Scotland WC Chat

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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 Fri 17 May 2019, 6:20 pm

Article about Rory Hutchinson in the Guardian today

The Northampton director of rugby, Chris Boyd, is full of those Kiwi metaphors that can make the game seem frustratingly simple considering how well his countrymen play it. Explaining how he has put Northampton on an upward curve in his first season in charge, and done so with no little style, he says: “You have a set of cattle, the opposition have got a set of cattle and you try to work out where your advantage might be.”

His point is that his cattle are not as big or powerful as, say Saracens or Saturday’s opponents Exeter, but you sense that is how Boyd would prefer it. He is one of the most engaging directors of rugby around and talks of how he often debates with Dan Biggar the merits of eschewing possession in favour of defence – as Wales tend to do – but concluding that, “I really battle with the idea of being happier with the other team having the ball than yourselves. It just doesn’t sit comfortably with me.”
 
Moreover, he lets his players make mistakes without fear of reprisal and nowhere has it paid off more than in the emergence of Rory Hutchinson. The 23-year-old centre began the season injured and in the final year of his contract. He returned to fitness fighting for his future but after an irresistible run of form since February – taking Northampton to the brink of the play-offs – he has been called up to Scotland’s World Cup training squad.

Upon taking the job Boyd saw talent in abundance in him but someone equally error prone so it is to the New Zealander’s great credit that he has allowed Hutchinson to develop in the heat of battle, just as it is hard to imagine the previous management being so forgiving.

“Chris says we play a high-risk game and we will have those moments when we have the odd interception but those are the risks we take and 80% of the time it works for us,” says Hutchinson. “Chris described it to me like a set of scales with your attack and defence where you need to even them out. He said that mistakes are going to happen if you have the ball a lot so it is just a case of limiting those mistakes and making the right decisions.”

If a licence to play has been key to Hutchinson’s breakthrough, both coach and player believe there is a bit more to it that. Boyd sees a trend emerging where crash-ball centres are no longer the only solution to breaking down destructive defences. Hutchinson is only 5ft 9ins and only 90kg but can pick defences apart rather than trampling over them.

 
“If you were not winning the battle up front and line speed was prohibiting getting the ball to the edge then the solution was to play through the middle,” adds Boyd. “The historical solution to that was picking Manu Tuilagi, Ma’a Nonu or another big guy and they truck the ball through the middle and then you can play off both edges. The thinking now is that you can play through the middle of the field now through skill as well as size. Rory Hutchinson is capable of getting you across the advantage line as much as a big guy because he has good such good footwork and such good hands. His skillset is far more suited to the southern hemisphere because he is a high-risk player.”

Hutchinson, who had made just four appearances for Northampton in the previous two seasons before Boyd arrived, agrees. “It is the way the game is changing. You see teams not going straight up the middle now. You have your forwards to get you over the gainline and your backs to get the ball out wide to your wings. My instinct is to go around rather than over or use my distributing players to manipulate players.”

It is a trait that has not gone unnoticed by Gregor Townsend, who was first in contact with Hutchinson around the time of Northampton’s east Midlands derby win over Leicester in mid-March, in which the 23-year-old starred. He is no stranger to the Scotland set-up, having made 20 appearances for the under-20s and while he is eligible for England until Townsend caps him, he is not about to switch allegiances any time soon, admitting that he thought his World Cup chances were over when a knee injury struck on the eve of the season. “I wanted to play for Scotland. I don’t know where I would be right now if it wasn’t for the Exiles set-up, Scotland Under-18s and Under-20s. I went to the Junior World Cup with Scotland. They gave me the time of day and since then I’ve always wanted to play with Scotland.”

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Post by BigGee on Fri 17 May 2019, 7:34 pm

All 4 of Scotland's WC warm up games are going to be screened on Premier Sports this summer/autumn.

Looks like those who won't splash out their tenner (Tattie!), might have to put their hands in their pockets for these games

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Post by RDW on Fri 17 May 2019, 8:41 pm

BigGee wrote:All 4 of Scotland's WC warm up games are going to be screened on Premier Sports this summer/autumn.

Looks like those who won't splash out their tenner (Tattie!), might have to put their hands in their pockets for these games

There goes my plan to cancel over the summer - not that Swedish A league basketball isn't my kind of thing!

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Post by BigGee on Fri 17 May 2019, 9:45 pm

RDW wrote:
BigGee wrote:All 4 of Scotland's WC warm up games are going to be screened on Premier Sports this summer/autumn.

Looks like those who won't splash out their tenner (Tattie!), might have to put their hands in their pockets for these games

There goes my plan to cancel over the summer - not that Swedish A league basketball isn't my kind of thing!

We get June and July off, saves 20 quid!

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Sat 18 May 2019, 9:37 am

Well if Toonie was looking at Steyn for the extra backline spot in the training squad, his performance last night certainly did him no harm. Big carries including the one that set Glasgow on their merry way in the opening exchanges, and a try. Strong in defense with some very good tackles, including a big hit on Stockdale off an Ulster attacking scrum in the 22.

Another who's really come into his own in recent weeks is Matt Fagerson, who put in another huge performance last night. Must be inching up the pecking order. Cummings was perhaps less visible than in recent weeks, but made some hard yards around the fringes, and again defended well.

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Post by RDW on Sat 18 May 2019, 9:46 am

Yeah almost every Glasgow player in Scotland contention definitely helped their case. There's still a few rough edges on Steyn though - yes he scored his try but he was completely blinkered to the easy 2 on 1 on his left. These are the kind of details that can make a difference in close internationals. Fagerson put in a great shift but struggled at the back of the scrum at times - again little details. I still need to be convinced he can cope physically at international level - I'm sure he'll get his opportunity in the summer.

I would agree on Cummings though - this is one world cup too early. There's no rational reason to pick him over Gray Snr.


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Post by BigGee on Sat 18 May 2019, 9:48 am

Matt Fagerson is going to be putting some of the other No.8s under some pressure, he has been awesome over the end of season games.

Bradbury is not going going to be a shoe in by any stretch of the imagination and The Blade Runner is going to have to do something very special in the warm ups.

It is going to be very competitive.

Steyn on the other hand, how can he be left out the way he is playing? Huw Jones is just not getting a look in due to his form at the moment. What an inspired signing he has become, Shuggy needed some competition and boy has he got it!


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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sat 18 May 2019, 11:02 am

Agree on Matt Fagerson. Number 8 is a problem position for us, and he is in red hot form. Thomson, Wilson and Bradbury should be concerned.

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Post by RDW on Mon 20 May 2019, 9:28 pm

Another nice try from Hutchinson this weekend - a Huw Jones_esque qlide on the outside through a gap.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:14 am

I'm starting to wonder if Huw Jones will make the squad!!

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Post by BigGee on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:17 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:I'm starting to wonder if Huw Jones will make the squad!!

He is certainly going to have to earn his spot!

He has got experience on his side and I guess that will count, to take two 13s with no caps would be quite a gamble, even for Toonie!

You can't deny though that the Steyn of destiny and Hutchie are playing out of their skins at the moment.

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Post by RDW on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:48 am

Worth remembering Steyn isn't in the squad! I suspect he might be after the final though.

I'd rather Steyn or Hutchison than Grigg!

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Post by BigGee on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:53 am

I imagine that Grigg will be plying his trade at Scotstoun this autumn!

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Post by EST on Tue 21 May 2019, 9:23 am

I like Grigg at club level, but in Steyn and Hutchison we have to better players - I hope neither he or Harris go.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 21 May 2019, 9:47 am

With regards to Harris, chat on the rumours thread that he’s signed for Gloucester and that seems to be regarded as a good deal for falcons. Doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement of how his season’s gone.

Steyn should go or at least take a spot in the training squad as he’s the form 13 in Scotland.

On the try he scored on Fri, I think Wilson was very lucky that Steyn managed to get through the tackles, yes Steyn could have passed to the wing, but Johnson was in acres of space to the right of Wilson and was totally ignored. With the emergence of Fagerson, Bradbury and possibly Thomson, I’m not sure Wilson will be needed at 8, and as previously covered here, we have a wealth of talent at 6 & 7. I still think Wilson will go mind you as he seems to be well liked amongst the squad and seems to help keep morale up in the team. In theory shouldn’t be enough to get him on the plane but I think it probably will.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 21 May 2019, 1:05 pm

I watched the Scarlets v Ospreys game last night that I had recorded from the weekend.

I would say that Thompson looked like a player who had been out of action for a while and certainly did not impose himself on the game. Probably understandable considering the injury he has been carrying and not helped by Scarlets poor form.

He will have a lot of work to do to overtake Fagerson on that showing but you never know, getting into a international squad might galvanise him.

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Post by EST on Tue 21 May 2019, 1:46 pm

Fagerson really is on red-hot form just now, but as others have mentioned, i'm not convinced he has the sheer size to play 8 at international level - has he ever played at 7 before?

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Post by reallybored on Tue 21 May 2019, 8:22 pm

EST wrote:Fagerson really is on red-hot form just now, but as others have mentioned, i'm not convinced he has the sheer size to play 8 at international level - has he ever played at 7 before?
What about Fagerson, Watson and Bradbury.

Obviously we'd miss Barclay's ability over the ball but Fagerson and Bradbury's ability to get over the gainline is worth it imo.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 21 May 2019, 10:51 pm

reallybored wrote:
EST wrote:Fagerson really is on red-hot form just now, but as others have mentioned, i'm not convinced he has the sheer size to play 8 at international level - has he ever played at 7 before?
What about Fagerson, Watson and Bradbury.

Obviously we'd miss Barclay's ability over the ball but Fagerson and Bradbury's ability to get over the gainline is worth it imo.

Possibly a bit light on experience and nous for this WC

Could easily be the Scotland backrow going forward though!

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 22 May 2019, 9:53 am

I think the world cup will jsut be a bit too soon for Fagerson. He's not really snatched his chances when playing for Scotland despite his club form.

I'm also worried that Glasgow/Scotland still think that Ryan Wilson is a viable option in the backrow!

For me the 1st choice backrow for the wordl cup would be

Barclay
Watson
Bradbury

Ritchie on the bench to cover 6 and 7 with Barclay moving to 8 if Bradbury gets injured
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Post by reallybored on Wed 22 May 2019, 10:20 am

tigertattie wrote:I think the world cup will jsut be a bit too soon for Fagerson. He's not really snatched his chances when playing for Scotland despite his club form.

I'm also worried that Glasgow/Scotland still think that Ryan Wilson is a viable option in the backrow!

For me the 1st choice backrow for the wordl cup would be

Barclay
Watson
Bradbury

Ritchie on the bench to cover 6 and 7 with Barclay moving to 8 if Bradbury gets injured
I'd prefer Fagerson to Ritchie on the bench, more impact.

I worry Ritchie won't make the squad if he goes with the experience of Wilson and Barclay.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed 22 May 2019, 11:30 am

I agree with Tattie (could be accused of Edinburgh bias) Ritchie has more international experience and has shown he can step up and standout at international level. Fagerson so far has struggled at Int. level. I’m not writing him off, as he’s a young man who has been superb of late, but as at today, Ritchie would take that spot. Now if Fagerson gets a shot against Georgia and France, and shows the same form he has for Glasgow then that’s a different story, but for now Ritchie would be my pick.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 22 May 2019, 11:31 am

reallybored wrote:
tigertattie wrote:I think the world cup will jsut be a bit too soon for Fagerson. He's not really snatched his chances when playing for Scotland despite his club form.

I'm also worried that Glasgow/Scotland still think that Ryan Wilson is a viable option in the backrow!

For me the 1st choice backrow for the wordl cup would be

Barclay
Watson
Bradbury

Ritchie on the bench to cover 6 and 7 with Barclay moving to 8 if Bradbury gets injured
I'd prefer Fagerson to Ritchie on the bench, more impact.

I worry Ritchie won't make the squad if he goes with the experience of Wilson and Barclay.

Fagerson has never made an impact in a Scotland Jersey though. Ritchie however could probably be considered our player of the tournament in the 6Ns and was unlucky with injury not to be involved in the madcap game against England.

When the world cup comes round, I really think we need to go with proven operators and not those with potential. I've sung the praises of Hutchinson in the second half of the season but I'd still not expect him to be catapulted into the world cup sqaud at this time. The world cup is another step up again to international rugby
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Post by reallybored on Wed 22 May 2019, 12:59 pm

tigertattie wrote:
reallybored wrote:
tigertattie wrote:I think the world cup will jsut be a bit too soon for Fagerson. He's not really snatched his chances when playing for Scotland despite his club form.

I'm also worried that Glasgow/Scotland still think that Ryan Wilson is a viable option in the backrow!

For me the 1st choice backrow for the wordl cup would be

Barclay
Watson
Bradbury

Ritchie on the bench to cover 6 and 7 with Barclay moving to 8 if Bradbury gets injured
I'd prefer Fagerson to Ritchie on the bench, more impact.

I worry Ritchie won't make the squad if he goes with the experience of Wilson and Barclay.

Fagerson has never made an impact in a Scotland Jersey though. Ritchie however could probably be considered our player of the tournament in the 6Ns and was unlucky with injury not to be involved in the madcap game against England.

When the world cup comes round, I really think we need to go with proven operators and not those with potential. I've sung the praises of Hutchinson in the second half of the season but I'd still not expect him to be catapulted into the world cup sqaud at this time. The world cup is another step up again to international rugby
How many caps does Fagerson have, 2 or 3?  Never been convinced he's big enough to be a Test 8 but his form recently has been fantastic.  

I am a huge fan of Ritchie and would take him ahead of both Barclay and Wilson but don't see it happening.

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Post by RDW on Fri 24 May 2019, 9:18 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/48391133

Good news.

Also, clubs get half a million quid for players injured on international duty??

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Post by Collapse2005 on Fri 24 May 2019, 10:04 am

It is good news but it would be even better if Scotland could keep their best players in England albeit I suppose given there are only two teams it probably benefits Scotland to have some good players playing down the road.

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Post by Tramptastic on Fri 24 May 2019, 12:01 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:It is good news but it would be even better if Scotland could keep their best players in England albeit I suppose given there are only two teams it probably benefits Scotland to have some good players playing down the road.

Lack of space at clubs chief! Not much the SRU considering the appetite for rugby outside of the central belt is located in the borders (hello 1980s attitudes to professionalism and, er, everything else) and not really anywhere else, so having a 3rd team is a bit unachievable at the moment!

There is something to be said for young scottish players playing outside of the SRU nest - character development, outside the comfort zone etc. good examples of this are Russell, Maitland, McGuigan, Graham, Laidlaw and R.Gray.

The downside is, as pointed out by yourself and various articles, is player availability, players being overplayed (Russells concussion during the 6 nations springs to mind), fitness regimes being extremely variable, especially in France

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 24 May 2019, 4:56 pm

We need a good chunk of our players to be playing outwith Scotland as we simply need more players getting regular rugby.

England is the best place for them as there is almost an unwritten understanding between the two unions for players to be released for international duty. Its a bit more difficult to get them if they are in france.

I'd love a 3rd pro team in Scotland and we really are at stage where we have enough decent pros playing to make the third team up. The only issue is the financial backing to it as the Borders have well and truly gubbed this idea for the forseeable future!
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Post by RDW on Sat 25 May 2019, 4:36 pm

Watching the Exeter v saints game now - keeping an eye on Hutchison.

He's not had a great start - fallen off a tackle and a bad forward pass!

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Post by RDW on Sat 25 May 2019, 5:00 pm

Difficult afternoon for Hutchinson - he's being pulled out of position defensively at ease just now. Exeter are absolutely rampant though.

13 is a lonely place to defend when your team is up against it!

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Post by RDW on Sat 25 May 2019, 5:09 pm

Loving diving one handed offload while juggling the ball from Hutchinson leading to a try!

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Post by RDW on Sat 25 May 2019, 5:20 pm

Strong end to the half from Hutchinson gliding through a gap for a 2 on 1 that looked like a sure try - one for the rugby bloopers reel as the Saints 9 drops it with a clear run in!

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Post by RDW on Mon 27 May 2019, 8:44 am

https://www.rugbydump.com/news/hutchinson-magic-sets-up-wonder-try-against-exeter

Check out Hutchinson's SBW-esque flying one handed offload!

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Post by EST on Mon 27 May 2019, 10:08 am

I wonder what Toonie has taken from the final? In terms of the two positions up for grabs within the squad, I don't think that Cummings could have done much more to put his hand up, he was amazing yesterday and my MoM...I didn't think he was capable of that sort of physicality at the top level, but he was dynamic and runs really great lines. Steyn was also very solid, he has an ability to stay strong through the contact and gain an extra couple of meters.

Finally, the back row is going to be an absolute nightmare to pick! Fagerson Jnr is putting huge pressure on some of the elder statesmen - his end of season form has been inspired.

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Post by RDW on Mon 27 May 2019, 10:17 am

Cummings was great but let's not forget that Ritchie has been a regular in Toulouse's end of season run in to the top of the Top 14 - he's mixing it with the best in a brutal league. I still think our pack needs his physicality and experience, plus he'll help our lineout which has been dodgy all season.

We're all assuming Skinner is a sure bet given his versatility (although I still think he's only an emergency option at 6 at international level), but he's been a bit part player for Exeter off the bench lately - he's not exactly demanding to be selected.

In the back row Wilson has done the square root of bugger all in the last few months. Can't remember if Harley is in the squad bit his fairly anonymous display in the final should work against him too.

The end of season run in is important but there's still a lot for the players to do. The Edinburgh crew will be fully fit and refreshed so will be in a good place to stake their claim.

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Post by EST on Mon 27 May 2019, 10:30 am

RDW wrote:Cummings was great but let's not forget that Ritchie has been a regular in Toulouse's end of season run in to the top of the Top 14 - he's mixing it with the best in a brutal league. I still think our pack needs his physicality and experience, plus he'll help our lineout which has been dodgy all season.

We're all assuming Skinner is a sure bet given his versatility (although I still think he's only an emergency option at 6 at international level), but he's been a bit part player for Exeter off the bench lately - he's not exactly demanding to be selected.

In the back row Wilson has done the square root of bugger all in the last few months. Can't remember if Harley is in the squad bit his fairly anonymous display in the final should work against him too.

The end of season run in is important but there's still a lot for the players to do. The Edinburgh crew will be fully fit and refreshed so will be in a good place to stake their claim.

Absolutely, I don't think Cummings is a shoe-in, just that he has done everything he possibly could have - a few weeks ago I would never have even considered him going instead of Richie.

On Wilson, i'm starting to wonder if there is a place in the squad for both he and Barcaly - they are a very similar type of player really and Fagerson/Ritchie/Bradbury have all done more in the latter part of the season, as well as offering something different.

I don't think Harley is in the squad - hugely effective club man, but struggles at the very top level (as we saw on Sat night).

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Post by RDW on Mon 27 May 2019, 10:54 am

Worth saying the elder Fagerson stood up very well against a Lions quality front row. Our tighthead choices are probably the best they've ever been with him, Nel and Berghan.

There's quite a drop off below those 3 though - hope no one gets injured!

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Post by jimbopip on Mon 27 May 2019, 11:11 am


OK guys I'll say the, previously, unthinkable.

Jonny Gray may be the one to miss out. Shocked

On Saturday night he did what he does well; tackled all night, performed effectively in the lineout (it was his steal from a Ladyboys lineout that led to our first try), was always working hard, took the ball into contact repeatedly.


And yet.... chin

If he is one of the best second rows in the NH, in the Pro14 in Scotland...heck even at Scotstoun then he must be more dominant in games. I haven't seen the statistics from Saturday but I wouldn't be surprised if his carries/ yards gained looked something like 58 carries 1.3 yards gained (total for 80 minutes).


My abiding memory is that when we had spells of attack we would go through a number of phases where we generated quick ball and then Jonny went into contact alone, got stopped on the gainline and the ball came back very slowly, by which time the defence had re-organised and all the momentum was lost.


AWJ has redefined the second row as leader role. If I was picking the Lions XV today I know which of the two I would pick.


Jings, it hurt to type that. censored

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Post by RDW on Mon 27 May 2019, 11:28 am

Jonny made 11m from 17 carries.

Cummings made 28m from 13 carries.

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Post by EST on Mon 27 May 2019, 11:36 am

jimbopip wrote:
OK guys I'll say the, previously, unthinkable.

Jonny Gray may be the one to miss out. Shocked

On Saturday night he did what he does well; tackled all night, performed effectively in the lineout (it was his steal from a Ladyboys lineout that led to our first try), was always working hard, took the ball into contact repeatedly.


And yet.... chin

If he is one of the best second rows in the NH, in the Pro14 in Scotland...heck even at Scotstoun then he must be more dominant in games. I haven't seen the statistics from Saturday but I wouldn't be surprised if his carries/ yards gained looked something like 58 carries 1.3 yards gained (total for 80 minutes).


My abiding memory is that when we had spells of attack we would go through a number of phases where we generated quick ball and then Jonny went into contact alone, got stopped on the gainline and the ball came back very slowly, by which time the defence had re-organised and all the momentum was lost.


AWJ has redefined the second row as leader role. If I was picking the Lions XV today I know which of the two I would pick.


Jings, it hurt to type that. censored

I don't think there is a cat in hell's chance of Jonny not going, but I do share your sentiment, Jimbo.

He just isn't anywhere near aggressive when taking the ball into contact - where was the player of the last game against Leinster (granted it wasn't there first team then)?

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 27 May 2019, 2:57 pm

Richie would be a boon for the WC as I think we have missed him despite the excellence of Gilcho, Gray and Toolis (honorable mention for skinner). He just offers extra that the others don't imo. Gray the younger seems to benefit from playing with him as well, it gives him a more competitive edge that we don't normally see.

People talking about barclay being surplus because of the youngns, fair enough. But if you consider his experience and ability to talk to the ref and lead from the front I think we'd be foolish not to take him.

Wilson seems to have the same effect but I'd argue if barclay goes we don't need wilson ergo we'd have room for a youngn, though I imagine it'll be skinner to cover both..
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Post by BigGee on Mon 27 May 2019, 7:19 pm

Cummingshas been very good for a number of games now, but he was exceptional on Saturday night. Good to see he can bring that form to a big game, when a few of his more esteemed colleagues did not manage it.

Big call to bring him in over RG though, but he has definitely put himself in the frame. Ritchie better have a few good games for Toulouse in the next few weeks!

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Post by RDW on Tue 28 May 2019, 9:38 am

Scott Cummings and Kyle Steyn complete the training squad - no Ritchie Gray!

That is a huge call and not one I'm completely comfortable with - yes Cummings has had a good end of season run in but Ritchie offers a level of physicality and lintout ability that none of our other 2nd row options do. Given that those are the two areas we've struggled with most it is a bit of a concern.

Fair play to him though - let's see what he can do.

We are at risk of sending a very inexperienced squad to the World Cup!

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Post by EST on Tue 28 May 2019, 9:43 am

RDW wrote:Scott Cummings and Kyle Steyn complete the training squad - no Ritchie Gray!

That is a huge call and not one I'm completely comfortable with - yes Cummings has had a good end of season run in but Ritchie offers a level of physicality and lintout ability that none of our other 2nd row options do.

Fair play to him though - let's see what he can do.

We are at risk of sending a very inexperienced squad to the World Cup!

That is a huge shout - I can't say I have seen any of Grays performances in France, but if he is starting for Toulouse he must be doing something well.

Cummings has been outstanding for Glasgow of late, you can't say he hasn't earned it.

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Post by RDW on Tue 28 May 2019, 9:50 am

Aye there's no doubt Cummings has earnt his place after that final display but I still think there should have been room for Gray in it. I don't know if there's more to this than is being let on - Gray was technically fit for the 6N and wasn't picked, and he's now completely match fit and ready and has been playing numerous high profile games for Toulouse and still isn't getting picked. Some players just don't fit the mould with some coaches and I wonder if this is the case with Townsend.

Cummings and Toolis are probably directly competing against each other as similar players - very athletic and skillfull but not the biggest. Gilchrist and Gray are probably near guaranteed to travel (rightly or wrongly) with Skinner part of the back row cover conundrum of how many to take from the back 5.

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 28 May 2019, 10:23 am

RDW wrote:.

Cummings and Toolis are probably directly competing against each other as similar players - very athletic and skillfull but not the biggest.

My memory seems to be that when Cummings and J Gray stand beside each other Cummings is the bigger and heftier.

I watched the Glasgow players get off the coach at Celtic Park and they were all in that "headphones on in the zone" moment. Still, you could see who was relaxed, who was tense and who was loving being there.

Two players stood out. Batman grinned and gave the crowd a big thumbs up wave.

Jonny Gray looked self effacing to the point of invisibility.

Both are conundrums; lots of posters here can't see how Batman gets picked except he brings a huge amount of energy and positivity to the team, lots of posters don't understand why a second row with a 98% tackle completion rate over six seasons, including internationals and club matches isn't rated as one of the best in the world, except he's too busy doing his job to impose his will on the wider complexion of the game?

I can fully understand the logic of not taking Batman and taking Jonny. But still....

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Post by RDW on Tue 28 May 2019, 10:37 am

I don't know what the official stats are but Jonny Gray is definitely the bulkier player, although Cummings has certainly filled out in the last season.

Cummings is definitely a number 5 lock if you take the classic example of the Botha (4) and Matfield (5) combo.


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Post by tigertattie on Tue 28 May 2019, 10:47 am

I'm not Toonie and I'd like to think he knows better than me, but which of the following lock combos would you play in a world cup.

JG and Cummings
JG and GG
JG and RG

I know Cummings is playing well, but so to is Ritchie. Theres actually a call for Rtichie to be selected in place of Jonny.

Its the world cup. You want your best performing and most experianced players out there. For me, Ritchie Gray is one of those players!
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Post by RDW on Tue 28 May 2019, 10:53 am

I wonder if he's already set on JG, GG and BT being the first choice locks for the big games and he's looking for a point of difference in SC for the games against Russia and Samoa, with SS there to provide general squad cover.

As the likes of Charmichael showed in last year's summer tour, an athletic skillful look is a good asset to have against the weaker nations, especially later in the game when defences are tiring.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 28 May 2019, 11:03 am

If we're picking players based on thier ability to perform agaisnt the weaker nations then we're already in hot water.

Say JG or GG get injured in the first game against the cheap shot/divers Irish, say we're then looking at a QF against the blackness or SA. Would you rather have Ritchie Gray partnering Toolis or Scott Cummings?
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