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Post by RDW on Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:39 pm

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 Jun 19, 2019 7:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BigGee on Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:04 am

He may go to the third game if he really has a few tight calls, which he is likely to have. No need to force his hand, you can make your own rules on this kind of stuff

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Post by EWT Spoons on Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:35 pm

I think we might be looking at only taking 5 props to the WC. I've heard Toonie/the SRU have been asking if certain players could/would be willing, to play on the opposite side of the scrum. Now this might be a worst case scenario and 6 will be taken, or it could mean that Toonie is only thinking of taking 5, with one of the 5 covering both sides.

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Post by bsando on Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:03 pm

I think this would be my 31 man squad for Japan

Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 42 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 29 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 19 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 33 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 51 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 5 caps
John Barclay CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) – 71 caps; Rugby World Cup 2007 and 2011
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 43 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)
Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – uncapped

Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps
Greig Laidlaw VICE CAPTAIN (Clermont Auvergne) – 71 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 44 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 21 caps
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) – uncapped
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 50 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 40 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 67 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015

So in my opinion, the following need to have big games in the warm ups to snake a place on the plane to Japan.

Forwards

Josh Strauss
Matt Fagerson
Gordon Reid
George Turner
Gary Graham

Backs

Chris Harris
Nick Grigg
Henry Pyrgos
Peter Horne
Byron Mcguigan
Blair Kinghorn

The backrow is going to be very competitive obviously and likes of Fagerson or Strauss could well be picked ahead of Thomson who is unproven at test level but has a lot of potential. Reid vs Bhatti is another interesting battle for that 2nd loosehead spot. The 2nd row is pretty much sorted now as R Gray seems to have been cut out. Skinner provides useful cover there and in the backrow, he's going to be getting a lot of game time I think.

Darcy vs kinghorn is another fascinating battle but I think Darcy has the better all round game and electric pace, plus Maitland can cover Full-back if need be like in the 6N vs England. If Taylor isn't up to scrtach that would put Horne in poll position for 12 I think, if Hutchinson's form doesn't translate then I'd say Nick Grigg may take that extra 13 spot. McGuigan will need some stellar performances to usurp Seymour, Darcy or Maitland. I can't see it happening.

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Post by bsando on Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:14 pm

EWT Spoons wrote:I think we might be looking at only taking 5 props to the WC.  I've heard Toonie/the SRU have been asking if certain players could/would be willing, to play on the opposite side of the scrum.  Now this might be a worst case scenario and 6 will be taken, or it could mean that Toonie is only thinking of taking 5, with one of the 5 covering both sides.

I was expecting 5 props with 2 loosehead and 3 tightheads. Fagerson would probably be a good option to potentially play at loosehead if necessary, but only if really needed. I think having 2 youngish looseheads in Dell and Bhatti helps a lot as they'll be able to handle the playing load better then say Reid who is nearing the end of his career.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:32 pm

I've created a list of the players by position (feel free to argue about whether I have put their right position down), mostly for my own benefit, so I can see who we have for each position a bit easier.

Also to stress this list is in no particular order

Forwards (23)

LH
Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) – 13 caps
Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
Gordon Reid (London Irish) – 34 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015

Hooker
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 42 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped

TH
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 19 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 29 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015

Locks
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 33 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 51 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) - Uncapped
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – 5 caps

Back Row
John Barclay (Edinburgh) – 71 caps; Rugby World Cup 2007 and 2011
Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 7 caps
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
Gary Graham (Newcastle Falcons) – 2 caps
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 10 caps
Josh Strauss (Sale Sharks) – 22 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – uncapped
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 43 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015


Backs (19)

SH
Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne) – 71 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh) – 27 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps

SO
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 11 caps
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 44 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015

Centre
Nick Grigg (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 8 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
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 21 caps
Kyle Steyn (Glasgow Warriors) - Uncapped

Back 3
Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 67 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 11 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 40 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 8 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 50 caps; Rugby World Cup 2015
Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) – 4 caps

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Post by RDW on Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:44 pm

It's strange there are so many centres in the training squad - only 1 less than the number of backrowers.

Probably due Steyn and Hutchison's form - he probably wasn't planning on including those two!

It does however mean 2 players won't get any gametime in the first two warmup games, unless he has a massive bench and players get 25 minutes each. If he does that though it means our first choice players could be undercooked by the time we get to the world cup.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:51 pm

Regarding the centres, I thought the same that there are loads, but I guess it depends on how Toonie sees it. He's said that he's looking at Steyn as a winger rather than a centre, so arguably you could remove him from the centre list and move him to back 3. Similar with Pete Horne who could be looked at as back up 10 rather than a centre.

I've just gone with where I think they are best located, rather than where they might actually play

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Post by 123456789. on Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:56 am

bsando wrote:I think this would be my 31 man squad for Japan


Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 21 caps
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 21 caps
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) – uncapped

I think ties in quite well with our u20s showing that these are our four best centres and not one of them came through the Scottish system. Hutchinson played u20s but was educated in England. I am not saying that this is wrong (I was not educated in Scotland and have lived only a small fraction of my life in Scotland and would still choose Scotland over England) but it certainly is not sustainable. Sport in Scotland needs a dramatic overhaul and rapidly. In many respects we punch above our weight. However for too long our raison d'étre has been to beat England, and given the enormous discrepancy in facilities and population we do alright at that, certainly in rugby. So do Wales though and so do Ireland, and they do it better than we do. We need to find a way to produce a higher standard of sporting performance across the board. We've seen at fairly random junctures the Scottish Rugby Union produce 'Strategic Prophecies of Commercial Egg Throwing Endeavours' (or alternative jargon). The next time we see one I'd like to see them fix their parameters for success in the areas of rugby far, far below our professional sides and the international team. Rather, aim first for regular success at u20s and u18s level. Arranging more transnational fixtures for our club sides (both the Club XV and individual sides) to provide suitable metrics for that area of rugby development. I would imagine that if we can get those elements fixed over a longer period, then genuine, sustainable success will come. Until players from outwith our system are the finishing touch rather than the foundations I think we will struggle to regularly threaten the 'Premier Tier' of International rugby.

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Post by BigGee on Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:39 am

I am not so sure we do to badly at U18 level, the school kids, largely from the private sector, as they are in England and Wales, are well coached and have won plenty of games. The schools competition is a pretty competitive league and they have done well when playing their English counterparts.

The big drop off however is over the next two years, other than the exceptional few, Gray, Fagerson, Kinghorn, Dobie and the like, who get brought into pro rugby immediately, the rest struggle to get any meaningful game time and plenty of them drift away from the game completely.

They just don't get the physical development, not learn the way to manage a game that others playing in better club competitions and in full time academy set ups get. The physical side of things may be being address more through our own academy systems, but the lack of appropriate game time is still an issue. Maybe the Super 6 might help that along, it is kind of what it was meant to do and if we get our best 18 and 19 year olds playing regularly against each other and good Welsh club teams, there may be some hope.

It is a work in progress though and may take several years to bed in, if it ever does.

I can never see us not tapping into resources outside of Scotland though, our playing base is just to small and will never match that of other countries. Fortunately there are a lot of people out there with Scottish blood in them.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:23 am

I agree with much of that however simply accepting that "our playing base is just too small and will never match that of other countries" I struggle to agree with. I don't put much stock in the whole registered players malarkey. However it is hard to ignore that from a population of 6.6 million Ireland has a playing group of 153,080 players. Where we have 38,500 from a population of 5.4 million. There is literally no reason why we should not have a similar playing group to them. Rugby is arguably Scotland's second sport. In Ireland it has to compete with Hurling, Gaelic Football and Association football. Until the Millennium, Ireland were the whipping boys of the five nations. Now they regularly dominate Europe (and for about three months the world). In their last game 13 of their 15 starters had come through the Irish system. In contrast 10 of our 15 grew up outwith Scotland. If lots of people elsewhere have Scottish blood then you can say the same for Ireland. You will struggle to find anyone from the West of Scotland who doesn't have an Irish connection some way back. Yet never do they come looking for our players. I do not have a narrow attitude that only people who's first word was "freedom" and who were christened in Loch Ness, educated in Scotland and born on the Royal Mile should play for Scotland. Rather that when players come to play for Scotland from outside then, ideally, it should be because they are an exceptional talent like the Leslie brothers or Tom Smith.

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Post by RDW on Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:28 am

123456789. wrote:I agree with much of that however simply accepting that "our playing base is just too small and will never match that of other countries" I struggle to agree with. I don't put much stock in the whole registered players malarkey. However it is hard to ignore that from a population of 6.6 million Ireland has a playing group of 153,080 players. Where we have 38,500 from a population of 5.4 million. There is literally no reason why we should not have a similar playing group to them. Rugby is arguably Scotland's second sport. In Ireland it has to compete with Hurling, Gaelic Football and Association football. Until the Millennium, Ireland were the whipping boys of the five nations. Now they regularly dominate Europe (and for about three months the world). In their last game 13 of their 15 starters had come through the Irish system. In contrast 10 of our 15 grew up outwith Scotland. If lots of people elsewhere have Scottish blood then you can say the same for Ireland. You will struggle to find anyone from the West of Scotland who doesn't have an Irish connection some way back. Yet never do they come looking for our players. I do not have a narrow attitude that only people who's first word was "freedom" and who were christened in Loch Ness, educated in Scotland and born on the Royal Mile should play for Scotland. Rather that when players come to play for Scotland from outside then, ideally, it should be because they are an exceptional talent like the Leslie brothers or Tom Smith.

To be fair sport plays a much larger role in Irish society than it does here - they're obsessed by it like the Aussies or Kiwis. I have no experience of the Irish schools system but I bet their state schools have a lot more people playing sport than ours do. Yes they have more competition from other sports but we have football which vastly dominates the sporting landscape. So we've got a situation where we don't have many playing sport as it is, and when they do they're much, much more likely to play football.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:43 am

RDW wrote:
123456789. wrote:I agree with much of that however simply accepting that "our playing base is just too small and will never match that of other countries" I struggle to agree with. I don't put much stock in the whole registered players malarkey. However it is hard to ignore that from a population of 6.6 million Ireland has a playing group of 153,080 players. Where we have 38,500 from a population of 5.4 million. There is literally no reason why we should not have a similar playing group to them. Rugby is arguably Scotland's second sport. In Ireland it has to compete with Hurling, Gaelic Football and Association football. Until the Millennium, Ireland were the whipping boys of the five nations. Now they regularly dominate Europe (and for about three months the world). In their last game 13 of their 15 starters had come through the Irish system. In contrast 10 of our 15 grew up outwith Scotland. If lots of people elsewhere have Scottish blood then you can say the same for Ireland. You will struggle to find anyone from the West of Scotland who doesn't have an Irish connection some way back. Yet never do they come looking for our players. I do not have a narrow attitude that only people who's first word was "freedom" and who were christened in Loch Ness, educated in Scotland and born on the Royal Mile should play for Scotland. Rather that when players come to play for Scotland from outside then, ideally, it should be because they are an exceptional talent like the Leslie brothers or Tom Smith.

To be fair sport plays a much larger role in Irish society than it does here - they're obsessed by it like the Aussies or Kiwis. I have no experience of the Irish schools system but I bet their state schools have a lot more people playing sport than ours do. Yes they have more competition from other sports but we have football which vastly dominates the sporting landscape. So we've got a situation where we don't have many playing sport as it is, and when they do they're much, much more likely to play football.

Be that as it may, the SRU is responsible for governing and growing the game in Scotland. A simple target would be for every schoolchild in Scotland to have played rugby in some guise or another by the age of 8. Obviously I'm enormously oversimplifying this. But a basic step by step process would be 1. widen access, 2. widen participation, 3. improve participants, 4. ensure the very best participants are given the best possible support.

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Post by RDW on Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:47 am

That is something the SRU can target, however as I've mentioned before it is a massive societal issues in Scotland which needs the government/councils to sort out. There's only so much the SRU can do!

As mentioned earlier in this thread rugby clubs in Scotland are having to pay for development officers to go into state schools because there's no school teachers providing any rugby, or sport generally. This is because they have no support, no funding and have to volunteer.

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Post by BigGee on Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:03 am

This then becomes a political and societal problem and not just one for the SRU to solve.

The SRU does not have the funding to take on that kind of project. The great bulk of the income the SRU receives is from the 5 or so home internationals each season, plus anything else they can get for hiring out Murrayfield to whichever aging pop stars are doing the rounds each summer.

I think we turn over somewhere in the region of £30m and from that have to fund the Pro teams and support the club game generally around the country. There is currently not going to be very much change from that to take on a project on the scale you are describing.

I am not saying this is not a worthy thing to do, involving more children in sport, but it needs to come from government more than from the SRU and much as I like rugby, I do accept it is not the sport for everyone. None of my kids ever took it up, much as they like watching it. If it is government money that is on offer, then other sports associations would rightly feel that they should also be getting their slice of the pie.

I don't want to be all negative about this. What can be done is to make rugby a fun and inclusive game for everyone, so that people will want to play. Lots of kids do already play the mimi varieties of the game, just as they did in my day, but unfortunately lots less of them go on to play the game as adults. That, I think remains the big challenge.

I started playing club rugby when I was 15, alongside playing for the school and just stayed with it until work eventually got in the way in my mid twenties. I loved it, some of the happiest days of my life if I am honest, but then again, what else would we have done on a Saturday afternoon or sunday morning? Watch the wresting on World of Sport?

There are so many other things for kids to do now. I do wonder if the 18 year old me would have chosen rugby if I was to have my time again. I would hope so, but I can't be sure.

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Post by 123456789. on Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:06 am

That is true. I know a lot of people who gave up rugby prior to University because of the perceived University rugby culture. I know a lot more who played at University and gave up afterwards. Time constraints being the main reason, playing rugby down to quite a low level now means gym sessions and training. The former adds to the greater attrition rates. One of the main reasons I stopped playing was because of the worry of injuring myself on the saturday and putting myself out of work.

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:23 pm

123456789. wrote:That is true. I know a lot of people who gave up rugby prior to University because of the perceived University rugby culture. I know a lot more who played at University and gave up afterwards. Time constraints being the main reason, playing rugby down to quite a low level now means gym sessions and training. The former adds to the greater attrition rates. One of the main reasons I stopped playing was because of the worry of injuring myself on the saturday and putting myself out of work.

The culture has inherently changed, the amount of players that come to Lismore post-university and say "Haven't played in 4 years, the uni guys were awful so i dropped it", its a fairly clear evidence of a)toxic behaviour in some university sports teams and b) the lack of communication between the uni teams and club teams. The uni teams dont want to advertise other clubs because they want the numbers (understandable) BUT it doesn't do the sport any favors all these players dropping the sport.

With gymming and training commitments, it's as you say. We play in the lowest regional league in scotland (thereabouts), east region 3 and we are all encouraged to gym regularly, eat properly and recover properly purely for injury prevention. If there are several people injured at a small club like ours we really suffer for it! But the time commitments for just playing have gone up dramatically and thats not to mention all the extra curricular stuff like recruitment, socials, community support etc that we are asked to do. For some guys its their life but for the casual player its becoming increasingly difficult to commit to playing rugby.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:37 pm

With the academies and the Super Six, there could have been a greater push to involve the universities in building the structures.

Durham was great for sport. For rugby when I was there, you have the four university teams and around 20 college teams (each college was around c. 800-1000 students and the bigger colleges had two). If you were not good enough or did not enjoy the university sides, you could drop into a college team with what are usually your friends. The top teams in the upper division could probably push the fourths close and an "all star team" of the colleges would probably be at the level of the thirds. I know people who did not make it into the university set-up at first and spent the year playing for college/training with university to make the transition.

In Scotland, if you fall out with the university team and you don't know the local sides/don't want to travel, what are the options?

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Post by RDW on Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:39 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:With the academies and the Super Six, there could have been a greater push to involve the universities in building the structures.

Durham was great for sport. For rugby when I was there, you have the four university teams and around 20 college teams (each college was around c. 800-1000 students and the bigger colleges had two). If you were not good enough or did not enjoy the university sides, you could drop into a college team with what are usually your friends. The top teams in the upper division could probably push the fourths close and an "all star team" of the colleges would probably be at the level of the thirds. I know people who did not make it into the university set-up at first and spent the year playing for college/training with university to make the transition.

In Scotland, if you fall out with the university team and you don't know the local sides/don't want to travel, what are the options?

You don't play!

I went from training 3 times a week and playing 2 games at the weekend at age 18 to not playing again until I was 23, due to the Uni rugby culture.

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:45 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:With the academies and the Super Six, there could have been a greater push to involve the universities in building the structures.

Durham was great for sport. For rugby when I was there, you have the four university teams and around 20 college teams (each college was around c. 800-1000 students and the bigger colleges had two). If you were not good enough or did not enjoy the university sides, you could drop into a college team with what are usually your friends. The top teams in the upper division could probably push the fourths close and an "all star team" of the colleges would probably be at the level of the thirds. I know people who did not make it into the university set-up at first and spent the year playing for college/training with university to make the transition.

In Scotland, if you fall out with the university team and you don't know the local sides/don't want to travel, what are the options?

It depends, I hated the uni team from the 1st week, mostly because of the initiation rubbish so after packing it in after week 1 and focusing on drinking for a year I looked to join accies on a recommendation (didnt like them but thats a different story).

At Edinburgh theres a couple of intramural teams (Edinburgh medics and d*ck vets are the two more well known ones) but they werent advertised well outside of the medics school and the vets school.

Basically once you decide the uni team isn't for you there's no-teams actively campaigning to attract students. We've been hesitant to actively recruit during freshers week because we've previously (read: 10 years ago) been able to borrow a few players from the uni.

In summary, none of it is well joined up. People still within the uni set up don't recommend other clubs because why would they?

Those cast aside by the uni (directly or indirectly) aren't actively recruited so if they want to keep playing they either google clubs in Edinburgh which results in the prem clubs appearing 1st or they just decide to try something else.

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:02 pm

RDW wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:With the academies and the Super Six, there could have been a greater push to involve the universities in building the structures.

Durham was great for sport. For rugby when I was there, you have the four university teams and around 20 college teams (each college was around c. 800-1000 students and the bigger colleges had two). If you were not good enough or did not enjoy the university sides, you could drop into a college team with what are usually your friends. The top teams in the upper division could probably push the fourths close and an "all star team" of the colleges would probably be at the level of the thirds. I know people who did not make it into the university set-up at first and spent the year playing for college/training with university to make the transition.

In Scotland, if you fall out with the university team and you don't know the local sides/don't want to travel, what are the options?

You don't play!

I went from training 3 times a week and playing 2 games at the weekend at age 18 to not playing again until I was 23, due to the Uni rugby culture.

This.

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Post by 123456789. on Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:18 am

I actually thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of the University rugby culture. Getting hammered with your best mates after a game was brilliant. However I had a series of conversations with people; some who did not enjoy it and some who wanted to keep things the way they were. Several of us actively sought to create alternative social options for those who did not want to get rowdy and boozy. I did not attend Edinburgh University but I have heard frankly insane things about their socials. I have also heard that until recently they would actively turn away players who played at a very high level who did not suit their 'culture'. Several others, in turn, were in effect promoted or embraced who could barely play rugby but did fit their attitude to alcohol. Glasgow University rugby club was shut down and refounded. To both of their credit they have improved those aspects markedly and have seen drastic improvements on the pitch. I do however suspect that in many other Universities, the participants would rather play two or three levels lower if it meant keeping their off field activities up. Having friends that attended University in England and Scotland however it is much better up north than down south. Put it this way from my experience I have not heard a University Initiation Rumour that I know someone to have taken part in and quite often they are actually worse.

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Post by Tramptastic on Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:28 am

123456789. wrote:I actually thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of the University rugby culture. Getting hammered with your best mates after a game was brilliant. However I had a series of conversations with people; some who did not enjoy it and some who wanted to keep things the way they were. Several of us actively sought to create alternative social options for those who did not want to get rowdy and boozy. I did not attend Edinburgh University but I have heard frankly insane things about their socials. I have also heard that until recently they would actively turn away players who played at a very high level who did not suit their 'culture'. Several others, in turn, were in effect promoted or embraced who could barely play rugby but did fit their attitude to alcohol. Glasgow University rugby club was shut down and refounded. To both of their credit they have improved those aspects markedly and have seen drastic improvements on the pitch. I do however suspect that in many other Universities, the participants would rather play two or three levels lower if it meant keeping their off field activities up. Having friends that attended University in England and Scotland however it is much better up north than down south. Put it this way from my experience I have not heard a University Initiation Rumour that I know someone to have taken part in and quite often they are actually worse.

From my brief foray in to the Edinburgh uni rugby social scene it was all a bit too far, a bit too abusive, a bit too misogynistic and very much a "ladsladslads" public school boy I play with my 2inch cock. I didn't feel comfortable in all that but I enjoyed (and still do) getting drunk after a game and enjoying giving my team mates verbal abuse after a game. I suppose it depends how comfortable you are with pushing those things.

On the other hand, in the club game Howe of Fife had the infamous incident and thats far worse than anything I've heard about from uni level so the club game is hardly innocent of it.

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Post by RDW on Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:43 am

My main impression from my Uni team was as a neutral seeing them out and about on Wednesday nights - mainly acting like they were the dogs Love sacks who owned the place and could get away with what they wanted, hitting on anything that moved in a not overly nice way. It didn't help that most of the Union bouncers were in the rugby team! I did fear a doing one night when one of the players kept hassling Mrs RDW on the danceloor and I pushed him away and he fell over - I felt the eyes of the entire rugby team on my but luckily the decided to take the piss out of him instead.

I also know people who went to Sport Society Balls (they played for other sports teams) and they were pretty feral - trashing venues, peeing on tables etc. It got to the point where venues refused to let them book.

Their induction involved hiring a double decker bus where the newbies were on the bottom deck and everyone else at the top. One by one the newbie had to come upstairs, strip naked, drink a massive amount of alcohol then were kicked out in a rough part of town where they had to run back to the Union to get their clothes back!

This was almost a decade ago now so I don't know if things are still the same.

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Post by BigGee on Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:55 am

University initiations are now somewhat frowned upon by the student unions for all the obvious reasons and there have been some horror stories and even deaths caused by excessive drinking in these rituals.

Having had a hockey playing son just go through university they do still exist though but are done a bit more discetely and often not on the university premises. The society's can actually get suspended by the union if they find out about them.

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Post by Tramptastic on Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:51 am

There's a bit of entitlement that comes with it, "we're the uni rugby team, we're the best, causing harm or damage is inconsequential rararara" which a lot of people just dont have time for.

Club rugby isn't exactly innocent of it either though (Howe of Fife being the obvious example) but then a club often has a clubhouse to keep things contained so the general public are less affected by their abuse.

We've got a good balance between our mens and womens teams so we know when and how far to push our mischief and good banter without being horrific human beings.

I don't like the stereotype of rugby players being posh public school boy louts and until this changes it'll continue to put a lot of people off the sport.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:04 pm

I'm afraid you guys have hit the nail on the head with why player numbers in Scotland is so low.

If a bunch of us "ruggerbuggers" are still saying how bad some of the hooray Henries are in the sport, then the perception of the "normal" population will be even worse.

Simply put it is a societal issue in Scotland where the masses want to be seen as the hard grafting socialist working class, striving against the oppression of the upper-class (often mistaken for "the English").

If you took 100 kids out of school and asked the parents which sport do you want your kid to play, the majority will say they want them to play football as they don’t want them to play in a sport full of "English poshies" with claims of performing acts on pigs to getting beer bottles inserted into orifices

The whole way Scotland sees itself needs to change. I'll give you the ladies football team as an example. 3 - 0 up at half time and they implode resulting in the game finishing 3 - 3 and they don’t go through in the cup. There's something in our psyche that makes us self sabotage. We'd rather lose and have something to moan about than win and have nothing to moan about.
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Post by Tramptastic on Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:21 pm

tigertattie wrote:I'm afraid you guys have hit the nail on the head with why player numbers in Scotland is so low.

If a bunch of us "ruggerbuggers" are still saying how bad some of the hooray Henries are in the sport, then the perception of the "normal" population will be even worse.

Simply put it is a societal issue in Scotland where the masses want to be seen as the hard grafting socialist working class, striving against the oppression of the upper-class (often mistaken for "the English").

If you took 100 kids out of school and asked the parents which sport do you want your kid to play, the majority will say they want them to play football as they don’t want them to play in a sport full of "English poshies" with claims of performing acts on pigs to getting beer bottles inserted into orifices

The whole way Scotland sees itself needs to change. I'll give you the ladies football team as an example. 3 - 0 up at half time and they implode resulting in the game finishing 3 - 3 and they don’t go through in the cup. There's something in our psyche that makes us self sabotage. We'd rather lose and have something to moan about than win and have nothing to moan about.

The only cure to this (unfortunately) is the scottish pro teams doing well and the players within those teams having scottish accents that guys recognise - Hogg being a prime example, Kellock was another, Russell - guys who sound like the "hard grafting socialist working class". The more players who sound like that stereotype the more accessible the sport becomes because the team will reflect the wedge of society that the majority of people in Scotland will self-identify with.

As somebody who grew up in Scotland but developed a slightly softer accent despite being from a working class background I was often accused of being posh and being made to feel a bit ostracized by some. In some parts of our country if you don't sound scottish then you aren't scottish which is just cr@p.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:58 pm

Tramptastic wrote:
tigertattie wrote:I'm afraid you guys have hit the nail on the head with why player numbers in Scotland is so low.

If a bunch of us "ruggerbuggers" are still saying how bad some of the hooray Henries are in the sport, then the perception of the "normal" population will be even worse.

Simply put it is a societal issue in Scotland where the masses want to be seen as the hard grafting socialist working class, striving against the oppression of the upper-class (often mistaken for "the English").

If you took 100 kids out of school and asked the parents which sport do you want your kid to play, the majority will say they want them to play football as they don’t want them to play in a sport full of "English poshies" with claims of performing acts on pigs to getting beer bottles inserted into orifices

The whole way Scotland sees itself needs to change. I'll give you the ladies football team as an example. 3 - 0 up at half time and they implode resulting in the game finishing 3 - 3 and they don’t go through in the cup. There's something in our psyche that makes us self sabotage. We'd rather lose and have something to moan about than win and have nothing to moan about.

The only cure to this (unfortunately) is the scottish pro teams doing well and the players within those teams having scottish accents that guys recognise - Hogg being a prime example, Kellock was another, Russell - guys who sound like the "hard grafting socialist working class". The more players who sound like that stereotype the more accessible the sport becomes because the team will reflect the wedge of society that the majority of people in Scotland will self-identify with.

As somebody who grew up in Scotland but developed a slightly softer accent despite being from a working class background I was often accused of being posh and being made to feel a bit ostracized by some. In some parts of our country if you don't sound scottish then you aren't scottish which is just cr@p.

Madness. It's an issue across society worldwide that people can often fear anything different to them.

I'm in the same boat, I'm from one part of Scotland that has quite a broad accent, but I went to school where a far less harsh accent was common (it was only 25 miles away form home)

At home I was seen as a "posh boy" because I didn’t have this rough way of speaking (I didn’t swear in every sentence) but at school I was the "rough ned" because sometimes I had a bit of a broader accent.

The comparison between the two towns was even as polar in that my home town school rugby team was rubbish but the club team was good but at school, the school team were good and the club team were rubbish.

I quickly learned that people should be judged on their character and their actions over their accent or appearance
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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:27 pm

Really interesting to hear other people's playing experiences as they tie in very closely with my own. After playing all through school I only played the odd intra-mural game at Uni (the few where a referee actually turned up) because the uni team culture put me right off. I went back to playing again after uni, but stopped a few years ago now because the time commitment got too much (and because I kept being picked at fullback, grr I hate fullback Wink )

Rugby definitely has a pretty high barrier to entry compared to a lot of competing sports, sadly

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Post by RDW on Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:11 am

TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:Really interesting to hear other people's playing experiences as they tie in very closely with my own. After playing all through school I only played the odd intra-mural game at Uni (the few where a referee actually turned up) because the uni team culture put me right off. I went back to playing again after uni, but stopped a few years ago now because the time commitment got too much (and because I kept being picked at fullback, grr I hate fullback Wink  )

Rugby definitely has a pretty high barrier to entry compared to a lot of competing sports, sadly

I think this sums it up pretty well.

I'm currently experiencing it just now - I'm trying to decide whether to join a team in London and it's a difficult decision to make after a few years out. I'm going to need to get a lot fitter (not a bad thing to happen!) and commit to losing most of my Saturday's for 9 months of a year, plus all the training. Of course I could not do the fitness and not train, but rugby really isn't enjoyable when you're that unfit and not regularly playing, plus it massively increases your risk of injury.

Basically to get enough out of it you need to go all in or not bother at all - I'm sure that stops a lot of people. Rugby isn't an easy game to just pick up after a long period off - it is a brutal sport even at low level.

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Post by Tramptastic on Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:23 am

RDW wrote:
TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:Really interesting to hear other people's playing experiences as they tie in very closely with my own. After playing all through school I only played the odd intra-mural game at Uni (the few where a referee actually turned up) because the uni team culture put me right off. I went back to playing again after uni, but stopped a few years ago now because the time commitment got too much (and because I kept being picked at fullback, grr I hate fullback Wink  )

Rugby definitely has a pretty high barrier to entry compared to a lot of competing sports, sadly

I think this sums it up pretty well.

I'm currently experiencing it just now - I'm trying to decide whether to join a team in London and it's a difficult decision to make after a few years out. I'm going to need to get a lot fitter (not a bad thing to happen!) and commit to losing most of my Saturday's for 9 months of a year, plus all the training.  Of course I could not do the fitness and not train, but rugby really isn't enjoyable when you're that unfit and not regularly playing, plus it massively increases your risk of injury.

Basically to get enough out of it you need to go all in or not bother at all - I'm sure that stops a lot of people. Rugby isn't an easy game to just pick up after a long period off - it is a brutal sport even at low level.

One of the things i'd like to see changed for club rugby in scotland is the length of the season

As you say, 9 months is a huge commitment of time, if the season changed to august through to december i'd be on board. This would mean any re-arranged fixtures picked up january and then we'd all be done in time for the six nations. Currently, at amateur level, clubs play during the 6 nations (excepting when scotland are at home) so most people miss most of the six nations when they'd rather be at home/in the pub/travelling away to see Scotland or their other teams playing.

Half league season to finish by christmas and then have social touring fixtures post christmas/cup games leading in to sevens season

There's no other sport that requires such a dedication of time and many other halfs (my wife included) get, understandably, sick of it.

Personally I'd enjoy a half season leading up to christmas and then change to one of my other interests during the cr@p months (indoor rock climbing, maybe some mountain biking and then munro bagging in the spring). Times change and we can't spend 9/12 months of the year saying to family "im unavailable every saturday and I'm unable to rotate on a sunday cause i've spent 80 minutes playing hooker and my spine no longer functions".

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Post by RDW on Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:32 am

Interesting you see it that way - I've always seen it as crazy that the season finished in March and didn't start again until September!

My suggestion would be to not play during the AIs and 6N as you have mentioned - it is crazy that games are scheduled on the day of these games. I had to play a game during the Scotland-Samoa game last world cup!

If the season was say September to May with breaks for international games and over Christmas that would work for me. Those breaks could also be used for holidays and family time etc.

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Post by Tramptastic on Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:41 am

Ah see, I'd just like it all done in one block which gives you a good other block of time to try out other interests. If you run the season september to march with breaks (which it currently is), any rearranged fixtures cancelled due to weather etc need to be played at times when Scotland are playing OR when touring teams are playing. If the touring team game is cancelled due to a league fixture then that's lost revenue for the hosting club

However if all your league games are done by christmas then that leaves touring games/friendlies/cup ties flexible with games - no revenue lost, nobody misses an international, euro games can be watched OR players can go do other sports/interests. If you dedicate too much time to a team and its going badly it can actually mess with your head a bit. Time away from the sport can help this (recharge, refocus, re-evaluate etc).

I just need time to bag munros without my team giving me cr@p for missing the season/pre-season!

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Post by bsando on Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:13 am

Camp is going well! 

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Post by BigGee on Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:44 pm

Mark Palmer talking up Blade Thompson in his interview in the ST today, which unfortunately I seem to be having trouble copying to paste up here.

He seems to be back to full form and fitness and is making a big push to make the squad. He certainly brings a point of difference to some of our other options and it will good to see how he gets on in the warm up games, when we are sure to see him at some stage.

Blade is his real name apparently, his mum was very taken with the Blade Runner film when it came out and that is where it comes from.

He also suggests in the interview that Sale would be quite open to Josh Strauss moving on with a year of his contract still to run. They seem to think they are overstocked with backrows now. That arrangement might suit him as well if he could pick up a two year deal with another club. A return to Glasgow is not on the cards though. Maybe a move to France would suit him better this time around.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:02 am

BigGee wrote:Mark Palmer talking up Blade Thompson in his interview in the ST today, which unfortunately I seem to be having trouble copying to paste up here.

He seems to be back to full form and fitness and is making a big push to make the squad. He certainly brings a point of difference to some of our other options and it will good to see how he gets on in the warm up games, when we are sure to see him at some stage.

Blade is his real name apparently, his mum was very taken with the Blade Runner film when it came out and that is where it comes from.

He also suggests in the interview that Sale would be quite open to Josh Strauss moving on with a year of his contract still to run. They seem to think they are overstocked with backrows now. That arrangement might suit him as well if he could pick up a two year deal with another club. A return to Glasgow is not on the cards though. Maybe a move to France would suit him better this time around.

Certainly from what I've seen of him he seems to offer more than Strauss. Hopefully he has a few good games this summer, although sadly I think it'll be between him, Maggie and Fagerson Jr. for a second spot covering 8, as unless Wilson gets injured he'll probably be on the plane and I reckon Barclay will be reinstated as captain based on Laidlaw's poor captaincy this 6Ns.

Bring on the France game!

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Post by tigertattie on Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:50 pm

bsando wrote:Camp is going well! 

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Camp indeed!
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Post by George Carlin on Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:29 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
BigGee wrote:Mark Palmer talking up Blade Thompson in his interview in the ST today, which unfortunately I seem to be having trouble copying to paste up here.

He seems to be back to full form and fitness and is making a big push to make the squad. He certainly brings a point of difference to some of our other options and it will good to see how he gets on in the warm up games, when we are sure to see him at some stage.

Blade is his real name apparently, his mum was very taken with the Blade Runner film when it came out and that is where it comes from.

He also suggests in the interview that Sale would be quite open to Josh Strauss moving on with a year of his contract still to run. They seem to think they are overstocked with backrows now. That arrangement might suit him as well if he could pick up a two year deal with another club. A return to Glasgow is not on the cards though. Maybe a move to France would suit him better this time around.

Certainly from what I've seen of him he seems to offer more than Strauss. Hopefully he has a few good games this summer, although sadly I think it'll be between him, Maggie and Fagerson Jr. for a second spot covering 8, as unless Wilson gets injured he'll probably be on the plane and I reckon Barclay will be reinstated as captain based on Laidlaw's poor captaincy this 6Ns.

Bring on the France game!

I am trying not to get my hopes up too much with McBlade. We've wanted a decent 8 for so long that I refuse to let myself be suckered into thinking that he might be better than he is. #stockholmsyndrome
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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:58 pm

Aye it's never nice being disappointed! #strausssyndrome

Tbf i still think Blade has it all to prove. For now maggie would be my first choice. Think it may be a WC too soon for Fagerson Jr.
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Post by bsando on Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:55 pm

Tbf, we got used to Strauss demolishing defences in the Pro12 for an on the up Glasgow side who won their first Pro12 title. Naively I think we assumed that would translate to the international game but that step up reduced a lot of the effectiveness of Strauss's carries. without an extra element to his game apart from being a good player, he does seem to seem a bit anonymous at times. However, many other international 8's have similar games. I've seen Moriarty destroy defences and I've also watched games where you may not have realised he was on the pitch.

Thomson excites me for completely different skillset. I see him as someone who may not make those big carries but will make good decisions in the loose, at the back of the scrum and in defence. A player who will be able to hold his own and not lose his composure in a fierce test environment. We need to see him play in a Scottish shirt to see what he's made of but I think every Scottish fan who has seen his NZ highlights will be excited.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:03 pm

The annoying thing about Strauss is that it's not as if he had much competition other than Wilson who, whilst he's great in that he winds the other side up and will always put a hard shift in, doesn't add much else. In the limited games that Bradbury has had at 8 he has shown more than Strauss has in most of his. There's anonymous but impacting the game, then there's just anonymous and ineffective, and sadly I think Strauss mostly falls into the latter category, despite occasionally showing us he is capable of having a decent game.

Fagerson Jr. is nearly there or thereabouts at club level, Bradbury has been on an upward curve since his incident with Edinburgh and if Blade is as good as his highlights reel and initial Scarlets form shows then I wouldn't be surprised if Strauss retires from international rugby soon. I think he's another Scottish player who is good at club, but can't scratch it at the higher level.
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Post by BigGee on Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:48 pm

Unfortunately we saw the bedt of Josh Strauss before he became SQ. He has been in grsdual decline since he left Glasgow, i think Toonie saw that at the time and that is why he let him go.

His big problem is his stamina, in that he drifts in snd out of games to much and never really was a true 80 min player. That is something that is even more noticsble now than a few years ago.

In a WC squad hsving a plsyer who is really only a bench option may be to much of a luxury especially when you have got other options in the team who are out and out athletes.

I don't think JS will go but there is all to play for between Blade Runner Maggy and Fagerson Jr, who was really in some vein of form at the end of the season. He may well have picked up a lot more international time last season had it not been for injuries

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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:26 am

BigGee wrote:Unfortunately we saw the bedt of Josh Strauss before he became SQ. He has been in grsdual decline since he left Glasgow, i think Toonie saw that at the time and that is why he let him go.

His big problem is his stamina, in that he drifts in snd out of games to much and never really was a true 80 min player. That is something that is even more noticsble now than a few years ago.

In a WC squad hsving a plsyer who is really only a bench option may be to much of a luxury especially when you have got other options in the team who are out and out athletes.

I don't think JS will go  but there is all to play for between Blade Runner  Maggy and Fagerson Jr, who was really in some vein of form at the end of the season. He may well have picked up a lot more international time last season had it not been for injuries

Here's a conundrum. If we take Barclay as captain, will there be a need for Wilson, other than as injury back-up? Let's say our 6/8 options then are Barclay, Bradbury and one of Blade or Fagerson. One has over 10 years of international experience and has captained the side quite successfully, the other has proven himself to be aggressive and effective in several international starts in and out of competitions, it's whether we go with exciting promise which could backfire, or solid and unspectacular but reliable enough.

OR do we take Wilson as the experience, and Bradbury and one of the other two? I am making a big assumption that Barclay's form is up to scratch when in reality he has had a long time injured, and is getting more injury prone despite being what I feel is a shoo-in for captain.

As you said, no room for bench choices but then world cup squads are often about versatility and I'm sure Toonie will have that in the back of his mind... It's good to have selection headaches but not when you feel like you're sacrificing quality for versatility like our coaches have in the past, that's how you end up with squad players who are good but don't set the heather alight. Thinking of Tiny Tim, Strocks, etc.

I don't think Scotland are in the position to be conservative with choices, so I'm hoping Toonie will surprise us all in a good way, and not in the "Oh, Harris is in the squad" way.
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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:05 am

I don’t think there is a compelling reason to take Wilson, he’s not the best player in any position, and arguably not the 2nd best in any either.  However, he is a “good tourist” so for player morale he might sneak onto the plane and in theory he can cover the entire backrow, not well, but can.  

Barclay possibly shouldn’t go either based upon his form post injury (he wasn’t bad, but was in a team playing poorly and he didn’t really standout) but I would be amazed if he didn’t go, based upon his pre injury form and his leadership.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:43 am

You need to pick your players on thier ability and Wilson jsut doesnt have the ability the others do.

Wilson cannot go in place of the likes of Bradbury or Barclay.
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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:49 am

tigertattie wrote:You need to pick your players on thier ability and Wilson jsut doesnt have the ability the others do.

Wilson cannot go in place of the likes of Bradbury or Barclay.

Agreed, although I'm not sure Toonie will necessarily share that view.

As EWT said, Wilson seems to add more in the way of being a good bloke to have around the squad more than anything, which may see him get on the plane rightly or wrongly.

Barclay is class but he needs to show some form in these summer tests, and I suspect he'll have to be captain or he won't go as his leadership is his biggest asset, as McInally can potentially captain and Laidlaw (although I hope not, I think at this stage he serves better as a bench option) instead if toonie wants another option in the backrow.
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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:59 am

I think Rambo might be the biggest thorn in Barclay's side regarding captaincy. Ideally we want our captain to play/start in every game and as things stand Rambo is a nailed on starter.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:03 am

EWT Spoons wrote:I think Rambo might be the biggest thorn in Barclay's side regarding captaincy.  Ideally we want our captain to play/start in every game and as things stand Rambo is a nailed on starter.

I would argue that on form Barclay is the better captain of the two as he's a bit more wily in his conversations with the ref and some of the best rugby I've seen from the current squad has been when he's captained.

This being said McInally lead the charge into the second half against England, I think if he learns the ref chat a bit better then he will make a fine captain.
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Post by RDW on Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:04 am

I'm not fully convinced on McInally as captain (I can't call him Rambo with a straight face). He's too nice, plus as one of our best players I'd like to see him solely focus on his game.

JB takes on captaincy naturally and doesn't affect his game.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:08 am

I'd totally agree on a purely captain decision, Barclay is the better/best option, but he's less sure of his place than McInally is. With that said, Barclay will likely go and be captain, but his form since he came back from injury has just been ok, and others have stepped up in his absence. Nature of pro sport I guess.

However, as I say I expect him to go as capt. and would have no issue with it based upon his previous form.

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