Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June

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Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Empty Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June

Post by Nematode on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 1:20 pm



SCOTLAND'S SUMMER TESTS

Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Japan10 Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Scot_f10    
JAPAN SCOTLAND 
Sat 18 June 2016 
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Toyota City, Aichi
Coverage: Live on BBC
KO: 7.20pm local/11.20am GMT

Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Touch judges: [tbc]
Television match official: [tbc]

A. Head to Head

5 Played 5
0 Won 5
0 Drawn 0
5 Lost 0
55 Points 266 

B. Recent Form

23 September 2015
Scotland 45-10 Japan
Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester

09 Nov 2013
Scotland 42 - 17 Japan
Murrayfield, Edinburgh

13 Nov 2004
Scotland 100 - 8 Japan
McDiarmid Park, Perth

12 Oct 2003
Scotland 32 - 11 Japan
Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville

05 Oct 1991
Scotland 47 - 9 Japan
Murrayfield, Edinburgh

C. Teams

JAPAN 
[*]

SCOTLAND 
[*]

Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Nagoya_Grampus_game_in_Toyota_Stadium_100814

Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Japan10 Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Scot_f10    
JAPAN SCOTLAND 
Sat 25 June 2016 
Venue: Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo
Coverage: Live on BBC
KO: 7.20pm local/11.20am GMT

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Touch judges: [tbc]
Television match official: [tbc]

A. Head to Head

[5 Played 5
0 Won 5
0 Drawn 0
5 Lost 0
55 Points 266]

B. Recent Form 

18 June 2016
Japan * - * Scotland 
Toyota Stadium, Toyota

23 September 2015 
Scotland 45-10 Japan
Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester

09 Nov 2013
Scotland 42 - 17 Japan
Murrayfield, Edinburgh

13 Nov 2004
Scotland 100 - 8 Japan
McDiarmid Park, Perth

12 Oct 2003
Scotland 32 - 11 Japan
Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville

05 Oct 1991
Scotland 47 - 9 Japan
Murrayfield, Edinburgh

C. Teams

JAPAN 

[*]

SCOTLAND 

[*]

Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTJvWqd-_KlkpmlO7gzsFERjmfrSimzpGuZnD29bHbMWedvYivBxg

Scotland / Japan history:

2015: Scotland 45-10 Japan, Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester (RWC 2015)
2013: Scotland 42-17 Japan, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh
2010: Scotland XV 24-5 Japan Select, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh (uncapped match)
2004: Scotland 100-8 Japan, McDiarmid Park, Perth
2003: Japan 11-32 Scotland, Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville (RWC 2003)
1991: Scotland 47-9 Japan, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh (RWC 1991)
1989: Japan 28-24 Scotland XV, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo (uncapped match)
1986: Scotland XV 33-18 Japan, BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh (uncapped match)
1977: Japan 9-74 Scotland XV, Olympic Stadium, Tokyo (uncapped match)
1976: Scotland XV 34-9 Japan,  BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh (uncapped match)

Scotland Squad:
Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June ST16_squad_1200_dh-700x990


Last edited by Nematode on Tue 10 May 2016, 9:46 am; edited 2 times in total

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Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Empty Re: Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June

Post by PenfroPete on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 4:05 pm

Sat 18 Japan v Scotland, Aichi - 19:20 local, 11:20 BST

Sat 25 Japan v Scotland, Tokyo - 19:20 local, 11:20 BST
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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 4:35 pm

If Scotland send an experimental side over to Japan they will be beaten. It happened to Wales during the last Lions tour, the only difference is, Scotland do not have as much strength in depth. Underestimate Japan at your peril.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 4:59 pm

Experimental to me meant as squad with players who have had long seasons not seeing as much time as normal (Russell, Grayx2, Nel, Dickinson, Seymour, Laidlaw, Hogg). Need to develop another option at wing with Lamont on the way out. Have almost no depth after Visser and Maitland outside of asking Taylor to do a job.
There is plenty of quality there without calling up a stalwart from the u20's world cup (Fagerson, Cummings, Ritchie, Kinghorn). Even the worst on paper line up looks alright but they need experience before they enter the 6 nations.  

Something along the lines of
1) Sutherland/Reid
2) McInally/Brown/Malcolm
3) Welsh/Low
4) Gray (a form of Gray)/Swinson
5) Toolis
6) Harley/Cowan/Barclay
7) Watson/Fusaro
8) Denton/Ashe/Bradbury
9) Pyrgos/Price/Hart
10) Jackson/Heathcote
11) Brown/Hughes
12) Dunbar/Horne
13) Taylor/Bennett
14) Fife/Jones
15) Maitland


Last edited by Hazel Sapling on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Forgot about Cowan and Barclay did not play WC so should be alright for this at 6 or 7)

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:23 pm

LordDowlais wrote:If Scotland send an experimental side over to Japan they will be beaten. It happened to Wales during the last Lions tour, the only difference is, Scotland do not have as much strength in depth. Underestimate Japan at your peril.

I'd suggest we have exactly the same strength in depth as Wales. That is to say that neither of us have any strength in depth whatsoever.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:32 pm

I chose the "experiment" option but in truth I'd propose a combination of the two. It's always unfair to judge new players unless you give them the chance to come into some stability, and in terms of tactics I think it's more a case of continuing the progress already started. The gameplan in the 6 Nations was pretty much ok, it's more the executing of certain phases that really needs work: restarts, attackling lineouts and defending mauls being particular areas to focus on.

"New" players I'd like to take a look at on this tour are:

Stuart McInally and Fraser Brown at hooker
Rory Sutherland at loosehead
Ben Toolis at lock
Rob Harley at blindside
Henry Pyrgos at scrum half
Rhuriadh Jackson at fly half
Damian Hoyland on the wing
Sean Maitland at fullback

Not necessarily starting games but certainly off the bench.

Players I'd look to rest:

Ross Ford, John Hardie, Greg Laidlaw, Mark Bennett, Tommy Seymour Stuart Hogg and Sean Lamont (permanently). These guys have had massive seasons and a big World Cup. If there's ever the time for a summer off it's now.

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Post by Prothero on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:34 pm

If i was picking id be looking at players who arnt in the system at the moment, players like Steele at London Irish, Andy Crammond at Toulon, Heathcote,kennedy, Hoyland, Leonard, the boy Sisi at bath, couple of the London Scottish boys. we cant afford to be not giving players a chance. Especially as our Pro team pathway is a total bottleneck, casting off talent left and right.

Even if they travel with little chance of playing, Big vern can assess them and see if they have potential.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:36 pm

Something like this:

1.Dickinson 2.McInally 3.Nel 4.J Gray 5.R Gray 6.Harley 7.Barclay 8.Strauss 9.Pyrgos 10.Russell 11.Visser 12.Dunbar 13.Taylor 14.Hoyland 15.Maitland

16.Sutherland 17.Brown 18.Welsh 19.B Toolis 20.Denton 21.S H-C 22.Jackson 23.Horne

Might be tempted to rest Dickinson as well and allow Sutherland and Reid to share the duties on this tour, with potentially Dell as well.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:37 pm

Prothero wrote:If i was picking id be looking at players who arnt in the system at the moment, players like Steele at London Irish, Andy Crammond at Toulon, Heathcote,kennedy, Hoyland, Leonard, the boy Sisi at bath, couple of the London Scottish boys. we cant afford to be not giving players a chance. Especially as our Pro team pathway is a total bottleneck, casting off talent left and right.

Even if they travel with little chance of playing, Big vern can assess them and see if they have potential.

I don't think there's a case for any LS players, Leonard or Crammond (yet), but Steele is a good shout and I've heard good things about Heathcote this season.

I'd certainly take Hoyland.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:49 pm

I am with FES on this one. Some players will need a rest and I fancy the U20s should be given a real chance to show what they can do as it is the U20 side we probably have ever had.

Plenty of others who deserve a chance. Its a two test series, so we don't need a massive squad but we are not going to take people who don't deserve to be there either.

For me Laidlaw, Dickinson, Ford, Lamont all definitely sit this one out.

Hoggy will probably go, unless he gets called into the sevens. Nel may have to go because of lack of options at TH, if he does not, then Fargerson will have to drop out of the U20s.

Wild cards are Hoyland, Tom Brown and heading rapidly up that list, Lee Jones

Toolis, Brown F, McInally Sutherland will be getting their chances for sure.

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Post by TJ on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 9:31 pm

I think there are a few that need the rest - and some guys who are past their best - so for me a bit of a mix. Lets see Pyrgos, etc get some game time

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 8:27 am

Given Edinburgh' season ends in early May there's 6 weeks or so until the first test - enough time to have a couple of weeks break then head into the tour fresh.

Same can be said for all our exile players except maybe Taylor and Jackson.

Even if Glasgow make the final there will be 3 weeks until the first test!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:16 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Given Edinburgh' season ends in early May  there's 6 weeks or so until the first test - enough time to have a couple of weeks break then head into the tour fresh.

Same can be said for all our exile players except maybe Taylor and Jackson.

Even if Glasgow make the final there will be 3 weeks until the first test!

Yes, but you have assume that Glasgow will be making up the bulk of the Lions XV next summer, and with the World Cup just past it's only fair that they get a summer off.....

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:29 am

Glasgow players should be pretty fresh too come the summer tour, even if they do make the final. With the lack of European knockout games and Toony’s Tombola, the players generally won’t be too badly over-worked. The players look fresh and confident at the business end of the season – the opposite of the Edinburgh players.

Gray, Hogg and Russell have probably played the most but they will be well looked after. I’ve read that the Glasgow players are getting a week off this week and many are going on holiday – Finn Russell is off to Majorca apparently so need to keep and eye out for Miss Scotland holiday snaps at the beach!

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Post by MacKnocked-on on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:34 am

Shame that the 'tour' is only two games, reduces the opportunities for trying out new players, we should have had a couple more midweek matches in my opinion.
Not sure about Hoyland being ready, his defence is pretty bad so I think he would benefit from working on that at club level before getting back in the Scotland squad, as people have already said Jones has improved a lot recently so he might well deserve a place instead.
Nel could do with a rest, on current form he will be playing right through into the Lions next year so this summer off would be wise. Shame Edinburgh haven't given Berghan more game time as he could well have been worth a chance on tour.
I also wonder if we might see any new comers to the squad, I agree that the U20s squad should be left alone to concentrate on their tournament, perhaps one or two exiles might make be worth looking at, people have mentioned Steele but what about Ben Ransom, Ollie Atkins or Mitch Eadie?

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:38 am

MacKnocked-on wrote:Shame that the 'tour' is only two games, reduces the opportunities for trying out new players, we should have had a couple more midweek matches in my opinion.
Not sure about Hoyland being ready, his defence is pretty bad so I think he would benefit from working on that at club level before getting back in the Scotland squad, as people have already said Jones has improved a lot recently so he might well deserve a place instead.
Nel could do with a rest, on current form he will be playing right through into the Lions next year so this summer off would be wise. Shame Edinburgh haven't given Berghan more game time as he could well have been worth a chance on tour.
I also wonder if we might see any new comers to the squad, I agree that the U20s squad should be left alone to concentrate on their tournament, perhaps one or two exiles might make be worth looking at, people have mentioned Steele but what about Ben Ransom, Ollie Atkins or Mitch Eadie?

Peter Wright seemed confident that we were playing a 3rd test against the USA but that seems to have been a load of rubbish.

I agree on Hoyland - he's electric in attack but he missed so many tackles against Leinster. We seem to be forgetting about Tom Brown - he has consistently been very good for Edinburgh this season and is now a seasoned pro. Lee Jones has come into form lately but Brown has been doing it all season. I think he deserves a call up. I worry though that Tom Brown is in the Roddy Grant category - i.e. no matter what he does for Edinburgh he'll never be in favour with Scotland.

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Post by robbo277 on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:41 am

My personal thought in the NH is that the middle year (2017) should be the "development" year. You get a development tour when the Lions are on, and then I think Lions should get an extended break, a late return to their clubs and then miss the AIs as compensation, so you should have a development "home series" as well.

If Scotland go with a weakened team they could return with their tails in between their legs, and then the good work in the Six Nations will be undone. Evolve the team, make 3-5 changes, fine, but pick your strongest team and look to build momentum.

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Post by MacKnocked-on on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:44 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
MacKnocked-on wrote:Shame that the 'tour' is only two games, reduces the opportunities for trying out new players, we should have had a couple more midweek matches in my opinion.
Not sure about Hoyland being ready, his defence is pretty bad so I think he would benefit from working on that at club level before getting back in the Scotland squad, as people have already said Jones has improved a lot recently so he might well deserve a place instead.
Nel could do with a rest, on current form he will be playing right through into the Lions next year so this summer off would be wise. Shame Edinburgh haven't given Berghan more game time as he could well have been worth a chance on tour.
I also wonder if we might see any new comers to the squad, I agree that the U20s squad should be left alone to concentrate on their tournament, perhaps one or two exiles might make be worth looking at, people have mentioned Steele but what about Ben Ransom, Ollie Atkins or Mitch Eadie?

Peter Wright seemed confident that we were playing a 3rd test against the USA but that seems to have been a load of rubbish.

I agree on Hoyland - he's electric in attack but he missed so many tackles against Leinster.  We seem to be forgetting about Tom Brown - he has consistently been very good for Edinburgh this season and is now a seasoned pro.  Lee Jones has come into form lately but Brown has been doing it all season.  I think he deserves a call up. I worry though that Tom Brown is in the Roddy Grant category - i.e. no matter what he does for Edinburgh he'll never be in favour with Scotland.

Brown is a good shout, certainly playing well and with Fife and Hughes going backwards a bit in the reckoning then he must have a chance. Maitland will surely get back in Cotter's good books as well, he's been playing well recently for LI and looks fast and has even scored a try or two.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:47 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Given Edinburgh' season ends in early May  there's 6 weeks or so until the first test - enough time to have a couple of weeks break then head into the tour fresh.

Same can be said for all our exile players except maybe Taylor and Jackson.

Even if Glasgow make the final there will be 3 weeks until the first test!

That maybe true, but we need to build depth at this level and I would rather do it vs Japan in a summer series not many people watch than Italy where everyone is. Also last summer was a short summer for players who went to the World Cup camps and played heavily throughout the tournament (Nel, Dickinson, Ford, Gray, Russell, Seymour, Hogg, Bennett). In the NBA, it is no longer about games played. It is how many back to backs and how many minutes. They found even top players hit a cliff at 40k career minutes. Obviously rugby is different but I like the premise. I would rather take care of vital players now to get 2-3 more healthy years out of them later.

I think Nel and the 2 Grays have to go but I would like to see M Low and B Toolis get at least 120 minutes of rugby in Japan. We are desperate for at least 2 more wings who can cut it at this level so Jones/Hughes/Fife/Hoyland/Brown. Vern, please pick any 3 of them and get at least 200 minutes out of them. Visser can play a game and a half on 1 wing. Heck if he likes Tom Brown, apparently he is a FB so may be a decent number 23 to take.

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:58 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Given Edinburgh' season ends in early May  there's 6 weeks or so until the first test - enough time to have a couple of weeks break then head into the tour fresh.

Same can be said for all our exile players except maybe Taylor and Jackson.

Even if Glasgow make the final there will be 3 weeks until the first test!

That maybe true, but we need to build depth at this level and I would rather do it vs Japan in a summer series not many people watch than Italy where everyone is. Also last summer was a short summer for players who went to the World Cup camps and played heavily throughout the tournament (Nel, Dickinson, Ford, Gray, Russell, Seymour, Hogg, Bennett). In the NBA, it is no longer about games played. It is how many back to backs and how many minutes. They found even top players hit a cliff at 40k career minutes. Obviously rugby is different but I like the premise. I would rather take care of vital players now to get 2-3 more healthy years out of them later.

I think Nel and the 2 Grays have to go but I would like to see M Low and B Toolis get at least 120 minutes of rugby in Japan. We are desperate for at least 2 more wings who can cut it at this level so Jones/Hughes/Fife/Hoyland/Brown. Vern, please pick any 3 of them and get at least 200 minutes out of them. Visser can play a game and a half on 1 wing. Heck if he likes Tom Brown, apparently he is a FB so may be a decent number 23 to take.

The dilemma is world ranking points.  We don't have much to gain from this tour but we have plenty to lose.  We're teetering on the edge of the top 8 (which we need to be to get a favourable world cup draw) and that could be badly damaged if we lose to Japan.

The only players that I think shouldn't tour are Ford and Lamont, and maybe Laidlaw, but the first two are for playing reasons more than anything.

Nel will have 6 weeks at the end of the club season to have a break and prepare himself for the summer tour.  He'll then get 3 or 4 weeks off after the tour and eased into next season.  Also worth remembering that given Edinburgh are unlikely to get a top 4 place next season, he'll also have a reasonable break before the Lions tour should he be picked.

I see what you're saying about total mileage, but compared to the English/Irish/Welsh players I don't think he'll be at a disadvantage in terms of the amount of rugby he'll do between now and next summer - in fact I think he'll be treated better generally.

Those nations have brutal 3 test series' this summer against the best teams in the world!

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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:36 am

It's a tough one this tour.  As has been said we need to not lose, so that we don't drop down in the rankings.  Sadly a win won't help us much, but it will at least keep us static.

I'd like to see some players given a chance to show they are able to play at this level, some new(ish) players like B.Toolis, Watson, Brown & McInally, should all travel from Edinburgh, an argument could be made for Hoyland.  From Glasgow, Brown, Jones and Pyrgos.  Problem with Glasgow is that most of their players are already capped or established internationals so not as many newer players to pick from.

I'd leave as many of the u20s alone as possible

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Post by EST on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:29 am

It is difficult to strike a balance, with regards to who to take and who to leave. Numerous factors come into play with regards to who has had the heaviest workload, which positions we need to develop, who might be playing through to the Lions series.

Personally, I would like to see us focus on those positions that we desperately need further cover and try and find out if some of the players in the 2/3/4th spots have the potential to play at a higher level, within a structure of senior players. Something along the likes of the following would be my starting 23:

Sutherland
McInally
Welsh
J. Gray (C)
B. Toolis
Harley
Watson
Strauss
Pyrgos
Russell
Seymour
Dunbar
Taylor
Brown
Maitland

Dell
Brown
Low
R. Gray
Ashe
Jackson
Bennett

When I was writing that I came to realise how badly we need some more wingers coming through.



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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:57 am

Other thing we need to factor in is the Olympics with 7s being included. Rumour has it that Hogg has been told he is likely to be selected for that, so he would be out of contention. Seymour is also a potential for that.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:04 pm

Hogg doing the 7s would be no bad thing. Keeps him fit over the summer and mentally probably quite a refreshing change. I suspect it'll be quite good fun. Same with Seymour.

It also gives us two games to assess Maitland at 15, which I'm quite keen to see, plus opens the right wing as an opportunity to look at one of Jones, Hoyland and Brown (all on good form). I suspect the 7s will also take Jones, but I've love to see Hoyland getting a couple of games against Japan in the summer.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:09 pm

Only issue with 7s is apparently the players involved have been told they need to be part of the team from early May, so they would want Hogg etc before the Pro12 final (less impact for us but also the Aviva final and the Euro finals), can't see that happening. But even if he was given a week's grace, it would mean that Hogg wouldn't get a break at all from the WC last year. He would also be run into the ground from a fitness perspective.

Whilst it would be nice, it would be a lot to ask of some players.

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:12 pm

It would be a great experience for the players, but I can see it ultimately being futile because I can't see team GB getting anywhere near the medals.

England, Scotland and Wales don't often get to semi-finals or finals of the main tournaments and I can't see them doing any better when cobbled together with the odd 15s star name thrown in.

I'd rather Hogg concentrated on 15s and getting the Lions shirt next summer!

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Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Empty Re: Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June

Post by Nematode on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 2:54 pm

I think we need to have a balance - ensure that these games are won but also ensure we have (build to having) players with decent experience in positions where the incumbents are relatively old/not huge depth.

I'd go for a XV like this:

Sutherland
McInally
Low
Gray
Gray (Gilchrist)
Harley/CDP
Hardie
Strauss

Pyrgos
Russell
Brown
Dunbar
Bennett
Seymour
Maitland

D-F-N are our best front row but in recent appearances for Edinburgh they have looked exhausted. I think they need the summer off to just refresh, given there is every possibility they will be on the Lions.

I think 6 and 7 are still areas that are contentious, and Strauss needs to cement his place in the team. If CDP is SQ I'd like to see him get capped to tie him to Scotland and see what he can offer. I think the Ireland game showed that the pack is under-powered - playing a bigger alternative to Barclay (or play him at 7 with Strauss at 6) would be a good test.

In the backs, I'd like to see Dunbar and Bennett get more game time together, maybe Taylor in place of Bennett though as he isn't quite at his RWC level.

I'd be tempted to experiment in the sense of having a light pack for one game and a heavy pack for another and try and see the difference.


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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 3:01 pm

CDP becomes SQ for the AIs

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Post by BigGee on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 4:25 pm

With Jon Welsh injured, Nel and Low pretty much have to go, we really do not have any other THs that are vaguely international ready, other than Fargerson. It would be a real shame to deprive the U20s of him for there tournament when they may have a chance to show wha they really can do.

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Post by RDW on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 4:33 pm

It is worth noting that the Under 20s scrum still got smashed when Fagerson was playing for them in the 6N - it takes more than one decent prop to make a good scrum!

If Fagerson is going to get gametime I'd take him on the tour. It would be a waste to have him travel but hardly play.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 4:38 pm

BigGee wrote:With Jon Welsh injured, Nel and Low pretty much have to go, we really do not have any other THs that are vaguely international ready, other than Fargerson. It would be a real shame to deprive the U20s of him for there tournament when they may have a chance to show wha they really can do.

I suppose there's Berghan, but he doesn't really change your analysis.

Tighthead is fast becoming a problem position for us. An injury to Nel basically sinks both Edinburgh and Scotland.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 4:58 pm

I guess that is what De Klerk was originally signed for. He would have been a year or so from qualifying but that would be a depth chart of Nel, Welsh, De Klerk and Low. That is not a disgraceful set of options. Guess the SRU are working on the basis of Fagerson, Berghan, Rae and maybe Firth coming through over the next 3-5 years.

Is Jon Welsh definitely out of the Japanese tour?

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Post by Senlac on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 9:51 pm

With regards to the World rankings, given that we are sitting 9th, 0.04 behind France in 8th, and only 1.27 ahead of Japan in 10, I'm not sure there is nothing to play for here.

By the time Japan's extra 3 points are added on for home advantage, they will be 1.73 ahead of us, meaning there's the potential to take a good few points off of them with two 15-point wins and consolidate our top 8 ranking for the World Cup draw.

Given the issues we've faced at the last World Cup, I'd be tempted to avoid viewing this as a development tour, and instead treat it as a prime opportunity to ensure we avoid 3rd placed RWC seeding again.

Or am I missing something?
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:00 pm

It's a fair point you make. I guess the concern to counter that is player burnout and injuries. Hardie, for example, has been playing rugby forever without a break. When, if not this summer, do we give him the chance to recharge?

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Post by GLove39 on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:55 pm

Speaking of the tour, if anyone's got a spare £2,825 why not head on over & see the games... Shocked
http://gulliverstravel.co.uk/event/scotland-summer-tour-japan/package/sample-tour-itinerary-scotland-summer-tour-japan

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Post by RDW on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 7:21 am

Senlac wrote:With regards to the World rankings, given that we are sitting 9th, 0.04 behind France in 8th, and only 1.27 ahead of Japan in 10, I'm not sure there is nothing to play for here.

By the time Japan's extra 3 points are added on for home advantage, they will be 1.73 ahead of us, meaning there's the potential to take a good few points off of them with two 15-point wins and consolidate our top 8 ranking for the World Cup draw.

Given the issues we've faced at the last World Cup, I'd be tempted to avoid viewing this as a development tour, and instead treat it as a prime opportunity to ensure we avoid 3rd placed RWC seeding again.

Or am I missing something?

I'm.just amazed someone actually has a clue how the world rankings work! Headscratch

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Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Empty Re: Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June

Post by highland_scot on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 10:02 am

Yes - using this website (and assuming it is correct) Rankings Calculator, 2 wins would push us up to 7th in the rankings, ahead of France and Ireland. 2 wins by 15+ would still put us in 7th, just a more solid footing. Naturally that's dependent on how Ireland and France do though.

In terms of ranking points, an additional game vs the USA is risky - we stand to gain nothing from it if we win as we're too far ahead of them, but putting out an experimental team and losing would be disastrous. Surely the best solution would be an "A" international vs USA, though then there's less in it for them then!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 12:52 pm

GLove39 wrote:Speaking of the tour, if anyone's got a spare £2,825 why not head on over & see the games... Shocked
http://gulliverstravel.co.uk/event/scotland-summer-tour-japan/package/sample-tour-itinerary-scotland-summer-tour-japan

I believe that's from £2,825 (with a single supplement of a mere £710, presumably without which you get to share with a random stranger if even possible).

This is the sort of thing I plan to do in my retirement with my children's inheritance.

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Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Empty Re: Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June

Post by RDW on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 12:53 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
GLove39 wrote:Speaking of the tour, if anyone's got a spare £2,825 why not head on over & see the games... Shocked
http://gulliverstravel.co.uk/event/scotland-summer-tour-japan/package/sample-tour-itinerary-scotland-summer-tour-japan

I believe that's from £2,825 (with a single supplement of a mere £710, presumably without which you get to share with a random stranger if even possible).

This is the sort of thing I plan to do in my retirement with my children's inheritance.

You've got to wonder if anyone will actually take them up on that.

They'd have to have more money than sense!

GC?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 1:41 pm

I could see GC, with his Arab gold, picking up a few of these tickets; perhaps a few spares as well. The seats in Japan might be a tad on the small side so it may be advisable to double up for that extra space.

I'll stick with my Edinburgh season ticket.

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Post by highland_scot on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 2:46 pm

Situated between Tokyo and Kyoto, Nagoya is the birthplace of Toyota and known for its friendly and unpretentious people.

The typical Murrayfield attendees would stick out like a sore thumb in Nagoya then!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 3:53 pm

highland_scot wrote:
Situated between Tokyo and Kyoto, Nagoya is the birthplace of Toyota and known for its friendly and unpretentious people.

The typical Murrayfield attendees would stick out like a sore thumb in Nagoya then!

True, but any Weegies going along will blend in seemlessly due to being "friendly". The other thing Weegies share with the Japanese is that I understand their language equally well.

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Post by RDW on Tue 03 May 2016, 7:49 am

Thought I'd revive this thread so it's not forgotten about.

It was great to see Matt Scott put a barnstorming shift in against Munster - it was like he's never been away injured.

We're very lucky to have great competition for places in the centre!

It is maybe harsh on Taylor, but I'd like to see more of the Scott-Dunbar partnership on the summer tour. They showed very encouraging signs a couple of seasons ago when they struck up a great partnership for Scotland, but it was short lived due to recurring injuries to both.

They are everything a modern centre combo should be - big, strong, athletic, quick and skillful. The only thing they're lacking is a kicking game, but with Hogg at 15 that isn't such a big deal.

Alternatively I'd like to see Dunbar-Taylor carry on where they left off in the 6N - they have similar attributes as a centre combo.

So that leaves what to do about about Horne/Bennett. I know it is a well debated topic, but I just don't think they'll ever get rid of the stigma of just being too small for international rugby. Not such a problem against Japan, but when you compare them to the top centre combos from other nations then there's a real physical mismatch.

I think their future best lies as impact subs. Horne in particular has shown he can make a real impact off the bench when defences are tiring, and Bennett is still a rapier in attack and can do things that no other centre in the squad can do (walk on water for one thing).

So there's plenty options there and there's not enough room get all of them - some good players are going to miss out!

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Post by BigGee on Tue 03 May 2016, 8:50 am

Matt Scott needs to play consistently well like that to challenge Taylor, who does it week in week out for Sarries and really stepped up in the Scotland shirt when he got his chance. He is now the incumbent and will probably have to get injured to lose his place.

Horne is always likely to bench over Bennett as he brings more options. Bennett has just lost a little bit of spark since the WC and has not quite been on top of his game. That dropped ball over the line just about sums up his season. Still form is temporary, class is permanent and all that and I don't doubt he will shine again, maybe next week against Connacht!

Anyway, as you said, all good problems to be talking about!

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Post by 123456789 on Tue 03 May 2016, 8:53 am

On a more pragmatic note, defeat in either of the tests would have a massive impact on our world ranking, and by extension our seeding for the world cup. We were lucky last time in drawing Samoa, that might not happen again. I think the players with a good chance of touring with the Lions could maybe do with a rest, perhaps the likes of Stuart Hogg, Jonny Gray and Willem Nel should play a minor role but sending over a second or third choice side is asking for trouble.
Taylor has played on two fronts this year and will probably need a rest, Seymour has played almost every Scotland game for god knows how long.
I'd say perhaps:
1. Sutherland
2. MacInally
3. Low
4. Richie Gray
5. Alex Toolis (probably going to be Swinson if we're all honest, the man can do no wrong, you have to wonder what compromising pictures he has of Vern Cotter)
6. Harley
7. Hardie
8. Ashe
9. Pyrgos
10. Russell
11. Hoyland
12. Dunbar
13. Bennett
14. Visser
15. Maitland (he can rest all he wants in the Championship...)

16. Dickinson
17. Ford
18. Nel
19. Gray
20. Barclay
21. Laidlaw
22. Horne
23. Hogg

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Post by RDW on Tue 03 May 2016, 9:11 am

Numbers - I'm assuming you mean Ben Toolis?

Biggee - you are right that he needs to string a run of games together, but given that the majority of the squad will have 6 weeks off before the first test a lot of them will be in the same boat, starting from scratch again.

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Post by Nematode on Tue 03 May 2016, 9:16 am

I think the incumbent 12/13 combo is Dunbar and Taylor and that they should start, however, I think if Scott can improve his defence at Gloucester he'll be in the mix. I'd be tempted not to bring Scott on the tour - I think he needs a solid preseason with Gloucester and to get a full season injury free under his belt. Having the time off to fully rest could do him good, given he is so injury prone.

Bennett has lost his mojo - he didn't create all that much vs Zebre (think what Hogg would have done) and hasn't recently been very noticeable. I'd probably prefer Horne atm with his kicking game at 12 and Dunbar outside him to Bennett. Once he gets back in form, he's straight into the starting lineup outside Dunbar, for me at least.

In the highlights of LI vs Quins, Maitland had a bit of a shocker. I'd rather have Seymour at FB (or Jackson).




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Post by BigGee on Tue 03 May 2016, 9:26 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Numbers - I'm assuming you mean Ben Toolis?

Biggee - you are right that he needs to string a run of games together, but given that the majority of the squad will have 6 weeks off before the first test a lot of them will be in the same boat, starting from scratch again.

When you say the majority of the squad, what you actually mean is the Edinburgh players of course! I would have to say that majority may just be ever so slightly an exaggeration!

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Post by RDW on Tue 03 May 2016, 9:39 am

Pedant! Very Happy

If the Glasgow lot and Duncan Taylor make it to their finals they will have 3 weeks off, but the following players (potentially going to be involved in the squad) will have their season ending next week

Dickinson
Sutherland
Ford
McInally
Nel
Toolis
Watson
Hidalgo-Clyne
Scott
Brown
Hoyland
Laidlaw
Cowan
Maitland

I appreciate not all of them will get picked (Brown/Hoyland, maybe Toolis/Hidalgo/Clyne) but that is probably around half the squad..... ish
Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Squabb10

My point being there's going to be a lot of players lacking match fitness anyway!

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Post by BigGee on Tue 03 May 2016, 9:59 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Pedant! Very Happy

If the Glasgow lot and Duncan Taylor make it to their finals they will have 3 weeks off, but the following players (potentially going to be involved in the squad) will have their season ending next week

Dickinson
Sutherland
Ford
McInally
Nel
Toolis
Watson
Hidalgo-Clyne
Scott
Brown
Hoyland
Laidlaw
Cowan
Maitland

I appreciate not all of them will get picked (Brown/Hoyland, maybe Toolis/Hidalgo/Clyne) but that is probably around half the squad..... ish
Scotland's Summer Tests, 18 & 25 June Squabb10

My point being there's going to be a lot of players lacking match fitness anyway!

Of that lot, I would definitely rest Laidlaw, Ford and Dickinson, they all need a summer off. I would rest Nel as well if we had any other realistic options at TH.

Cowan and Maitland, may or may not still be on the naughty step, but either way, they both need to concentrate on getting their club careers back on track if they are going to win back their places.

Hoyland has missed one to many tackles for my liking to be considered at this stage and SHC will be very lucky to go. In my opinion all three Glasgow SHs are ahead of him now, with Price increasingly looking like tomorrow's man. Brown has a shout, but an outside one I would say as no=one really seems to have noticed he has been playing well so far.

From that list I would say we are more likely looking at Nel, Sutherland, McInally, Toolis, Watson and Scott as likely definite tourists.

They are only playing the two games, so probably just looking at a squad of 30 for this one.


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