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Strachan welcomes Scott Brown back into Scotland squad

Scott Brown in action for Celtic. Credit: PA

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has welcomed Scott Brown's decision to come out of international retirement after naming the Celtic skipper in his squad to face England in this month's crunch World Cup qualifier.

Brown announced this week that he would again be available for Scotland, less than three months after declaring his international career was over.

Strachan said he had no hesitation in bringing the in-form 31-year-old back into his squad as Scotland look to get their Russia 2018 qualification bid back on track at Wembley.

"Scott (Brown) retired in August when he was in a different place to where he is now," Strachan said.

"At that time it was beneficial for him and Celtic that he retired from international football.

"We respected that but Scott is in a different place now and feels he can help us in our quest to get to a major finals."

Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifier against England on November 11 (watch live on ITV):

Gordon (Celtic), Hamilton (Hearts), Marshall (Hull); Berra (Ipswich), Greer (Blackburn), Hanley (Newcastle), Kingsley (Swansea), R Martin (Norwich), Paterson (Hearts), Wallace (Rangers); Anya (Derby), Bannan (Sheffield Wednesday), Brown (Celtic), Burke (Leipzig), D Fletcher (West Brom), Forrest (Celtic), McArthur (Crystal Palace), McGinn (Hibernian), Morrison (West Brom), Ritchie (Newcastle), Snodgrass (Hull); S Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday), Griffiths (Celtic), C Martin (Derby), Naismith (Norwich)

Jones hopeful Lawes will be fit to face South Africa

Eddie Jones is hopeful that Courtney Lawes will recover from his knee injury in time to start England's clash with South Africa on Saturday week.

Lawes was a late withdrawal from Northampton's matches against Montpellier and Gloucester due to bruising on the joint and had effectively been ruled out of the Old Mutual Wealth series opener at Twickenham by his director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

England face South Africa on Saturday week. Credit: PA

But Jones is "cautiously optimistic" the 27-year-old will be passed fit as England seek to extend their flawless record under the Australian to 10 Tests.

The injury crisis which has thinned Red Rose ranks has accounted for first choice second rows Maro Itoje and George Kruis, so Jones can ill-afford to lose another option in the position.

"Courtney's medical situation is ongoing. He probably won't train much this week, if at all. We're cautiously optimistic he'll be all right for the South Africa game," Jones said.

Lawes' Northampton team-mate Dylan Hartley faces a challenging week during the five-day training camp in Portugal as he seeks to improve his fitness before leading England against the Springboks.

Hartley has made one start and one replacement appearance since recovering from a back problem and needs to prove to Jones he can get up to speed.

"We'll see if Dylan is ready at the end of the week," Jones said at the squad's hotel in Vilamoura.

"We'll have a good week's training so we'll know where every player is in terms of how ready they are to play international rugby."

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