’s player of the year Emiliano Boffelli.

“We believe Argentina are one of the strongest teams out there, the equivalent of playing a Six Nations team,” said Townsend. “You’re playing away from home against some of the best individuals in club rugby in Europe.

“There are some quality players playing at Edinburgh every couple of weeks, winning championships for Leicester or winning Super Rugby titles for the Crusaders. Argentina have always had some brilliant players and they seem to have a great crop just now.”

After Scotland A defeated Chile last weekend, Townsend trimmed his squad by five when he sent home Ben Muncaster, Matt Currie, Johnny Matthews, Jamie Hodgson and Damien Hoyland, who scored a hat-trick of tries in Santiago.

“Damien was unlucky,” said Townsend. “I think all of them were unlucky because they’ve left a really good impression in terms of how they played and how they trained. It was a tough decision.

“They wanted to stay on tour. It would be selfish of us if we kept them a few more weeks because they’ve got pre-seasons with their clubs and the club season will come round very quickly. They’ve left a good impression, Damien especially with the three tries.

“They way he worked in that game shows he can play Test level. We hope this experience will drive them through pre-season and into the start of the season with their clubs so they can play Test level again come October/November.”