Scotland 6N's Buildup Thread

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Post by bsando on Wed 09 Jan 2019, 12:19 pm

First topic message reminder :

Scotland's 2019 6N Fixtures

Sat, 2 Feb, 14:15
Murrayfield Stadium
Scotland vs Italy

Sat, 9 Feb, 14:15
Murrayfield Stadium
Scotland vs Ireland

Sat, 23 Feb, 14:15
Stade de France
France vs Scotland

Sat, 9 Mar, 14:15
Murrayfield Stadium
Scotland vs Wales

Sat, 16 Mar, 17:00
Twickenham Stadium
England vs Scotland

2019 6N Squad
Scotland 6N's Buildup Thread - Page 4 Sru_la10

2019 6N Call ups

Matt Smith, Rob Harley, Alex Dunbar, Luke Crosbie, Henry Pyrgos, Stafford McDowall, Rory Hughes

2018 6N Squad

Scott Lawson, Stuart McInally, George Turner, Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Murray McCallum, Gordon Reid, D'Arcy Rae, Jon Welsh, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Ben Toolis, John Barclay (c), Magnus Bradbury, Luke Hamilton, Rob Harley, Hamish Watson, David Denton, Cornell du Preez, Ryan Wilson,

Nathan Fowles, Greig Laidlaw, Ali Price, Henry Pyrgos, Peter Horne, Ruaridh Jackson, Finn Russell, Mark Bennett, Alex Dunbar, Nick Grigg, Chris Harris, Huw Jones, Duncan Taylor, Lee Jones, Sean Maitland, Byron McGuigan, Tommy Seymour, Stuart Hogg, Blair Kinghorn

2018 6N Call ups

Neil Cochrane, Fraser Brown, James Malcolm, Zander Fagerson, Darryl Marfo, WP Nel, Scott Cummings, Tim Swinson, Matt Fagerson, John Hardie, Josh Strauss, George Horne, Adam Hastings, Matt Scott, Richie Vernon, Tim Visser

Recent Final Placings

2018 3rd GT
2017 4th VC
2016 4th VC
2015 6th VC
2014 5th SJ


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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 8:24 am

EST wrote:I'm still really pondering the BR, currently thinking the following would be best:

6. Ritchie - Playing the best rugby of his life, he gets in even if he did look a bit under powered playing at at blindside in the autumn
7. Hardie - A class above Graham and somebody with a point to prove, he could be a huge player for us this 6N if he can keep fit
8. Ashe - His early season form and extra bulk gets him in front of Wilson (who did play well against Sarries).  Thought about Strauss, but i've reluctantly come to the conclusion that int rugby is probably a step too far for Strauss at this stage in his career.

20. Wilson - Covers 6, 7 & 8 and is a Toonie favorite, he also looked a lot more effective against Sarries.

Agreed on your first choices. With Watson out I think Hardie should be given a second chance. He's too good to ignore, and I prefer Ritchie as Barclay's understudy at 6.

I'd have Graham on the bench probably.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 10:37 am

I am still not really seeing that Ashe has done anything to really justify getting picked over Wilson.

Most people seem to be picking him, but the basis of them picking him is that he is not Wilson, not that he is really playing well himself. If you are going to go down that route, then Strauss is surely a better bet as he is actually playing well in a winning side atm.

Wilson actually was having probably his best game of the season against Sarries before he got injured. If he is fit, then I am sure Toonie is going to pick him, if not then to me it is Strauss, then Ashe.

I think the back row is:

6. Ritchie
7. Hardie
8. Wilson

I think we will see Gary Graham on the bench to cover the whole back row.

Wilson is not the answer at No.8 going forward, I am not going to deny that but in the absence of a standout alternative, he has the experience and the big game temperament to win the vote. Strauss struggles to maintain the pace the Toonie wants from his team and Ashe just cannot string good performances together and at this stage in his career, I am not sure he is ever going to get over that hurdle.

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Post by EST on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:09 am

BigGee wrote:I am still not really seeing that Ashe has done anything to really justify getting picked over Wilson.

Most people seem to be picking him, but the basis of them picking him is that he is not Wilson, not that he is really playing well himself. If you are going to go down that route, then Strauss is surely a better bet as he is actually playing well in a winning side atm.

Wilson actually was having probably his best game of the season against Sarries before he got injured. If he is fit, then I am sure Toonie is going to pick him, if not then to me it is Strauss, then Ashe.

I think the back row is:

6. Ritchie
7. Hardie
8. Wilson

I think we will see Gary Graham on the bench to cover the whole back row.

Wilson is not the answer at No.8 going forward, I am not going to deny that but in the absence of a standout alternative, he has the experience and the big game temperament to win the vote. Strauss struggles to maintain the pace the Toonie wants from his team and Ashe just cannot string good performances together and at this stage in his career, I am not sure he is ever going to get over that hurdle.

I do agree to an extent BigGee, but it comes down to balance for me. If we play Ritchie and Wilson at 6 & 8, then in the absence of Watson we have effectively no real ball-carrying threat in the backrow. I hear what you are saying about Strauss, but from what I have seen so far he has never really been able to make the move up to International level and doesn't fit the game plan Toonie is trying to implement, which brings us to Ashe. I agree his form of late has dipped, but he did string a really strong run of form together earlier in the season, culminating perhaps in that away win against Lyon, where he was very physical and direct. He has a lot to prove, but I think presents the best option given the injuries we are facing, and in some way a balance between Wilson and Strauss.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:27 am

Where is mildly racisit Uncle Dougie when you need him?
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Post by BigGee on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:58 am

Toonie confirms in the 6N launch press conference that Barclay will miss the entire tournament.

Wherever he is at just now, that probably makes sense. Get him fit and back playing club rugby and then see if he can still play well enough to work his way back into the side. It also gives some of the young pretenders like Ritchie the chance to lay down their markers for the future.

Unfortunately for someone at JB time in career, 9 months out is a long time and he just won't bounce back the way he might have done 10 years ago.

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Post by RDW on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 12:02 pm

Not ideal for World Cup prep either - there are 4 warm up games and I can't imagine he'll play in all of them so he'll only have a few internationals before the WC. He is a seasoned campaigner though so if he is fit he should be able to slot back into intentional rugby - hopefully he'll be back for Edinburgh sooner rather than later.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 12:29 pm

It does not get any better, Watson to miss the whole tournament as well according to Toonie

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Post by TJ on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 1:15 pm

How about this for a (possibly daft) idea.  Two of our best attacking backs are Kinghorn and Hogg - how do we get them both on the pitch at once given both Seymour and Maitland are in fine form and we also have Graham on the wing - and we are short on centres.  Could Seymour or Kinghorn go into the centre?

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 1:21 pm

TJ wrote:How about this for a (possibly daft) idea.  Two of our best attacking backs are Kinghorn and Hogg - how do we get them both on the pitch at once given both Seymour and Maitland are in fine form and we also have Graham on the wing - and we are short on centres.  Could Seymour or Kinghorn go into the centre?

I thought this was a banning offence on this forum....

In all seriousness, one of them can be number 23 on the bench. Can swap them around during the tournament to keep them fit rather than flog them til they break.

H Jones has OC covered anyway, it is really that IC spot at the moment that we need someone to stay fit between Dunbar, Scott and Johnson.

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Post by RDW on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 1:21 pm

You called it TJ - I think it is a daft idea! Gone are the days where you can just chuck a player into a new position at international level and expect them to do well. 13 is such a specialist position, one that requires a lot of physicality, and that isn't a word you would use to describe Kinghorn and Seymour!

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Post by BigGee on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 1:29 pm

I feel pretty confident that they will all get some game time during the tournament.

It is a brutal tournament and we will take some hits and injuries. In many ways we now have a squad of players that can step in and we lose very little in quality. That is something we just have not had previously.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 10:24 pm

https://theoffsideline.com/six-nations-scotland-gregor-townsend/

It seems the earlier BBC report was not necessarily right. Toonie actually says Watson will hopefully be back at some stage in the tournament, he had surgery yesterday.

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Post by bsando on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 10:21 am

You just feel the Italy game is gonna be a frustrating one to watch for us Scottish fans. Italy will surely be up for a dogfight and know the best way to win is force Scotland to make errors and try to dominate up front. I'm expecting the Scottish set piece to be severely tested so the backline are going to have to be 100% accurate when they get opportunities.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 10:49 am

Italy do always give me a sense of dread, some of our worst rugby has been against Italy and the other 'minnow' sides. Them and Samoa give me the heebie jeebies. I'd like to see the boys win through playing well, not just scraping by and sheer luck as always seems to happen against the boys in light blue.
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Post by tigertattie on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 11:24 am

Thats my point Nelly. We keep saying how this is the best team we've had in a generation and that on our day we can be contenders for the 6Ns or doing well in the World Cup.

If we want to be able to rightfully claim this improvement in the squad then we should be putting 40 points on Italy and not scraping passed them. Thats no insult to Italy, it's just the expectation we should be aiming for ourselves.

NZ put 66 passed them, Ireland put over 50 on them (twice) and 66, Wales put over 60, England put 46, Oz put 40, France put 40.

We beat them 29-0 the last time we played them at home.

Now Ireland and NZ are still out in front I say but we keep saying we're right up there with Eng, Wales, Oz, SA. To be able to justifiably say this, we need to be spanking a team like Italy.
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Post by BigGee on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 12:52 pm

Well a few clues to who might be in the team judging by who Tooniw has released back to Glasgow.

Harley, Swinson, Rae, Smith, Ashe, Bhatti, Allen and Grigg all return.

Allen and Bhatti are probably playing off for the bench LH spot, as neither has played so much recently. I would be surprised if any of the others are in the match day squad.

You would imagine that means that Johny Gray and Wilson are likely to be fit as well.

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Post by RDW on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 1:00 pm

Grant Stewart looks in pole position for reserve hooker too. Probably a good decision - he's played the most out of anyone this season and knows his Glasgow colleagues.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 1:12 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Grant Stewart looks in pole position for reserve hooker too. Probably a good decision - he's played the most out of anyone this season and knows his Glasgow colleagues.

Yes he probably deserves it, though Kerr seems like a prospect as well. Both two decent options for the future. Hopefully they can do plenty of work on his throwing whilst he is in the Scotland camp, that seems to be his weakness currently.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 2:32 pm

I don't think Stewart would be a sensible choice yet.  His non tackle against Sarries was particularly poor and his lineout work has been questioned repeatedly.

I think he might have a big future in the game, but at the moment I would play Cherry.  He's a bit more experienced (older) and is learning from the best hooker in the world....ever  Wink .  Also his darts are normally accurate and he's keeping a B&I lion out of the Edinburgh team.

Ok so a lot of that is tongue in cheek, I just think Cherry is a bit more reliable at the moment.  I mean Stewart wouldn't be near the Glasgow team currently if Turner & Brown were available, whereas Cherry is currently 2nd choice at Edinburgh.

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Post by EST on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 4:25 pm

I'm not sold on Stewart at all, which isn't really his fault as he's been thrust into a situation he possibly ins't ready for. His darts have been really bad, even if you account for some of the line out malfunctions being down to a bad call/jump. He also let a Sarries back stroll through without even putting a hit on him, as EWT noted. I think i'd probably go for Cherry as well, whenever I have seen him play he seems to be quite consistent with his basics.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 4:38 pm

Thing is, Cherry really has hardly had any game time, particularly in big games, he only gets a few mins at the end when Cockers eventually pulls McInally, so we have not really got a clue if he is up to it or not.

Kerr and Stewart have both started Euro games for their clubs this year and Kerr has started a few AP games as well. He seems to have a solid game and also has a lot more potential.

If it is not Stewart and as he has not been sent back to Glasgow, you would imagine he will be in the frame, I think it will be Kerr.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 8:35 am

It's a fair point about Cherry, however he has started a couple of games and I can't imagine Toonie would be looking to use him for any more than a few mins at the end when Rambo is done.  However, you are right it's a gamble.

I've not seen enough (any) of Kerr to comment on how good/capable he is.

However, I just don't think Stewart is ready.  As far as I am aware he's an academy player (or just out the academy) and is still coming to terms with playing at pro level, and from what I have seen and heard, isn't comfortable at that level yet.

In short, Turner and Brown can't come back soon enough, but in the meantime I'd feel more comfortable with Cherry or Kerr, than I would Stewart.


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Post by BigGee on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 9:25 am

Truth is, none of them are ready, so it is a case of the least worst alternative.

Hopefully McInally does not get injured and luckily he has got a very good engine on him and can pretty much go for the full 80.

Brown has been seen back training with Glasgow, so hopefully will be back for the third game.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:05 am

I say get shlong or richie v to step up
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Post by highland_scot on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:32 am

Surely Nick Grigg could do a job? He's got the stature, he'd have a surprising turn of pace, and surely wouldn't be any worse than Stewart at throwing the lineouts?

Also there's nothing to stop a non-hooker taking the lineout. Surely Dell or someone can throw a ball in a straight line... (Tangential question here - ever seen a professional side have someone other than a hooker take the lineouts, apart from for a quick throw?)

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:53 am

highland_scot wrote:Surely Nick Grigg could do a job? He's got the stature, he'd have a surprising turn of pace, and surely wouldn't be any worse than Stewart at throwing the lineouts?

Also there's nothing to stop a non-hooker taking the lineout. Surely Dell or someone can throw a ball in a straight line... (Tangential question here - ever seen a professional side have someone other than a hooker take the lineouts, apart from for a quick throw?)

does 7's sides count Smile

I'm sure for a while the Argentine national side didnt have a throwing hooker and it was either the prop or a flanker that was throwing! I can't for the life of me remember though.
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:00 pm

highland_scot wrote:Surely Nick Grigg could do a job? He's got the stature, he'd have a surprising turn of pace, and surely wouldn't be any worse than Stewart at throwing the lineouts?

Also there's nothing to stop a non-hooker taking the lineout. Surely Dell or someone can throw a ball in a straight line... (Tangential question here - ever seen a professional side have someone other than a hooker take the lineouts, apart from for a quick throw?)

I thought traditionally a wing threw it in. If we had a Nadolo (or Naiya...the Aussie), that would be a big boost for the maul.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:13 pm

Cherry is in the Edinburgh squad, so looks like he's out the running. Same with Dean. Not in for hooker obviously. Shouldn't have to call that out, but after the suggestion for Grigg earlier...

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Post by EWT Spoons on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:48 pm

Not sure where to put it, but we talked previously about Harvey Skinner at Exeter possibly being related to Sam, and therefore SQ.

He's not and he's not. Sam's dad has made it clear the two weren't related in anyway.

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Post by BigGee on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:51 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:Not sure where to put it, but we talked previously about Harvey Skinner at Exeter possibly being related to Sam, and therefore SQ.

He's not and he's not.  Sam's dad has made it clear the two weren't related in anyway.

Probably an easy mistake to make, we all fell for it!

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 4:02 pm

Does anyone know if we're doing the ESPN fantasy league again this year?

And I also hope that someone with a brain (not me) starts up a score prediction comp again.

It's always fun

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Post by RDW on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 4:05 pm


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Post by RDW on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:31 pm

Well I think it's fair to say none of the Glasgow players will have persuaded Townsend to play them next weekend!

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Post by Eejit on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:48 pm

...he says gleefully!

It was hardly a first team squad and it wasn't exactly excellent conditions for rugby! I had to chase the lawn furniture across the garden earlier.

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Post by RDW on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 10:55 pm

Certainly not gleefully - I would have been delighted to see Ashe, Allan or Bhatti put in a barnstorming performance that made Townsend's decision easy/difficult depending on how you look at it.

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Post by BigGee on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 11:18 pm

Wilson it is then!

We knew Toonie would pick him in any case

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Post by RDW on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 9:03 am

Ritchie Gray returns for Toulouse today, potentially putting him in the frame for the France game (although he'll have only played 2 games by then).

We're well stocked at lock but a lot can change by late February. If we want to put out our biggest possible pack against France he'll certainly provide plenty ballast.

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Post by reallybored on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 2:30 pm

Is it a good thing that the only two areas that are nailed down in a RWC year are front-row and half-backs (and Hogg)?

Obviously we’re heavily disrupted by injuries but I wouldn’t say there’s many guaranteed a start other than Watson. Guys like Gray Snr and Taylor have been injured too long to say they’re nailed on anymore, while Barclay’s injury was a serious one and has coincided with Ritchie excelling.

Back-three is probably pretty close but the form of Kinghorn and particularly Graham will make it interesting.

Unfortunately I don’t think Townsend can resolve the back-row this 6 nations due to injuries, that’ll have to wait until the RWC warm-ups.

I’d be stunned if Jonny Gray was dropped but on form he’s behind Gilchrist, Toolis and Skinner. Option to play Skinner in the back-row but not convinced that’s the solution to our back-row right now.

With Dunbar’s nose-dive in form, Taylor’s long-term injuries and Scott’s current absence, inside centre is wide-open and a big problem. Townsend is a big fan of Johnson, if he goes well I wouldn’t be surprised if he went into the RWC as first choice. Obviously Horne does a good job but is also susceptible to a clanger and we lack a carrier in the backs with him at 12. If Johnson & Horne were to get injured later in the tournament, I’d definitely prefer to see McDowall ahead of Dunbar or Dean right now.

I really have no idea how to feel about this 6 nations.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 3:51 pm

I know how I feel.

Worried.

Both teams played honking rugby this weekend. Edinburgh could just be having a one game dip but Glasgow are in what can only be described as a mid season prolonged slump.

Hopefully toonie can get the Glasgow backs firing again
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Post by RDW on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 4:02 pm

reallybored wrote:Is it a good thing that the only two areas that are nailed down in a RWC year are front-row and half-backs (and Hogg)?

Obviously we’re heavily disrupted by injuries but I wouldn’t say there’s many guaranteed a start other than Watson.  Guys like Gray Snr and Taylor have been injured too long to say they’re nailed on anymore, while Barclay’s injury was a serious one and has coincided with Ritchie excelling.

Back-three is probably pretty close but the form of Kinghorn and particularly Graham will make it interesting.  

Unfortunately I don’t think Townsend can resolve the back-row this 6 nations due to injuries, that’ll have to wait until the RWC warm-ups.

I’d be stunned if Jonny Gray was dropped but on form he’s behind Gilchrist, Toolis and Skinner. Option to play Skinner in the back-row but not convinced that’s the solution to our back-row right now.

With Dunbar’s nose-dive in form, Taylor’s long-term injuries and Scott’s current absence, inside centre is wide-open and a big problem.  Townsend is a big fan of Johnson, if he goes well I wouldn’t be surprised if he went into the RWC as first choice. Obviously Horne does a good job but is also susceptible to a clanger and we lack a carrier in the backs with him at 12. If Johnson & Horne were to get injured later in the tournament, I’d definitely prefer to see McDowall ahead of Dunbar or Dean right now.

I really have no idea how to feel about this 6 nations.

On what basis is McDowell a better option than Dean?

Dean is now an established pro (73 pro caps), dominated his opposite numbers in the 1872 games and has played every champions cup game mixing it against some big names at the highest club level. He has put consistently good performances all season.

McDowell is a promising talent but has only played a handful of games (8 pro appearances, 6 starts), and is yet to put a consistent run of performances together.

I suppose the biggest reason he's not going to get picked is that he's not in the squad!

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 7:05 pm

But McDowell plays for Glasgow so he gets extra world class points
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 7:53 pm

RDW wrote:
reallybored wrote:Is it a good thing that the only two areas that are nailed down in a RWC year are front-row and half-backs (and Hogg)?

With Dunbar’s nose-dive in form, Taylor’s long-term injuries and Scott’s current absence, inside centre is wide-open and a big problem.  Townsend is a big fan of Johnson, if he goes well I wouldn’t be surprised if he went into the RWC as first choice. Obviously Horne does a good job but is also susceptible to a clanger and we lack a carrier in the backs with him at 12. If Johnson & Horne were to get injured later in the tournament, I’d definitely prefer to see McDowall ahead of Dunbar or Dean right now.

I really have no idea how to feel about this 6 nations.

On what basis is McDowell a better option than Dean?

Dean is now an established pro (73 pro caps), dominated his opposite numbers in the 1872 games and has played every champions cup game mixing it against some big names at the highest club level. He has put consistently good performances all season.

McDowell is a promising talent but has only played a handful of games (8 pro appearances, 6 starts), and is yet to put a consistent run of performances together.

I suppose the biggest reason he's not going to get picked is that he's not in the squad!

Cause everyone loves potential, not what a player can do. McDowall has a big future at IC and may be a bolter, but Dean is probably the next cab off the rank if Johnson is unable to go. I don't know how we manage to have such injury prone centres in Scotland. Are we screwing up their strength and conditioning?

I do wonder with Toonie whether there is a focus on Glasgow backs because they are used to running similar patterns to how he wants them to play. Edinburgh showed a bit more flair in the Champions Cup games that suggests that maybe Hodge is moving the backs into a similar style.

As a sidenote, R Gray was coming off as I switched on Toulouse this afternoon and apparently he had a good 54 minute stint. He may turn into an option later in the tourney if we have an injury or two and can put together a string of solid performances. He is probably still the best lock Scotland have when fit and brings out the best in his brother.

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Post by RDW on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 7:57 pm

I think SJ has another concussion unfortunately.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 9:42 pm

Has to be dean, currently ahead of dunbar for sure on form. Worrying for SJ. Two HIA failures in a 3 month period is not good, i hope he comes out the other side ok.

Grigg can do a job but is very lightweight. Is it time we called up Johnstone?
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Post by BigGee on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 10:03 pm

Toonie has kept Johnson with the squad, so he may not be to bad. The fact that he released Dean to go to SA suggests that he thinks Horne and Johnson will be fit. A round trip to SA is not going to be good prep for an international.

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 2:08 am

Yeah we can rule Dean out for next week unfortunately given he was in South Africa (although it is good prep for the summer tours Scotland have been on recently). It’s a shame really, Horne is a really classy club player but that one missed tackle and one dodgy pass he produces in every game really costs us at international level. That messed up try against Wales in November is almost his Scotland career in a microcosm. The vision to produce the move, and the run was perfect but to drop it simply wasn’t good enough. Against England he missed the 2 on 1 that puts us on a BP victory against that lot. And it’s best not to mention Ireland.

Dean has been a brilliant player for Edinburgh this season. He’s not flashy, I’m not sure he’s even that good but he’s earned his chance. He doesn’t need to be flashy, Huw Jones, Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg and George Horne (if he gets on) are flashy enough for one back line. Chuck Kinghorn in the mix and a solid operator like Dean could be this missing link. He’s beaten Glasgow, he’s beaten Montpellier and Toulon.

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 4:34 am

RDW wrote:I think SJ has another concussion unfortunately.
I suppose it's way too much to hope that you're referring to Scott Johnson?
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Post by RDW on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 7:38 am

123456789. wrote:Yeah we can rule Dean out for next week unfortunately given he was in South Africa (although it is good prep for the summer tours Scotland have been on recently). It’s a shame really, Horne is a really classy club player but that one missed tackle and one dodgy pass he produces in every game really costs us at international level. That messed up try against Wales in November is almost his Scotland career in a microcosm. The vision to produce the move, and the run was perfect but to drop it simply wasn’t good enough. Against England he missed the 2 on 1 that puts us on a BP victory against that lot. And it’s best not to mention Ireland.

Dean has been a brilliant player for Edinburgh this season. He’s not flashy, I’m not sure he’s even that good but he’s earned his chance. He doesn’t need to be flashy, Huw Jones, Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg and George Horne (if he gets on) are flashy enough for one back line. Chuck Kinghorn in the mix and a solid operator like Dean could be this missing link. He’s beaten Glasgow, he’s beaten Montpellier and Toulon.

I'm not sure it rules him out but it suggests Horne will start.  That certainly wouldn't be a pick in form but Townsend likes what Horne does.

It may just have been to help Edinburgh out - Cockers said the only fit back that wasn't involved against the Kings was Sean Kennedy.

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Post by RDW on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 8:36 am

I read this morning Scotland have won 9 of the last 10 games against Italy. I was also reminded of that last 2 games at home in the 6N where we pumped them each time (and nilled them 2 years ago). Obviously there have been some squeaky bum time moments in those games, and best not ask what happened 3 home games ago, but it does show that we still consistently beat Italy despite all of us being nervous when playing them.

As such we need to go into this game with confidence believing in our abilities - play our game and we should come out on top. I'm sure we won't have it all our own way though.

Someone want to do a match thread?

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Post by EWT Spoons on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 9:07 am

RDW wrote:I read this morning Scotland have won 9 of the last 10 games against Italy. I was also reminded of that last 2 games at home in the 6N where we pumped them each time (and nilled them 2 years ago). Obviously there have been some squeaky bum time moments in those games, and best not ask what happened 3 home games ago, but it does show that we still consistently beat Italy despite all of us being nervous when playing them.

As such we need to go into this game with confidence believing in our abilities - play our game and we should come out on top. I'm sure we won't have it all our own way though.

Someone want to do a match thread?

Do we need one? As far as I'm aware there are no italy fans on here, so it'll just be the same folk here talking about it.

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