SCOTLAND captain Rachel Malcolm has revealed that the national squad were surprised rather than scared when they learned that one of their team-mates had tested positive for Covid-19.

The unidentified player soon recovered, but the positive test forced the postponement of the team’s Six Nations match against France at Scotstoun.

Scotland had already had their game against Italy postponed as a result of the lockdown in Lombardy, and then their game with Wales was called off as conditions in Britain worsened too. That left the team having played only two games in this season’s Championship, but Malcolm remains hopeful that there will be time to play the remaining matches and to fit in the Rugby World Cup qualifying fixtures as well.

“It was probably surprise more than anything, because at that point it was not as widespread as it is now,” she said of the positive diagnosis, which was revealed the day before the team were due to play the French at Scotstoun.

“We were supported by Dr Andrew Murray, who is one of the most well renowned doctors in sport, so we knew we were being supported as well as we could be. We were surprised and looking out for the welfare of our player, but she was well throughout: that was the main thing.”

The global rugby calendar is crowded at the best of times, but Scotland face a real challenge to fulfil their fixture list by the end of the year. Malcolm admitted that the squad can do little but wait to find out what the plans are.

“We’re just waiting, like everyone else, to hear from World Rugby. Scottish Rugby have assured us they’ll make sure, for our welfare as much as anything else, that we’ll have ample time for the preparation we require. I think the aim is to play all of the matches. We just don’t know.”