Richie Gray ruled out of Scotland’s summer tour due to injury

Scotland lock Richie Gray has been ruled out of next month’s tour of Canada, the United States and Argentina due to a hip injury.

The former British and Irish Lion will remain in France to work on his recovery with club side Toulouse’s medical staff.

The Scottish Rugby Union have confirmed no replacement will be called up for their three-Test tour, which begins against Canada in Edmonton on June 9.

Head coach Gregor Townsend already has the Edinburgh trio of Lewis Carmichael Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis as well as Glasgow’s Tim Swinson for second-row options.

After facing Canada, Scotland travel south to Houston to take on the United States on June 16, and conclude their summer series against Argentina in Resistencia on June 23.

Meanwhile, Stuart McInally is delighted the gamble he took in switching from flanker to hooker five years ago has finally paid off after being named Scotland skipper.

The Edinburgh forward will lead his country next month in the absence of regular captain John Barclay.

Yet the 27-year-old knows that was an unlikely prospect back in 2013 with his career floundering in the back-row.

The decision to move to hooker was not without risk and McInally admits the journey has since has been filled with up and downs.

But a year on from not even making the squad which toured Asia-Pacific, he has now been handed the top honour by coach Gregor Townsend, leaving McInally to revel in the sweet taste of vindication.

“It’s definitely the pinnacle of my career,” he said. “I didn’t think it would ever happen but the way this season has gone, and the players who are not going on tour, created an opportunity for me to do it. I’m really excited about the challenge.

“It’s just been a whirlwind year in terms of not playing at all for Scotland last year to playing as much as I have this year. It’s been great, a big honour.

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“It feels so long ago that I was a back-rower. Of course I had doubts about moving. I’d be lying if I said I was confident the whole time. There were definitely periods where I wondered if I’d made the right decision.

“But I feel that I’m firmly a hooker now, which is great, especially as for the first few years it wasn’t that. I was very much a convert and everyone gave me that tag.

“Now I just feel I’m a hooker and that just makes the tough times learning how to scrum worth it. I remember getting my face planted down in the mud back at Edinburgh and getting dragged backwards. I was thinking, ‘What the hell have I done here?’

“But the way this year has gone and looking ahead to the tour has made it all worthwhile.”