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Post by RDW on Mon 18 Mar 2019, 8:39 am

First topic message reminder :

FORWARDS (23)

John Barclay (Edinburgh) – 71 caps; Rugby World Cup 2007 and 2011
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 19 caps
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 42 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 33 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 51 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 29 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Gordon Reid (London Irish) – 34 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 10 caps
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 5 caps
Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 22 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – uncapped
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 43 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015

BACKS (19)

Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 8 caps
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 67 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 41 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) – uncapped
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne) – 71 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 40 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 8 caps
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh) – 27 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 44 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 50 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 21 caps



World Cup Warmups

France V Scotland
Scotland V France
Georgia V Scotland
Scotland V Georgia

World Cup Fixtures

Ireland v Scotland
International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
Sunday 22nd September 2019
Kick Off: 8:45am

Scotland v Samoa
Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe
Monday 30th September 2019
Kick Off: 11:15am

Scotland v Russia
Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka
Wednesday 9th October 2019
Kick Off: 8:15am

Japan v Scotland
International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
Sunday 13th October 2019
Kick Off: 11:45am


Last edited by RDW on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 9:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BigGee on Tue 07 May 2019, 1:17 pm

We are only going to be taking 6 props Jim, so it is going to be those 6 unless any of them get injured. I am not really seeing any others in the frame either to be honest.

That is actually a pretty small training squad 42 plus 2 TBA. Most pundits were expecting 46 plus.

We will certainly lose the following:

1 SH - likely Henry P
1 Hooker - likely Stewart
at least two centres, probably 3 - much more competitive in this position
at least 1 second row
at least 2 back row
at least 2 in back three

That takes us down to 32 plus the two bolters, so need to whittle another three players out of that squad and that is where it gets really difficult and versatility may come to the fore.

Hopefully he will give them all a shot so that they can do their canvassing on the field. Those first two warm up games are going to be very interesting.

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Post by RDW on Tue 07 May 2019, 1:41 pm

Big risk to not have backup in the training squad - he's said he wanted to keep number down but what if a prop goes down the day before we fly out and his replacement has had zero involvement in the warmup training and games?

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 07 May 2019, 1:47 pm

Has Ritchie Gray become the forgotten man of Scottish rugby?

Surely he’s shown when not injured what value he can bring.
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Post by RDW on Tue 07 May 2019, 1:53 pm

There have been several articles where Townsend has said he's been in regular contact with Gray and told him to get more gametime and they'll see how he's doing.

He's holding down a starting spot in one of the best teams in Europe so he's doing pretty well!

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 07 May 2019, 1:56 pm

BigGee wrote:We are only going to be taking 6 props Jim, so it is going to be those 6 unless any of them get injured. I am not really seeing any others in the frame either to be honest.You are probably right Gee, but if one of them goes off early against Russia then his back-up plays most of that game and starts against Japan five days later. We are playing five matches in possibly the most draining conditions for the fatboys and all six will be on duty for every game. They'll be Friar Tucked by the last game.

That is actually a pretty small training squad 42 plus 2 TBA. Most pundits were expecting 46 plus.

We will certainly lose the following:

1 SH - likely Henry P He certainly has lost his mojo recently (probably due to being under-employed; he seems to be in rugby's equivalent of NFL's Special teams, "It's a ruck- bring on the box-kicker") and Frodo is, apparently, undroppable due to his inspirational presence.
1 Hooker - likely Stewart
at least two centres, probably 3 - much more competitive in this positionCan you imagine us going with Harris, Grigg, Hutchison, Taylor??? I think Toonie wil take four with Johnson and Jones shoo ins and Horne and Taylor as back ups.
at least 1 second row There are only four second rows; Jonny Gray, Skinner and the Edinburgh mixed-doubles pair. If he dops one then like the prps we have three big laddies who will be plaing every match between them. Yes three big specimens playing Toonie's high tempo rugby in a Japanese summer.
at least 2 back row Yes there are 8 (or 9) listed and he'll probably take five at the most.Graham and Thompson look most likely to miss the cut, with at least one of Ritchie, Bradbury or Fagerson missing out.
at least 2 in back three Barry McGuigan and Seymour or D'Arcy

That takes us down to 32 plus the two bolters, so need to whittle another three players out of that squad and that is where it gets really difficult and versatility may come to the fore.

Hopefully he will give them all a shot so that they can do their canvassing on the field. Those first two warm up games are going to be very interesting.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 07 May 2019, 2:43 pm

jimbopip wrote:
BigGee wrote:We are only going to be taking 6 props Jim, so it is going to be those 6 unless any of them get injured. I am not really seeing any others in the frame either to be honest.You are probably right Gee, but if one of them goes off early against Russia then his back-up plays most of that game and starts against Japan five days later. We are playing five matches in possibly the most draining conditions for the fatboys and all six will be on duty for every game. They'll be Friar Tucked by the last game.

That is actually a pretty small training squad 42 plus 2 TBA. Most pundits were expecting 46 plus.

We will certainly lose the following:

1 SH - likely Henry P He certainly has lost his mojo recently (probably due to being under-employed; he seems to be in rugby's equivalent of NFL's Special teams, "It's a ruck- bring on the box-kicker") and Frodo is, apparently, undroppable due to his inspirational presence.
1 Hooker - likely Stewart
at least two centres, probably 3 - much more competitive in this positionCan you imagine us going with Harris, Grigg, Hutchison, Taylor??? I think Toonie wil take four with Johnson and Jones shoo ins and Horne and Taylor as back ups.
at least 1 second row There are only four second rows; Jonny Gray, Skinner and the Edinburgh mixed-doubles pair. If he dops one then like the prps we have three big laddies who will be plaing every match between them. Yes three big specimens playing Toonie's high tempo rugby in a Japanese summer.
at least 2 back row Yes there are 8 (or 9) listed and he'll probably take five at the most.Graham and Thompson look most likely to miss the cut, with at least one of Ritchie, Bradbury or Fagerson missing out.
at least 2 in back three Barry McGuigan and Seymour or D'Arcy

That takes us down to 32 plus the two bolters, so need to whittle another three players out of that squad and that is where it gets really difficult and versatility may come to the fore.

Hopefully he will give them all a shot so that they can do their canvassing on the field. Those first two warm up games are going to be very interesting.

Jimbo's use of the quote function is now literally putting words into other people’s posts!

I think there will be some fat trimming but we really do need to take a large squad in this day and age.

Matt Fagerson is likely to be the backrower not to go but Ryan Wilson should also be on the chopping board.

Pete Horne simply can’t be selected (but likely will)
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Post by jimbopip on Tue 07 May 2019, 3:18 pm

tigertattie wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
BigGee wrote:We are only going to be taking 6 props Jim, so it is going to be those 6 unless any of them get injured. I am not really seeing any others in the frame either to be honest.You are probably right Gee, but if one of them goes off early against Russia then his back-up plays most of that game and starts against Japan five days later. We are playing five matches in possibly the most draining conditions for the fatboys and all six will be on duty for every game. They'll be Friar Tucked by the last game.

That is actually a pretty small training squad 42 plus 2 TBA. Most pundits were expecting 46 plus.

We will certainly lose the following:

1 SH - likely Henry P He certainly has lost his mojo recently (probably due to being under-employed; he seems to be in rugby's equivalent of NFL's Special teams, "It's a ruck- bring on the box-kicker") and Frodo is, apparently, undroppable due to his inspirational presence.
1 Hooker - likely Stewart
at least two centres, probably 3 - much more competitive in this positionCan you imagine us going with Harris, Grigg, Hutchison, Taylor??? I think Toonie wil take four with Johnson and Jones shoo ins and Horne and Taylor as back ups.
at least 1 second row There are only four second rows; Jonny Gray, Skinner and the Edinburgh mixed-doubles pair. If he dops one then like the prps we have three big laddies who will be plaing every match between them. Yes three big specimens playing Toonie's high tempo rugby in a Japanese summer.
at least 2 back row Yes there are 8 (or 9) listed and he'll probably take five at the most.Graham and Thompson look most likely to miss the cut, with at least one of Ritchie, Bradbury or Fagerson missing out.
at least 2 in back three Barry McGuigan and Seymour or D'Arcy

That takes us down to 32 plus the two bolters, so need to whittle another three players out of that squad and that is where it gets really difficult and versatility may come to the fore.

Hopefully he will give them all a shot so that they can do their canvassing on the field. Those first two warm up games are going to be very interesting.

Jimbo's use of the quote function is now literally putting intelligent sounding words into otherwise dull people’s posts!

I think there will be some fat trimming but we really do need to buy Tigertattie an XXXXX large Glasgow Warriors top which is all the rage in Morningside in this day and age.

Matt Fagerson is likely to be the backrower not to go but Ryan Wilson should also be on the chopping board.

Pete Horne simply can’t be selected (but likely will)

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 07 May 2019, 3:31 pm

At least you agree with me on Fagerson, Horne (pete) and Wilson kiss
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Post by IanBru on Tue 07 May 2019, 5:50 pm

tigertattie wrote:Jimbo's use of the quote function is now literally putting words into other people’s posts! It's what all the cool kids are doing

I think there will be some fat trimming but we really do need to take a large squad in this day and age. It's annoying, but my understanding is that we're running on the same rules as previous World Cups, with a maximum of 31 players and replacements can only be called up for "medical or compassionate reasons", and the replaced player cannot return.

Matt Fagerson is likely to be the backrower not to go but Ryan Wilson should also be on the chopping board. To be honest, I'd bring Wilson purely for the Ireland game. Start him at scrum-half with a clear brief: O'Mahoney is Tweedledee.

Pete Horne simply can’t be selected (but likely will)
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Post by bsando on Tue 07 May 2019, 7:30 pm

Great squad in my opinion! A lot better than 2015 I’d say. The big difference is the older heads have more experience of success and there’s great competition there for places. 

R Gray is too good to miss out, I think Townsend is being sly and letting him play a run of games and he’ll be called up once Toulouse finish their season.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 07 May 2019, 8:53 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/48185544

Toonie not closing the door on RG or DW

Hard to see what Duncy can do now though, considering his season is pretty much done, his best chance is from an injury to one of the incumbants Russell or Hastings.

Ritchie Gray, on the other hand. with the Top 14 run in to come, has every chance to stake his claim to a place.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 08 May 2019, 8:36 am

Pleased to see the door open for Gray, but otherwise think Toonie has done a decent job pulling the squad together. The real trick will be whittling it down. Don't think Weir and Dunbar can really complain. Dunbar hasn't played much, despite some recent action for Newcastle and Weir isn't good enough for international rugby, nor eligible to clean Russell and Hastings' boots.

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Post by bsando on Wed 08 May 2019, 9:56 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:Pleased to see the door open for Gray, but otherwise think Toonie has done a decent job pulling the squad together. The real trick will be whittling it down. Don't think Weir and Dunbar can really complain. Dunbar hasn't played much, despite some recent action for Newcastle and Weir isn't good enough for international rugby, nor eligible to clean Russell and Hastings' boots.

Yeah Dunbar setup a nice try for Falcons on his senior side debut, but that's all I saw of the game so don't know how he was otherwise. I'm certain he'll come back into reckoning with a run of games for Newcastle or if he jumps ship his next team.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 08 May 2019, 10:00 am

bsando wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Pleased to see the door open for Gray, but otherwise think Toonie has done a decent job pulling the squad together. The real trick will be whittling it down. Don't think Weir and Dunbar can really complain. Dunbar hasn't played much, despite some recent action for Newcastle and Weir isn't good enough for international rugby, nor eligible to clean Russell and Hastings' boots.

Yeah Dunbar setup a nice try for Falcons on his senior side debut, but that's all I saw of the game so don't know how he was otherwise. I'm certain he'll come back into reckoning with a run of games for Newcastle or if he jumps ship his next team.

Dunbar went off with a shoulder injury in that game, so not sure he did much else.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 08 May 2019, 10:33 am

Well I just got my tickets for the Scotland v France game at Murrayfield in August.

It took a good while even to get on the website, so I imagine it will sell out quite quickly. They have priced it very competitively as well, I got platinum tickets for £45!

I paid more than that to go and watch the Sarries game back in March!

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 08 May 2019, 10:52 am

EWT Spoons wrote:
bsando wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Pleased to see the door open for Gray, but otherwise think Toonie has done a decent job pulling the squad together. The real trick will be whittling it down. Don't think Weir and Dunbar can really complain. Dunbar hasn't played much, despite some recent action for Newcastle and Weir isn't good enough for international rugby, nor eligible to clean Russell and Hastings' boots.

Yeah Dunbar setup a nice try for Falcons on his senior side debut, but that's all I saw of the game so don't know how he was otherwise. I'm certain he'll come back into reckoning with a run of games for Newcastle or if he jumps ship his next team.

Dunbar went off with a shoulder injury in that game, so not sure he did much else.

to be fair the try he set up was pretty good.

He cut an angle (with quite some pace) inside his own half. He then got to the 10m line and offloaded it as he was half tackled. He then caught up with the boy he passed to and got the ball back again inside the 22 then he offloaded it again as he was tackled out to another player who then fell over the line to score.

falcons should have then gone on to get the last try with a BP and the win but an interception relegated them.

A full summer off to recover and let his body heal property will do Eck the world of good. I can't see anyone else coming in for him at the moment so it looks like he'll be in the championship next year. He may come back one day but its not looking likely unless he can get his injuries behind him.
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Post by BigGee on Wed 08 May 2019, 10:57 am

tigertattie wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:
bsando wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:Pleased to see the door open for Gray, but otherwise think Toonie has done a decent job pulling the squad together. The real trick will be whittling it down. Don't think Weir and Dunbar can really complain. Dunbar hasn't played much, despite some recent action for Newcastle and Weir isn't good enough for international rugby, nor eligible to clean Russell and Hastings' boots.

Yeah Dunbar setup a nice try for Falcons on his senior side debut, but that's all I saw of the game so don't know how he was otherwise. I'm certain he'll come back into reckoning with a run of games for Newcastle or if he jumps ship his next team.

Dunbar went off with a shoulder injury in that game, so not sure he did much else.

to be fair the try he set up was pretty good.

He cut an angle (with quite some pace) inside his own half. He then got to the 10m line and offloaded it as he was half tackled. He then caught up with the boy he passed to and got the ball back again inside the 22 then he offloaded it again as he was tackled out to another player who then fell over the line to score.

falcons should have then gone on to get the last try with a BP and the win but an interception relegated them.

A full summer off to recover and let his body heal property will do Eck the world of good. I can't see anyone else coming in for him at the moment so it looks like he'll be in the championship next year. He may come back one day but its not looking likely unless he can get his injuries behind him.

No guarantee that Newcastle will keep him on either, he never signed for them, only went on a loan. If he does stay, it will certainly be on a lot less money than he is on now and he may or may not fancy that.

He has talked about going back into farming when his career is over. He may have some big decisions to make now.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 08 May 2019, 11:12 am

He's too good a player not to be playing pro rugby.

If he doesn't get a pro contract and goes back to famring, I take it he'll be around the Lockerbie area? If so, surely either Ayr or Melrose will be sniffing around him to join them as they go into the super 6?
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Post by BigGee on Wed 08 May 2019, 11:23 am

Tom English picking apart Toonie's selection dilemmas.

He seems pretty much on the money but there will inevitably be some injuries, so they still have everything to play for.


In naming a 42-man training squad for the World Cup on Tuesday Gregor Townsend officially launched squad-picking season.

Squad-picking is a pursuit that will inflict many in the coming months. The stricken find themselves incapable of getting through a day without scribbling down the names of the 31 men they think will board the plane for Japan before starting an argument in their own head and ripping up their list and starting again.

It's a Groundhog Day for geeks, with this scribbler firmly in the ranks. Surveys suggest that each victim gets through hundreds of different versions of the squad before they eventually come out of their trance-like state.




Townsend is the only one who has to do it for real and that process has now started. The provisional squad has been named with room for two more - a lock (Richie Gray would be the favourite) and, most probably, a wing (Lee Jones may be the one in the frame if he can prove his fitness).

The 44 will be whittled down to 31, which will take some doing. It's fair to say that of all of Scotland's World Cup squads since the tournament began back in 1987, this one demands more debate than any other and, as a consequence, will be the toughest of all to pick.
◾Gray can still make World Cup squad - Townsend

How does the numbers game add up?

A natural starting point in all of this is whether Townsend intends to go with a split of 18 forwards and 13 backs or, as Vern Cotter did four years ago, 17 forwards and 14 backs. The former would give him the option of an extra prop or an extra back-five player in the pack at the expense, perhaps, of a wing.

If Townsend knows which way he's going to go then he's not letting on. In reality, he must be open-minded. There's a long way to go, but right now, there's arguably 26 guys who can be considered close to certainties barring any mishap between now and 3 September, the day of Townsend's announcement.

That still leaves a lot of talking points. Jamie Bhatti and Gordon Reid are in a fight to be the fifth prop. With Jonny Gray and Grant Gilchrist virtually on the plane there will be one more out-and-out second row chosen (Gray senior and Ben Toolis are in competition there) with a fourth man picked as a second-row with the capacity to cover back-row. Four years ago that job fell to Tim Swinson. The 2019 version looks like Sam Skinner.

The back-row is where the main conundrums exist. John Barclay, Hamish Watson and Ryan Wilson will travel, but that only leaves two, possibly three, more slots, depending on how Townsend wants to cut it.

If it's only two positions up for grabs you have Jamie Ritchie, Magnus Bradbury, Blade Thomson, Josh Strauss, Gary Graham and Matt Fagerson competing for them. Thomson is the unknown at Test level. The Scarlet is only now making his comeback following a prolonged period out with concussion. He's got the game to force his way in. Ritchie was outstanding in the Six Nations. Strauss has the grunt. Fagerson is fast improving. Graham is the outsider of the lot, but he has a belligerence about him that gives him a chance of causing a surprise.

That's a decent set of options for Townsend. At half-back, things are straightforward. Duncan Weir is playing the best stuff of his life with Worcester but he needs an injury to Finn Russell or Adam Hastings to make it. The only question at nine will be on match day. Does Greig Laidlaw start ahead of Ali Price? If not, does the captaincy revert to Stuart McInally or Barclay? George Horne will be in Japan as the third nine with the livewire capability of pushing the other two all the way.



Duncan Weir

Duncan Weir has yet to convince Gregor Townsend to include him

Tinker with Taylor?

Townsend listed nine centres that have not made his squad. That's an illustration of how brutal the selection was and will be again when he has to reduce the numbers further. Duncan Taylor hasn't played rugby all season and hasn't worn the Scotland jersey for almost two years because of a catalogue of injuries. If he didn't have bad luck he'd have no luck at all.

You might call him the forgotten man, but Townsend hasn't forgotten. Taylor, fit and firing, is massively important to the coach - and Townsend makes no secret of that. Taylor can play 12, 13, on the wing and at full-back. He's the very definition of versatility and his presence would mean that Townsend can play around with his numbers knowing that he has a guy who can don most jerseys in the backline and deliver in each one.

Of all the intriguing questions the one of most significance and spin-off impact surrounds Taylor and his attempted journey back to rugby. He returns to light training this week. Those opening warm-up games in August will be the making or breaking of him.

Sam Johnson has to be a shoo-in. Huw Jones, too. If Taylor makes it, there will be a maximum of one more centre with a battalion of contenders. Pete Horne, Nick Grigg and Chris Harris are firm favourites of the coach, but Northampton's Rory Hutchinson has the appearance of a bolter every time you see him. This is not going to be easy.

Four wings made it in 2015. Four might make it again, but this is where the Taylor Factor comes into play again. If Taylor travels then Townsend might get away with picking just three wings while adding another forward. Darcy Graham has shot himself into the must-pick category. Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour are the other two. Both can play 15 if pushed. Blair Kinghorn ought to make it, but he's by no means a banker for inclusion.

In the selection process the more that Townsend's brain is fried the better. The wider squad assembles next month. In the relative blink of an eye 31 of them will be in Japan.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 08 May 2019, 11:28 am

tigertattie wrote:He's too good a player not to be playing pro rugby.

If he doesn't get a pro contract and goes back to famring, I take it he'll be around the Lockerbie area? If so, surely either Ayr or Melrose will be sniffing around him to join them as they go into the super 6?

He was certainly to good, but its been a couple of years since we have seen the real Alex Dunbar. If the body is not up to it any more then what can you do?

I am not sure many pros would really relish going back down and playing at a lower level again. His family, I believe emigrated out to Tasmania, so maybe he plans to head down under to join them. I think he was working down there one summer when he got called into the Scotland squad who were in Oz!

I hope he can get himself fit again. That was a great try he set up for the Falcons last weekend showing the old Dunbar is still in there. It would be good to see him playing back at his best. I don't see him going to this WC though.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 08 May 2019, 11:41 am

Imagine the headlines

"Dunbar - The return of a hero"

It's a story about how Dunbar, once a bastion of dependability in the centre for Scotland, was overlooked for selection in the 2019 world cup, but now, at the age of 33, came back into the sqaud for the 2023 world cup allowing him to score the winning try against the All Blacks to win the Webb-Ellis trophy
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 08 May 2019, 12:30 pm

BigGee wrote:
tigertattie wrote:He's too good a player not to be playing pro rugby.

If he doesn't get a pro contract and goes back to famring, I take it he'll be around the Lockerbie area? If so, surely either Ayr or Melrose will be sniffing around him to join them as they go into the super 6?

He was certainly to good, but its been a couple of years since we have seen the real Alex Dunbar. If the body is not up to it any more then what can you do?

I am not sure many pros would really relish going back down and playing at a lower level again. His family, I believe emigrated out to Tasmania, so maybe he plans to head down under to join them. I think he was working down there one summer when he got called into the Scotland squad who were in Oz!

I hope he can get himself fit again. That was a great try he set up for the Falcons last weekend showing the old Dunbar is still in there. It would be good to see him playing back at his best. I don't see him going to this WC though.

He could decide to go do something completely different and play Super Rugby if he was willing to take the pay cut. Looks like the berths in Scotland are filled. He would get 8 months to heal up before the next Super Rugby season starts. The Reds would be relatively close if he wanted to stay close to Tasmania.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 08 May 2019, 12:42 pm

I think Bennett’s knee is screwed again, so could be a slot at Edinburgh. Mind you we already have one massively injury prone 13, maybe we don’t want another.

However we could get the old band back together with a Scott & Dunbar combo

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Post by RDW on Wed 08 May 2019, 1:42 pm

Rugby pass are saying Gloucester are lining up a move for Chris Harris.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 08 May 2019, 1:47 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:I think Bennett’s knee is screwed again, so could be a slot at Edinburgh.  Mind you we already have one massively injury prone 13, maybe we don’t want another.

However we could get the old band back together with a Scott & Dunbar combo

There has been a deafening silence about the state of Bennetts knee since the Glasgow game, surely if he has done it again, that has got to be time up for him. Could he really come back from another operation and long rehab? He has never looked like the same player since the injury playing for Scotland and you wonder what long term damage he might be doing to himself?

Have you heard anything from your sources?

Of the other injuries in that last game, I am slightly more re-assured by McInally being included in the Scotland squad without any comment.

Maybe Edinburgh should come back in for Chris Harris, they were interested in him before. It seems like Newcastle would be happy to loan him out for a season.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 08 May 2019, 3:36 pm

BigGee wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:I think Bennett’s knee is screwed again, so could be a slot at Edinburgh.  Mind you we already have one massively injury prone 13, maybe we don’t want another.

However we could get the old band back together with a Scott & Dunbar combo

There has been a deafening silence about the state of Bennetts knee since the Glasgow game, surely if he has done it again, that has got to be time up for him. Could he really come back from another operation and long rehab? He has never looked like the same player since the injury playing for Scotland and you wonder what long term damage he might be doing to himself?

Have you heard anything from your sources?

Of the other injuries in that last game, I am slightly more re-assured by McInally being included in the Scotland squad without any comment.

Maybe Edinburgh should come back in for Chris Harris, they were interested in him before. It seems like Newcastle would be happy to loan him out for a season.

No to Harris

He's a bit poo!

If Harris is away from Newcastle then surly Newcastle would want to keep hold of Dunbar as a ready made replacement?

A move to Edinburgh may do Dunbar good. It might not be good for Edinburgh, but at least Dunbar would be closer to the Spire Murrayfield hospital!
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Post by jimbopip on Wed 08 May 2019, 4:27 pm


When did a move to the home of The Property Team ever do any decent rugby player any good?

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Post by reallybored on Wed 08 May 2019, 7:57 pm

Here's my team and 31 man squad, pretty sure plenty will disagree.

1 - Dell
2 - Brown (c)
3 - Fagerson
4 - Gray
5 - Gray
6 - Ritchie
7 - Watson
8 - Bradbury

9 - Price
10 - Russell
11 - Kinghorn
12 - Johnson
13 - Jones
14 - Graham
15 - Hogg

16 - McInally
17 - Bhatti
18 - Nel
19 - Gilchrist
20 - Fagerson
21 - Laidlaw
22 - Hastings
23 - Taylor

24 - Turner, 25 - Berghan, 26 - Skinner, 27 - Barclay, 28 - Horne, 29 - Hutchinson, 30 - Seymour, 31 - Maitland

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Post by demosthenes on Thu 09 May 2019, 9:08 am

reallybored wrote:Here's my team and 31 man squad, pretty sure plenty will disagree.

1 - Dell
2 - Brown (c)
3 - Fagerson
4 - Gray
5 - Gray
6 - Ritchie
7 - Watson
8 - Bradbury

9 - Price
10 - Russell
11 - Kinghorn
12 - Johnson
13 - Jones
14 - Graham
15 - Hogg

16 - McInally
17 - Bhatti
18 - Nel
19 - Gilchrist
20 - Fagerson
21 - Laidlaw
22 - Hastings
23 - Taylor

24 - Turner, 25 - Berghan, 26 - Skinner, 27 - Barclay, 28 - Horne, 29 - Hutchinson, 30 - Seymour, 31 - Maitland

Can't see him going with only five props

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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 09 May 2019, 4:24 pm

BigGee wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:I think Bennett’s knee is screwed again, so could be a slot at Edinburgh.  Mind you we already have one massively injury prone 13, maybe we don’t want another.

However we could get the old band back together with a Scott & Dunbar combo

There has been a deafening silence about the state of Bennetts knee since the Glasgow game, surely if he has done it again, that has got to be time up for him. Could he really come back from another operation and long rehab? He has never looked like the same player since the injury playing for Scotland and you wonder what long term damage he might be doing to himself?

Have you heard anything from your sources?

Of the other injuries in that last game, I am slightly more re-assured by McInally being included in the Scotland squad without any comment.

Maybe Edinburgh should come back in for Chris Harris, they were interested in him before. It seems like Newcastle would be happy to loan him out for a season.

I've not heard anything, but certainly Cockers said Bennett had injured his knee again. Didn't say how bad and there has been nothing since, I'm just used to Bennett being injured for Edinburgh so if he gets a knee injury, I suspect the worst.

Cockers did say that Rambo and Graham's injuries weren't too serious right after they happened so hopefully they're fine.

I'd take Harris. Edinburgh's style of play doesn't call for an explosive fancy 13 (as much as I'd like it to) and from what I've heard Harris is defensively sound. I say heard as I'm not sure we've seen much of it for Scotland and I don't follow Newcastle that closely. Therefore a strong defensive player could be well suited for Edinburgh, considering the only time at 13 he'd be likely to see the ball is when it's being kicked over his head or being ran back at him.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 09 May 2019, 4:24 pm

BigGee wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:I think Bennett’s knee is screwed again, so could be a slot at Edinburgh.  Mind you we already have one massively injury prone 13, maybe we don’t want another.

However we could get the old band back together with a Scott & Dunbar combo

There has been a deafening silence about the state of Bennetts knee since the Glasgow game, surely if he has done it again, that has got to be time up for him. Could he really come back from another operation and long rehab? He has never looked like the same player since the injury playing for Scotland and you wonder what long term damage he might be doing to himself?

Have you heard anything from your sources?

Of the other injuries in that last game, I am slightly more re-assured by McInally being included in the Scotland squad without any comment.

Maybe Edinburgh should come back in for Chris Harris, they were interested in him before. It seems like Newcastle would be happy to loan him out for a season.

I've not heard anything, but certainly Cockers said Bennett had injured his knee again. Didn't say how bad and there has been nothing since, I'm just used to Bennett being injured for Edinburgh so if he gets a knee injury, I suspect the worst.

Cockers did say that Rambo and Graham's injuries weren't too serious right after they happened so hopefully they're fine.

I'd take Harris. Edinburgh's style of play doesn't call for an explosive fancy 13 (as much as I'd like it to) and from what I've heard Harris is defensively sound. I say heard as I'm not sure we've seen much of it for Scotland and I don't follow Newcastle that closely. Therefore a strong defensive player could be well suited for Edinburgh, considering the only time at 13 he'd be likely to see the ball is when it's being kicked over his head or being ran back at him.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 09 May 2019, 4:34 pm

There are (unsubstantiated) rumours that Will Jordan* is the final back in the training squad.  Apparently he’s not been called up (yet) as he’s still involved with his SR side, and there is no point calling him up at the moment.  He’s out of contract in the summer and is apparently replacing Hoggy at Glasgow.

However, given he’s been described as the next Nehe Milner-Skudder and I can’t see anything about him being SQ (other than apparently a highlights reel of him was released for a spell by an SRU account on youtube) I’m not sure if this actually has any validity, as I don’t think he’s that far away from an AB cap.  However, if he’s been offered a lucrative deal to move to Glasgow (or move to Edinburgh and commute to Glasgow, which would be far more sensible  Wink  Smile ) and a WC place, then you never know.


*Will Jordan

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Post by BigGee on Thu 09 May 2019, 6:00 pm

I had heard that as well, but agree it seems a bit far fetched, so not going to get to excited just yet.

It is a bit odd though that Toonie did not name check any backs in the same way that he listed off all the second rows competing for the last forward place.

Steyn would be worth a shout, but he does not really add anything to what is already in the squad and is unlikely to make the final cut in any case. We know he likes Lee Jones, but is he really going to leap frog some of the other back three options?

Interesting if you like conspiracy theories I guess!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 09 May 2019, 7:13 pm

Harris is a no for me. We already have two better 13s and one of the Islanders already signed is a centre I believe. I've seen nothing particularly impressive in Harris. He's like one of the non-descript centres Scotland used to rely on in the 2000s, like Henderson or Craig.

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Post by luvtotup on Thu 09 May 2019, 8:26 pm

Seems unanimous that Jones pairs with Johnson in probable test team. He can’t get on the bench for Glasgow! Steyn has barely put a foot wrong and has played every game since he arrived. Suspect he may be the “bolter”. Prior to that Grigg got the nod.In any case its very strange that Jones can’t replicate International form when playing, rarely, for Glasgow.
DR must have reservations about Jones-surely a shoe-in for a test spot must at least get a bench spot for his club team?!

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Post by BigGee on Thu 09 May 2019, 9:53 pm

It does not make a lot of sense really, why would DR have reservations about a player he broke the bank to re-sign earlier in the season.

It is odd that he left him out of the last squad for the game against Ulster.

Was it a hissy fit or is he just not fit/in form enough?

I guess it will eventually come out in the wash, particularly if he does not play next time against Ulster!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 10 May 2019, 8:22 am

This is an international rugby thread, so let's not dwell too long on Steyn, Grigg or Lee Jones, fine club journeymen as they may be. In the same category as the likes of Swinson and Harley, a big part of the reason why Glasgow can sustain better league form than Edinburgh (they have considerably better depth), but not the players to really push Scotland into the knock outs of the World Cup.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Fri 10 May 2019, 8:30 am

The interesting one for me is Blade Thompson. Number 8 is a weakness for us, and Toonie has involved him at every opportunity. But for injury, I think we'd have seen him in the 6 Nations. If we assume Barclay and Watson are nailed on, the remaining back row places will be hotly contested, especially in the light of Matt Fagerson's recent form. I don't think Ritchie will make it, and i wonder whether there will be room for Bradbury. Toonie likes Wilson for his leadership (utter madness in my opinion), and i assume Skinner will go as lock/6 cover. A couple of big performances from Blade and the two Edinburgh boys could miss out completely.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Fri 10 May 2019, 8:38 am

It's possible FES, but I think if Bradbury can emulate the form he showed in the 6 nations at 8 in the warm up games, he's got to be in the conversation to go, given he plays 6 as well.

With that said I've not seen all that much of Thompson, so he could come in and totally nail the 8 slot. Undoubtably though the BR is a position of relative strength (at the moment, before the injuries hit) so will be interesting to see who gets picked.

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Post by jimbopip on Fri 10 May 2019, 8:49 am

funnyExiledScot wrote: Toonie likes Wilson for his leadership (utter madness in my opinion),  

I think there are at least two possible interpretations of that. Cool

Some call it madness; the Glasgow fans call it leadership. Ok!

I happen to think that Barclay isn't the shoo in that he has been in the past. He isn't quite up to speed since his injury and although he has looked "alright" in a mediocre side in the bottom half of the Pro14 he could get shown up at Test level. For the sake of clarity, a fit and in form John Barclay is a definite starter every time for me. But we could also say that about Mark Bennett and Alex Dunbar. Crying or Very sad I feel that Barcs has to prove that he's back to his best or he doesn't travel.

The Tombola must be spinning at double quick speed all through the wee dark hours of the night for Toonie right now. Like FES waiting for the next Boden catalogue to arrive.

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Post by RDW on Fri 10 May 2019, 8:55 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:This is an international rugby thread, so let's not dwell too long on Steyn, Grigg or Lee Jones, fine club journeymen as they may be. In the same category as the likes of Swinson and Harley, a big part of the reason why Glasgow can sustain better league form than Edinburgh (they have considerably better depth), but not the players to really push Scotland into the knock outs of the World Cup.

I completely agree on Grigg, Jones, Swinson and Harley but Steyn looks like he could be the real deal - it's going to be interesting to see what happens with him.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 10 May 2019, 9:25 am

The thing with Steyn is that he is new Glasgow but he's fairly well estiablished in rugby.

He's been on the 7s circuit and he was the captain for his Currie Cup side and at 25 he's not a baby faced teenager.

He does indeed have shout at selection.

I'd still pick Hutchinson ahead of him though.
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Post by RDW on Fri 10 May 2019, 10:49 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/48224634

Looks like the Scotland players will be having a nice tour on their own in 2021!

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 10 May 2019, 11:07 am

Totally the wrong decision

Sport these days is all about the results, but the Lions are the exception to the rule and it's the ethos and history of them that are the main factor and fans look to be entertained.

I still feel that Wales are going to struggle after the WC. No Gats (and we seen what happened to them last time he went away for a bit) and its likely the Deity that is AWJ will hang his boots up after the WC also.

If Wales then start to struggle to win games, it will be interesting if Gats still sticks to the line of only picking players who are used to winning!
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Post by jimbopip on Fri 10 May 2019, 1:08 pm

Well I'm planning how to spend the money I'll save not buying any Lions merchandise that year.

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Post by 123456789. on Fri 10 May 2019, 2:27 pm

On the one hand it’s hard to take, Gatland has picked a paltry number of Scotland players on his two tours so far. We have undoubtedly improved as a nation, there can be no doubt there. However in the last four years England have won two six nations and Ireland and Wales one each. We’ve won bugger all. In his tenure as Lions head coach we’ve not beaten anyone other than Italy away from home in the Six Nations. Since 2009 out of a possible 80 European cup knockout spaces we’ve taken 4. In short, whilst we’re getting much much better until we break through that glass ceiling and actually win something we’ll see bugger all representation on the Lions tour.

The good thing is we have the opportunities and the players to fix things. Glasgow can get the ball rolling in the next three weeks. We have a big World Cup game against Ireland. Beating them on a neutral ground changes the perspective. Reaching a semi-final or even the final (pigs might fly) changes the perspective. We have two six nations and two champions cups in the mean time. If we can be consistent challengers in both of them then that changes the perspective.

If we achieve that and Gatland ignores our players than we can protest and moan to high heaven. As things stand, we’ve played Gatland’s Wales three times since he ignored our boys and each time they’ve turned us over.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 10 May 2019, 3:12 pm

Numbers ya big maddo, where have you been hiding?

Your post is pretty much spot on. We are not helping matters by winning hee haw.

Gatland slaps the face of the lions ethos which is a tour of the best players in the islands going to play an entertaining summer tour against one of the bigh 2 SH teams.

It's not a team of who Gatland feels fits his mould of player or players he has experience in working with so therefore get the nod.
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Post by bsando on Wed 15 May 2019, 9:59 am

Hopefully Scotland will have a better shot at getting more numbers for the lions in 2021. There’s a list of players who could potentially be in really good form by then.

Hastings
G Horne
Z Fagerson
M Fagerson
McDowall
Steyn
Kinghorn
D Graham
Ritchie
Bradbury

Plus those who are already doing well for Scotland like Russell, Jones, Johnson, Price etc

As much as it depends on how Scotland is doing in 2021 it is equally important as to how England, Wales and Ireland are doing. Wales will be going through a big transitional phase and it’ll be interesting to see how their impressive defence  does after  Gatland and Edwards depart.

Likewise with Ireland handing the reigns over to Farrell and England choosing a successor to Eddie Jones.

Of all the home nations coaches Townsend and Farrell will be most settled in 2021.

Results are important though. Scotland need Glasgow and Edinburgh need to keep making QF’s in Europe and be in the mix for Pro14 playoffs!

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Post by RDW on Wed 15 May 2019, 10:23 am

Some bold predictions there Bsando given most of them are yet to break through into the Scotland team! I appreciate you're only suggesting they have a lot of potential.

2 years isn't that long in rugby when it comes to a Lions tour - it's hard enough for our best of the best seasoned campaigners to get selected never mind newbies who are only breaking through (remembering that the other nations will have exciting newbies coming through too).

The more pragmatic list is:

High chance
Hogg
McInally

Good chance but have a lot of competition
Brown
Gray x2
Jones
Russell (but he's pretty much the complete opposite of a Gatland 10)

Have a lot of work to do to stand a chance

Everyone else!

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 15 May 2019, 11:04 am

RDW wrote:Some bold predictions there Bsando given most of them are yet to break through into the Scotland team! I appreciate you're only suggesting they have a lot of potential.

2 years isn't that long in rugby when it comes to a Lions tour - it's hard enough for our best of the best seasoned campaigners to get selected never mind newbies who are only breaking through (remembering that the other nations will have exciting newbies coming through too).

The more pragmatic list is:

High chance
Hogg  Will tour but only as back up 10
McInally Won't go as he hasn't the experience of being in a Lions' environment

Good chance but have a lot of competition
Brown If he can't get picked ahead of that other bloke why would I pick him?
Gray x2 Not sufficiently AWJ enough.
Jones Good name but it's not quite Davies
Russell (but he's pretty much the complete opposite of a Gatland 10)We don't want any of that fancy malarkey. Just kick it into their 22, son. Oh wait we have that Hogg as back up 10, stay at home and practice chasing high balls.

Have a lot of work to do to stand a chance

Everyone else!

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