Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw is nearing a return from an ankle injury and is hoping to be fit and firing ahead of a return to international rugby this summer.

The 31-year-old Gloucester scrum-half was sidelined for the majority of the Six Nations after damaging an ankle ligament in the defeat by France.

Laidlaw hasn’t played since then, with flanker John Barclay taking on the captaincy in his absence.

Laidlaw was seen on the touchline in a protective boot and crutches. He was not the only one to suffer in Paris as a physical French outfit left Scotland battered and bruised.

The Scots went on to finish fourth, as they picked up three wins in a single Championship for the first time since 2006 in what was the last campaign in charge for head coach Vern Cotter.

The 31-year-old scrum-half’s return could come just in time for him to have a chance to impress ahead of the announcement of the British & Irish Lions’ squad for their tour of New Zealand.

Failing that, Laidlaw would lead his country in their summer fixtures, which take in matches against Italy, Australia and Fiji, but he believes the Scots could be well represented in the squad picked by Warren Gatland.

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