SCOTLAND lock Sam Skinner is targeting a return from injury in time to be included in the Six Nations Championship squad, and could well make his comeback against Glasgow in the Champions Cup just after the turn of the year.

The 24-year-old Exeter Chiefs forward looked certain to be named in Gregor Townsend’s squad for the World Cup, but tore a hamstring in the warm-up match against France at BT Murrayfield in August and has been out of action since.

Now, though, he is well down the road to recovery, and is confident he will be available to play for his club in January – with, he hopes, a Scotland recall to follow quickly.

“I tore my hamstring in the France game and am two months post-operation now,” Skinner said at the Champions Cup launch in Cardiff yesterday. “I felt a couple of rips down my hamstring and I knew that was it.

“I was in the jackal position and was cleared out perfectly straight and square. My flexibility didn’t allow for my hamstring to keep going.

“I’m looking to be back around New Year time. I’ve been in the gym and have now done my first running session, which went really well.

"I have to be careful as the problem with hamstrings is that they can feel great then go again.

“I’m not a sports-car, fast-type winger and don’t have to hit that top-end speed. I have to get back stronger and better than I was before.”

Exeter’s last two Champions Cup pool games are against the Warriors at Scotstoun on January 11 and then at home to La Rochelle a week later.

Competition is fierce in a squad that has finished the regular season top of the Premiership for the last two years, but Skinner aims to be available for selection by then with, he hopes, an international recall to follow.

“Yeah, that is the plan,” he added. “I am sure the [Chiefs] squad will be going well by then.

"I will have to work hard to get some game time. The Six Nations is a definite possibility, but I will have to get back playing for Exeter first.

“My ambition in the long run is to play in a World Cup, and that will be a massive driving force for me over the next four years. The only way I can do that is playing well for Exeter, and when I get the chance to play for Scotland, make the most of it.”