Scotland Autumn Internationals '16

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Post by bsando on Mon 26 Sep 2016, 10:20 am

First topic message reminder :

AUTUMN INTERNATIONALS 2016

Scotland Squad
Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped
Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 58 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap
Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs) – 34 caps
Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 99 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 9 caps

Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps
Richie Gray (Toulouse) – 58 caps
Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps

John Barclay (Scarlets) – 52 caps
John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps
Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps

Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester) – 53 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps
Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps

Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps
Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
Huw Jones (Stormers) – 1 cap
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 18 caps

Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 23 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps
Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 26 caps

Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 45 caps

Scotland Autumn Internationals '16 - Page 3 Wallab11
Saturday 12 November
Scotland v Australia, BT Murrayfield Edinburgh, kick-off SAT 14:30
Scotland Autumn Internationals '16 - Page 3 Arg10
Saturday 19 November
Scotland v Argentina, BT Murrayfield Edinburgh, kick-off SAT 17:00
Scotland Autumn Internationals '16 - Page 3 Georgi10
Saturday 26 November
Scotland v Georgia, Rugby Park Kilmarnock, Kick-off SAT 14:30

Recent Head To Head

18 Oct 2015 (RWC) Australia 35 - 34 Scotland
23 Nov 2013 Scotland 15 - 21 Australia

08 Nov 2014 Scotland 41 - 31 Argentina
20 Jun 2014 Argentina 19 - 21 Scotland

14 Sep 2011 (RWC) Scotland 15 - 6 Georgia

Recent 2016 Results

Wallabies
Australia 36 - 20 Argentina
Australia 23 - 17 South Africa
New Zealand 29 - 9 Australia
Australia 8 - 42 New Zealand

Argentina
Australia 36 - 20 Argentina
New Zealand 57 - 22 Argentina
Argentina 26 - 24 South Africa
South Africa 30 - 23 Argentina

Georgia
Fiji 3 - 14 Georgia
Georgia 23 - 20 Tonga
Samoa 19 - 19 Georgia
Georgia 38 - 9 Romania


Last edited by bsando on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 10:51 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by RDW on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 9:34 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
bsando wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
mckay1402 wrote:I used Hastings as an example. It could be anyone. The point is that with only two professional sides there are not that many opportunities to bring players through.  Hastings will suffer through being at Bath because they will always choose an England qualified player over him (quite rightly).  SRU are extremely stubborn and frustrating when it comes to developing new methods and ways of growing the game in Scotland.  I would love to see another pro team in the highlands to bring more players through and get exposure otherwise the national team will always struggle to develop them.

My point would be that it isn't the role of the Scotland team to bring through U20 players. Players in the Scotland squad should be there on merit, and that means proving themselves in the arena of first team professional rugby. If Hastings feels that Bath are holding him back, he should move. Edinburgh only has one useful stand off, and he's NSQ. I more than welcome Hastings to Edinburgh, but he'd no doubt have to accept a pay cut.

Your other points are perfectly valid, however I don't think it's just down to SRU stubbornness. Much has to do with finite resources, and where best to deploy those resources. If the SRU could only tap into the Nicola Sturgeon Fantasy Economics Money Tree, I'm pretty sure we'd have many professional rugby teams, each competing in purpose build stadia and featuring the ideal blend of world class players and SQ players. We know the SRU wanted three teams, but from a financial perspective it didn't work. As a Highlander myself I'd love to see a project to establish professional rugby up north, but deep pockets would be needed to get it up and running.

I'm sure at a grass roots level the SRU could inject some cash into Aberdeen upwards. From Inverness upwards the clubs diminish fast. Thurso and Wick have clubs (Thurso has the old posts from Murrayfield actually) and I think there is one on the west coast too that covers some of that area but otherwise thats about it as far as I know without googling. Football rules all in the highlands currently.

Don't forget Orkney. Pretty sure there's a thriving rugby club up there. Still, Aberdeen is the obvious solution for a base, although it would be good if games could be played in Perth and Inverness as well.

Orkney are in the same league as my club - the poor buggers have a mammoth journey to play away games every 2nd weekend!

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Post by propdavid_london on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 10:54 am

The way Glasgow and Edinburgh are playing the National side should be feeling very confident going into the November series and the 6N beyond.

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Post by RDW on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 10:57 am

Glasgow maybe, but Edinburgh's big wins of late have come against Treviso and a Romanian team - sterner tests are to come against Harlequins and Ulster soon, although I think wev'e got Zebre after the quins game. Prior to these games we'd been truly awful.

Hopefully these easy wins can give Edinburgh a bit of a confidence boost and lead to better results on the run up to the AIs.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 11:08 am

Agreed - there's little to cheer from an Edinburgh perspective. Bradbury is probably the biggest positive this season, and the fact that SH-C and Tovey look competent when played together.

On the Orcadian rugby team, it really is an impressive effort from them to travel to away games. I've taken the Hamnavoe Ferry numerous times and it's a schlep, particularly when you arrive in Scrabster and realise that it's bloody miles of road just to get to Inverness.

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Post by reallybored on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 2:20 pm

Based on current form, imo we're shaping up like this:

15 -  Hogg
14 -  Seymour
13 -  Bennett
12 -  Dunbar  (Scott is form 12 but Dunbar is better defensively imo)
11 -  Visser  (very tight-call)
10 -  Russell
9 -  Laidlaw
8 -  Strauss
7 -  Hardie  (I'd like Watson)
6 -  Bradbury
5 -  Gray
4 -  Gray
3 -  Nel
2 -  Ford
1 -  Sutherland

16 -  Brown
17 -  Reid
18 -  Fagerson
19 -  Swinson
20 -  Barclay
21 -  Pyrgos
22 -  Scott  (Laidlaw or Hogg covering fly-half)
23 -  Maitland

24 -  MacArthur  (it’ll be McInally)
25 -  Allan
26 -  Low
27 -  Toolis  (it’ll be Gilchrist)
28 -  Harley
29 -  Watson  (it’ll be Wilson)
30 -  Hidalgo-Clyne  (should probably be Kennedy, Price or Steele)
31 -  Heathcote
32 -  Taylor
33 -  Hoyland
34 -  Kinghorn  (it’ll be Jackson)

(assuming Dickinson, Denton, Ashe, Weir & Horne injured)

What's the general consensus on expectations for these matches?  Am I daft to think we can win all three?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 2:29 pm

I think we'll lose to Australia and Argentina, but beat Georgia.

As for your proposed selection, I'd note that Scott has been at 13 for Glaws rather than 12, and whether or not Cotter will see it this way or not, on form I'd suggest that Ford should be 3rd choice behind Brown and McInally.

This is the 23 I'd select to face Australia:

1.Sutherland 2.Brown 3.Nel 4.J Gray 5.R Gray 6.Strauss 7.Hardie 8.CDP 9.Laidlaw 10.Russell 11.Visser 12.Dunbar 13.Bennett 14.Seymour 15. Hogg

16.Reid 17.McInally 18.Fagerson 19.Gilchrist 20.Bradbury 21.Pyrgos 22.Scott 23.Maitland

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Post by RDW on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 2:31 pm

If it is based on form it has to be Brown over Ford!

Hardie has been worryingly quiet this season for Edinburgh so far - even against the Romanian opposition you didn't really notice he was on the pitch.

Watson is the form choice but took a bang to the head last week - Hardie might be able to work himself into form before then.

As for the results, I think 3 from 3 should absolutely be the target, with 2 from 3 being passed as an acceptable series (Argentina are no mugs so a win over them would be a great result)

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 2:42 pm

We can win all 3 and really should get 2. I think Aus will be a tight contest as we can handle their set piece effectively. Really not sure how we will handle a Kerevi/Kuridrani centre pairing if that is what they play. With Foley, Scotland should be able to effectively neutralise him as we seem to struggle with big boys more than creative types.

If Bradbury or CDP play at 6, we will have a more physical back row with Barclay able to cover wherever is necessary at the hour mark. The weak point is the 3rd lock even if Swinson has been great at club level. The front row coming on provides impact and the only other question is the half backs coming on. Pyrgos was poor in Japan and has not proved anything at international level. Scott or Bennett are great to come on but it is a gamble with Russell. Horne will provide an answer for the 6 nations at least...

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Post by RDW on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 2:54 pm

To be fair Laidlaw is hardly ever subbed off anyway so it probably doesn't matter who our backup 9 is!

3rd second row choice is a debate we've had here many times - personally I think it should be Toolis as he is everything you want in an international lock, and has been playing well this season. He's bigger than Swinson and more dynamic than Gilchrist, plus he can run a lineout. He also has an incredible workrate.

Saying that I would be surprised if VC doesn't pick Gilchrist - he may even have him starting (wrongly IMO)

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 3:02 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:To be fair Laidlaw is hardly ever subbed off anyway so it probably doesn't matter who our backup 9 is!

3rd second row choice is a debate we've had here many times - personally I think it should be Toolis as he is everything you want in an international lock, and has been playing well this season.  He's bigger than Swinson and more dynamic than Gilchrist, plus he can run a lineout. He also has an incredible workrate.

Saying that I would be surprised if VC doesn't pick Gilchrist - he may even have him starting (wrongly IMO)

I'd be fine with Toolis, don't get me wrong, but I think Cotter will want to give Gilchrist a cap or two off the bench before his next 8 month injury lay-off.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 4:07 pm

You all seem very confident that he is not going to pick Swinson! i would not be, he is playing well at the moment and the squad place is his to lose.

For the record, i think that Toolis is the choice of the Edinburgh locks at the moment but for him to really showcase himself, the team needs to start playing a bit better. Second row forwards always look better going forward than going backwards. That may still happen.

CDP has been living on past glories this year and will also need to start playing better if he wants to get into the squad. Bradbury is far and away the pick on form at the moment.

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Post by RDW on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 4:10 pm

You're right Biggee that Swinson has been picked by VC lately, but Gilchrist has always been picked ahead of him when he has been fit (which hasn't been very often granted). I'd be very surprised if Gilchrist wasn't picked at least on the bench.

You are right about CDP - he's been struggling with injury this season and I think has only played once.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 5:25 pm

BigGee wrote:You all seem very confident that he is not going to pick Swinson! i would not be, he is playing well at the moment and the squad place is his to lose.

For the record, i think that Toolis is the choice of the Edinburgh locks at the moment but for him to really showcase himself, the team needs to start playing a bit better. Second row forwards always look better going forward than going backwards. That may still happen.

CDP has been living on past glories this year and will also need to start playing better if he wants to get into the squad. Bradbury is far and away the pick on form at the moment.

I'm not confident, just hopeful. I'm a big fan of Swinson in a Glasgow jersey, don't get me wrong. I was delighted (and present) when Swinson was given his home debut in international rugby. He had earned the right with consistently strong performances for Glasgow. However, what is now well established, is that he's too small and hence ineffective at international level. He's a strong ball carrier for Glasgow, but at international level gets nowhere. He's always been good for Glasgow, and ineffective for Scotland. It just seems his form doesn't translate. Not a bad player, but not an international one.

Now, of course there's a strong counterargument here. What have Toolis and Gilchrist ever done to suggest that they can make that transition? Not much. It's also hard to argue the case on form; in fact it's impossible. Still, having seen both play a lot of rugby (well, perhaps for Gilchrist I ought to adjust that to "a high % of the games in which he's played"), I just think both have the size and physique to be better long term bets. Yes, I'm aware that Swinson's website stats have him down as a veritable Goliath of a man, or at least the same weight as Toolis and Gilchrist, but he just isn't.

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 6:05 pm

I would choose both Toolis and Gilchrist against Georgia. Gilcho has the size but no impact, Toolis has the dynamism but could potentially be worn down by an attritional big pack. Either way, it's time we found out what they're about. GG in particular needs to stop living off a threadbare reputation and go out there to start bullying people.

I think that the Wallabies look there for the taking. They have been absolutely awful if teams have been able to stop their momentum. I am most worried about the Pumas, albeit tempered with the fact that I am assuming the French clubs will be a bunch of connards and refuse to release their club Argentines.
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Post by RDW on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 6:08 pm

George Carlin wrote:I would choose both Toolis and Gilchrist against Georgia. Gilcho has the size but no impact, Toolis has the dynamism but could potentially be worn down by an attritional big pack. Either way, it's time we found out what they're about. GG in particular needs to stop living off a threadbare reputation and go out there to start bullying people.  

I think that the Wallabies look there for the taking. They have been absolutely awful if teams have been able to stop their momentum. I am most worried about the Pumas, albeit tempered with the fact that I am assuming the French clubs will be a bunch of connards and refuse to release their club Argentines.

Do you have any specific examples to back that up??

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 6:23 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I would choose both Toolis and Gilchrist against Georgia. Gilcho has the size but no impact, Toolis has the dynamism but could potentially be worn down by an attritional big pack. Either way, it's time we found out what they're about. GG in particular needs to stop living off a threadbare reputation and go out there to start bullying people.  

I think that the Wallabies look there for the taking. They have been absolutely awful if teams have been able to stop their momentum. I am most worried about the Pumas, albeit tempered with the fact that I am assuming the French clubs will be a bunch of connards and refuse to release their club Argentines.

Do you have any specific examples to back that up??
Nope. That's why I wrote 'potentially'. It's the Tom Croft problem in the age of giant forwards. Just to be clear, I think that Toolis is the most underused and potentially underrated player at Edinburgh and I thought Edinburgh was at its best when the lock pairing was Toolis and Bresler. We talked about this a lot last year. Cotter likes Swinson. I prefer Toolis and I hope that Toonie gives him more gametime.
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Post by TJ on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 12:10 am

Will Cotter drop Laidlaw? Pyrgos is playing really well right now and at a high tempo that laidlaw struggles to find. I'm a big Laidlaw fan but right now I find it hard to see past Pyrgos especially as he partners Dancer

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Post by George Carlin on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 6:02 am

TJ wrote:Will Cotter drop Laidlaw?  Pyrgos is playing really well right now and at a high tempo that laidlaw struggles to find.  I'm a big Laidlaw fan but right now I find it hard to see past Pyrgos especially as he partners Dancer
No, he won't because Cotter wants to end his tenure on a winning streak and we need the World Rugby rankings points with WC seeding not so far away.

If you were the coach with a 3 year contract ahead of you and wanted to plan for the future, then you would definitely leave Laidlaw in leafy Gloucester. When he's in Clermont, it will be a struggle to get him released (if indeed his lucrative new contract allows this, which it may well not) and we need to plan for the future now. I still think that Pyrgos is next cab off the rank and will rise to the challenge and speed of international play. It helps his cause hugely that Russell is his usual partner and is at his best with quick ball from his 9.
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Post by TJ on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 8:00 am

Cotter is pretty pragmatic and IMO Pyrgos is the better player for Scotland right now because his style suits the players we have better than Laidlaw.

I'd like to see Pyrgos start with Laidlaw on the bench as a "closer"

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Post by RDW on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 8:10 am

I'm even more confident that Cotter will start Laidlaw than I am that Gilchrist will be involved somewhere - I'd say it is a dead cert.

There's been many times when Laidlaw's form didn't justify selection yet he was always picked.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 8:48 am

I can see Laidlaw starting the Australia and Argentina games and HP getting the Georgia one. I reckon he will do a little bit of rotation for the third game, we have got to try and bring a few new players on at some stage, so far he has stuck pretty rigidly to his best available team.

Probably more interesting than the GL & HP debate is who will get the third SH spot in the squad. Will he stick with SHC who is still showing no signs of any form and is struggling to start for Edinburgh, or go for another. I would imagine that Ali Price would be the next in line.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 8:57 am

Laidlaw will certainly start. Pyrgos might get the Georgia game.

I'm as worried about Argentina than I am Australia. Argentina played some pretty impressive stuff in the Rugby Championship.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 9:00 am

BigGee wrote:I can see Laidlaw starting the Australia and Argentina games and HP getting the Georgia one. I reckon he will do a little bit of rotation for the third game, we have got to try and bring a few new players on at some stage, so far he has stuck pretty rigidly to his best available team.

Probably more interesting than the GL & HP debate is who will get the third SH spot in the squad. Will he stick with SHC who is still showing no signs of any form and is struggling to start for Edinburgh, or go for another. I would imagine that Ali Price would be the next in line.

Agreed, it's a tricky one to call. The scrum halves at Edinburgh have been on heavy rotation this season, with Fowles, Kennedy and SH-C all getting starts and none impressing. I still believe SH-C to be the most talented of the trio, and I suspect that SH-C in a Glasgow jersey would have achieved World Class status by now, but there's no doubting his recent (by which I mean 18 month) slump in form.

Price has looked sharp and has plenty to offer. I would be entirely justifiable for Price to make the squad, albeit I think Cotter will stick with SH-C.

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Post by RDW on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 9:02 am

SHC had another mare against the Romanian team - his all-round play was sharp but he knocked on a quick tap (a cardinal sin for a 9) and somehow managed to knock on when he was about to catch the ball and kick it.

Again, he needs a run of games but Edinburgh seem to be picking a new 9 every week!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 9:24 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:SHC had another mare against the Romanian team - his all-round play was sharp but he knocked on a quick tap (a cardinal sin for a 9) and somehow managed to knock on when he was about to catch the ball and kick it.

Again, he needs a run of games but Edinburgh seem to be picking a new 9 every week!

This is, for me, part of the problem. Hodge needs to put his arm around SH-C and pick him to start with Tovey for the foreseeable future. Sounds like he was trying to force it against the Romanian side, which is likely a symptom of expecting to be dropped for the next game to allow Fowles or Kennedy a start. I'm convinced that SH-C has the potential to be a top international scrum half. I really hope we stick with him.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 9:27 am

Argentina don't pick players who play outside Super 18 I thought so Imhoff, Bosch and Galarza are all ineligible anyway (besides Imhoff is in the same tribunals as Carter and Roko at the moment).

Price has outplayed SHC by a long way this season and Steele has been in good form for London Irish. Price may get a bench spot against Georgia otherwise they may just use 2 scrum halves.

Will there be a spot for an in form Huw Jones who has had a good Currie Cup as 4th centre ahead of Taylor who is coming off an injury?


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Post by RDW on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 9:31 am

I know it was only for one season but SHC has shown that he can be a star performer - something Kennedy or Fowles haven't yet done. He is also a top class goal kicker, which is something that is worth persevering with - behind Laidlaw there is a drop off in consistency.

Problem is that Tovey is currently taking the goal kicks and Weir probably will when he plays - neither of them have been as consistent as SHC was when he was regular kicker though.

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Post by GLove39 on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 12:43 pm

I sure we all remember what happened exaclty 1 year ago today.
Now not to pick over old wounds... heck who am I kidding! Here's a short a film I made



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9gAPhPfN6Y

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 2:47 pm

Very nice work Glove - as always! laughing

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 3:11 pm

That tw@t needs met off the bus.

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Post by GLove39 on Tue 18 Oct 2016, 3:21 pm

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:That tw@t needs met off the bus.

Me or Joubert!?

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 11:13 am

Glove, loved the wooden spoon laughing We are Scotland after all.

Can't wait till we fly up. Young Pipetto is at the, "How many sleeps?" stage already.

Strongest 23 for this match, rest and rotate for the Pumas and experiment for Georgia.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 2:54 pm

"If you've been effected by anything in this film" laughing laughing laughing
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Post by George Carlin on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 5:25 pm

Amazing, GLove you lunatic.
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Post by GLove39 on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 2:20 am

Many thanks chaps! Very Happy

Hoping that once the SRU pick up on this it'll become their official promo for the AI's...

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Post by RDW on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 11:42 am

So is it fair to say that Hamish Watson is the form pick at 7 just now for Scotland? John Hardie will be lucky to get in the Edinburgh team never mind Scotland!

Watson had been sensational all season and put another barnstorming display in yesterday. I still worry he's just not big enough for international rugby, but when you see him shrug off half the harlequins pack you wonder if that is really the case.

He gets my vote.

Another player who really stepped up yesterday was MOTM Blair Kinghorn - his individual try was a joy to watch, stepping round a player like Jason Robinson which is amazing for someone so gangly. I actually think 15 is where he should stay - his pace and rangy running make him dangerous out wide, and his height and massive boot make him a good high ball option. His miss 4 pass that sailed into touch also made me think that he's just too maverick for 10 - he's done that a lot this season.

These AIs will probably come to soon for him but I'd be surprised if he's not capped by next season. He's only 19!

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Post by BigGee on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:24 pm

Watson really did have another great game and has certainly put himself in the frame. Hardy has not played badly though when he has had his chances and probably does more off the ball than Watson. It almost seems like they are being rotated at the moment, which may be no bad thing over the course of the season. I still expect Hardy to get the nod for the bigger games, but Watson may get another cap probably against Georgia.

Kinghorn is definitely an international in the making, he really does seem to have something. Trouble is at FB he will always be up against Hogg, who is not that much older. You can forgive him that speculative pass at this stage in his career and he will no doubt learn from it.

I think he may get a few more runs at 10 for Edinburgh, for no other reason than there are not really many other alternatives at the moment until Weir gets back. It is something they probably need to try. He is only 19 and I don't think anyone is sure what his best position is yet. If Hogg goes off with the Lions, expect him to tour and get capped in the summer.

The two Edinburgh players who are surely poised to make the breakthrough this autumn are Bradbury and Hoyland. Both playing really well and look more than ready to step up.

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Post by RDW on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:35 pm

I wouldn't be too bothered if Hardie is picked as he is the incumbent, but Watson's form has been superb - I really hope he doesn't become another Roddy Grant.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:03 am

Read the whole bit before going off on one please!

Watson is showing more and more that he is a player like Neil Back! Now calm down, I'm not saying Watson is the next Neil Back, but I am saying that size does not always mean your not strong enough to play international rugby. Watson is playing extremely well but I worry that he's turning into a Hooperesque type of 7 and is hanging about in the backs too often to look for the meandering runs rather than getting down and dirty in the thick of things!

Whats great is we would have two very good options at 7 that are different players to be used depending on our game plan and who we are playing against. Hardy is your man for disruptive work and Watson is your man if you want a link player.

Now for Kinghorn! A young lad with plenty promise! We need to try him at 10 a few times at Edinburgh. Why? Because Scotland still needs and all round solid 10 that can pull strings! Finn is still flakey and I think also will be. Either he's on it, or he's not! The other thing is I can't see Kinghorn displacing Hogg who is still a young pup himself! As we head into the International window, I really do think now is the chance for Kinghorn to play at 10 for a run of games to see how he goes!
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Post by RDW on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:26 am

I think the Hooper comparison is a more accurate one - Neil Back's style of play was very different to how Watson plays.  Back was a poacher and all round pain in the arse, whereas Watson is a swashbuckling all action incredible athlete, like Hooper.

Hooper shows that you don't have to be huge to play international rugby but he is still probably bigger than Watson - I'm sure their stats will show that there isn't much difference but I do suspect Watson is smaller.

There's only one way to find out if he's big enough though - pick him!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:39 am

I'd certainly be comfortable with Watson getting a start against Georgia, although you don't want to make too many changes for that fixture, otherwise you aren't being fair on the newcomers forcing them to come into an unsettled side. Watson has been a hugely consistent player for Edinburgh and a proper specialist 7. The way we are playing under Hodge (and the next game vs Zebre should be no different) really suits his all-action style of play.

I'm of the school of thought that Kinghorn should stick at 15. I appreciate that Hogg is a major obstacle, but so is Finn Russell. I think Kinghorn should block such thoughts out of his mind and just crack on with his own career, focusing on what he does best. His best work has exclusively been at 15. He is miles better than Bryce, but I'm not convinced he's better than Tovey. Tovey at 10 and Kinghorn at 15 is the best combination for Edinburgh, and I think the best use of Kinghorn's skillset.

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Post by RDW on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:41 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:I'm of the school of thought that Kinghorn should stick at 15. I appreciate that Hogg is a major obstacle, but so is Finn Russell. I think Kinghorn should block such thoughts out of his mind and just crack on with his own career, focusing on what he does best. His best work has exclusively been at 15. He is miles better than Bryce, but I'm not convinced he's better than Tovey. Tovey at 10 and Kinghorn at 15 is the best combination for Edinburgh, and I think the best use of Kinghorn's skillset.

I agree with all of this - Russell is just as secure at 10 as Hogg is at 15 for Scotland, plus we don't really have any backup to Hogg - just Maitland or Seymour playing out of position (which would still be a reasonable option granted).

In any case Hogg could injure himself and miss most of the season - we need good competition everywhere.  I also agree that Tovey is by far and away the best 10 for Edinburgh (and genuinely think he'd be on the bench for Scotland if he was SQ) so Edinburgh need him at 10 and Kinghorn at 15.

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Post by des on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:53 am

I heard a rumour that Watson will only stay (at Edinburgh) if Hardie doesn't.  Possible petulance but I'd much rather have Watson for character alone.

Two points from Saturdays game.
1. His try celebration, sitting down, legs out straight with a casual thumbs up.  The best try celebration I've ever seen.
2. When he put 2 quins forwards on their arses before eventually being brought down by 3 more players.  I could hear Alan Partridge shouting "sit down" in my head.

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Post by RDW on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:57 am

I'd be amazed if John Hardie (note the correct spelling Biggee and tattie! Very Happy ) isn't poached by a bigger team next season.

I'd probably rather have Watson too as he is young and won't be away with Scotland as much as Hardie will - I certainly wouldn't be disappointed if Hardie stayed though!

Our backrow resources are so strong just now that it is either one or the other - they probably won't be on the bench if they aren't starting. I can't see us being able to hold onto both of them next season. Hopefully we don't lose both!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:27 am

I don't want Hardeey (for you, RDW) to go anywhere. In modern rugby there should be space for two quality opensides in a squad. Perhaps if we had an exciting young SQ playing knocking on the door, but I'm not aware of anyone on the Edinburgh books.

100% on Tovey as well. Turning out to be a cracking piece of business, and I doubt he's costing us the Earth. Wales' loss is certainly our gain.

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Post by MacKnocked-on on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:44 am

When is Cotter due to name the AI squad?

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Post by RDW on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:45 am

It would be great to keep both of them but I'm fairly certain Hardie will be off - he's not got too long a career left (he's the grand old age of 28 - feck me I'm older than him!) and will be looking for a big pay day, plus with 2 years at Edinburgh he will have 'paid his dues' with regards to his Scotland career, not that he really had to but I'm sure you know what I mean...

Matt Fagerson is probably the most promising young 7 and will be 3rd/4th choice at Glasgow - if Hardie/Watson does leave he may make the move across. There's the other under 20s 7 too (forgotten his name)

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Post by BigGee on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 12:08 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote: There's the other under 20s 7 too (forgotten his name)

Matt Smith

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 12:12 pm

Matty Smith is another option for Edinburgh. Blake could be returned to Edinburgh as well to compete with Watson if he is not going to get used at Glasgow. Would leave Favaro/Fusaro/Fagerson at Glasgow and Watson/Blake/Smith at Edinburgh

Hardie should head off for a big paycheck somewhere. With only 2 sides to bring players through, some of the best players who are getting towards the last 4-5 years of their careers will have to move on if the opportunity presents itself. Wasps would be a good choice.

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Post by RDW on Mon 24 Oct 2016, 12:13 pm

That's the one. So there are 2 promising youngsters that will be looking for gametime next season.

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