TWO members of Scotland’s Rugby World Cup squad, Henry Pyrgos and Fraser Brown, face extended spells on the sidelines after surgery on injuries. Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Pyrgos is likely to miss out on next year’s Six Nations Championship after undergoing surgery on a wrist injury, while his team-mate Brown, a hooker, could be out for up to eight weeks.

“Henry Pyrgos exacerbated a wrist injury while away with Scotland and has undergone surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital, whilst under the care of the Scotland medical team,” a statement from the Warriors said. “He is expected to be out of action for up to four months. “Fraser Brown has had an operation on a foot injury exacerbated while away with Scotland and is expected to remain on the sidelines for up to eight weeks.”

Scotland’s first game in the Six Nations is the Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield on 6 February and their last match is in Ireland on 19 March. If Pyrgos’s prognosis proves correct, he may just be ready to play at club level around that time. He emerged as back-up No 9 to captain Greig Laidlaw during the World Cup, but his absence leaves the door open for Edinburgh’s Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to reassert his claim for a place in the match-day squad.

Meanwhile, Laidlaw is one of six men to have been nominated for World Rugby’s Player of the Year award. Alun Wyn Jones of Wales is the only other representative from the Northern Hemisphere, while Rugby World Cup finalists Australia and New Zealand have two nominees each - back-row players Michael Hooper and David Pocock from the Wallabies, and stand-off Dan Carter and winger Julian Savea from the All Blacks.

Laidlaw led Scotland to the World Cup quarter-finals, where they lost by a single point to Australia two weeks ago. A week earlier he scored 26 of his team’s points, including the decisive late try, in their 36-33 win over Samoa.

Carter, who will play his 112th and last Test for New Zealand against the Wallabies today, has already won the award twice, in 2005 then again three years ago. If he or Savea wins the award, to be announced on Sunday night, it will be the fourth year running that it has gone to an All Black. Kieran Read was the winner in 2013, while Brodie Retallick succeeded him last year. New Zealand captain Richie McCaw has also won the award three times.

By contrast, no Australian has ever won since the award was established in 2001. But both Pocock and his team-mate Hooper have been outstanding in this tournament, with the former having been most widely tipped to win the award.

The selection panel includes Gavin Hastings, a predecessor of Laidlaw’s as Scotland skipper, along with former internationals Will Greenwood, Raphael Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Agustin Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace. Five journalists also sat on the panel, while all 20 teams who took part in the World Cup had a vote as well.