To paraphrase Senator Joe Biden in his quotation from the Bible at the weekend, there is indeed a time to heal, and that applies to rugby, too. Unfortunately for Scotland two of our best players are presently doing heal time.

There were more than a few groans of disbelief and anguish when it emerged after the match against Wales that both Finn Russell and Adam Hastings were out of the Autumn Nations Cup, and for Hastings the absence could even see him out of next season’s Six Nations though the likelihood of the postponement of that tournament will help the Glasgow stand-off.

Yet if we keep following the Biden analogy, and remember that the new President-elect has come back from utter depths of despair to reach new heights, perhaps now is the time for the Resurrection Man in dark blue.

Head coach Gregor Townsend’s long held belief in strength in depth in his squads now pays dividends, because this weekend against Italy in Florence he must turn to the man who is supposedly third choice at No. 10 in the squad, Duncan Weir. What a comeback for a man who, if as expected, is named in the first XV today to start a Scotland match for the first time in five years.

Those who have not seen Weir play for some time will be amazed to see the photographs of him with his natty new barnet, festooned with curls as you occasionally see on men undergoing a mid-life crisis. That term doesn’t apply to Weir as he is only 29 though he seems to have been around forever, and he is growing his hair for charity with the barber to shorn him at Hogmanay.

If he remains uninjured and stays fit, the Worcester Warrior could conceivably play on for another three or four years yet before going into coaching – he has already studied the subject academically - and I am sure he would be an ideal addition to any club's background staff. But first it’s this strange tournament and the chance to prove a point or two.

Weir does not have the speed across the ground, or speed of thought, of Finn Russell, but his all round game is, in my opinion, equal to, if not better than, that of Adam Hastings, though Hastings will continue to improve once he gets over his shoulder injury.

Weir also has more experience than Hastings – 28 caps to 20 - and I think that will count for Scotland in this tournament. His kicking from hand and tee is a tried and tested facility of his game and comes from his background in football – he was good enough at schoolboy level to sign for Celtic, though he is a lifelong Rangers fan.

I’ll never forget his 80th minute drop goal to beat Italy in Rome in 2014, and I thought he would be cemented into the first XV for many years to come, but injury and the arrival of Russell and Hastings have seen him slip down the selection ladder.

Yet this could be a case of cometh the hour, cometh the man, because Weir is in the form of his life at Worcester and his goal-kicking expertise will be a big asset to Scotland as I expect Italy and Fiji in particular to concede a plethora of penalties.

Do not expect huge amounts of risk from Weir as he has learned to cool down in England, but be assured that he will be a safe pair of hands and will do a tremendous amount in defence, so it is of great benefit to Scotland that we have him to call on.

In reality we will only need to manufacture a replacement stand-off for the Italy game this weekend, most probably Stuart Hogg moving up from full-back if, heaven forfend, Weir has to go off. I would point out that the most versatile of Scotland’s backs, Blair Kinghorn, has experience at No. 10 and would be a useful substitute in that position. Since Jaco van der Walt will become Scotland-qualified for the France and Fiji matches, he will surely be drafted immediately into the match day squad.

The South African has hugely impressed me playing for Edinburgh, but Weir has a golden chance this weekend to ensure that he becomes first choice No. 10 for the duration of the tournament with van der Walt as back-up to keep him honest.

Defeat against Italy really is unthinkable. Against Georgia and Wales, Scotland showed they have enough power and nous up front to give the Italian pack a hard time, and I will be looking for the forwards to be the foundations of a good victory to boost Scottish confidence ahead of the home matches against France and Fiji.

Scotland really can win this tournament and I just have a sneaking feeling that Duncy Weir is going to rise to the occasion.