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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 tigertattie on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 10:01 am

Eejit wrote:That’s niche even by your standards Jimbo mate!

jimbo has standards?
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Post by jimbopip on Fri 22 Mar 2019, 8:29 am

tigertattie wrote:
Eejit wrote:That’s niche even by your standards Jimbo mate!

jimbo has standards?

Standards, principles, red lines, I've got them all.

To paraphrase Theresa May, "These are my red lines and if you don't like them....I can get others."

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 22 Mar 2019, 9:54 am

jimbopip wrote:
tigertattie wrote:
Eejit wrote:That’s niche even by your standards Jimbo mate!

jimbo has standards?

Standards, principles, red lines, I've got them all.

To paraphrase Theresa May, "These are my red lines and if you don't like them....I can get others."

Big T could very well be looking at a great big red line through her employment contract!

She really is having a hard time the now!

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 11:02 am

See old Scotty J has come out and said he doesn’t give a stuff what people think about him and his time as Scotland coach.

My opinion of him has increased as a result. Fair play to the fella.

Sounds like he was given the DoR role and subsequently was thrown into the head coach role which he wasn’t wanting to do but did as no one else was stepping up. He may not have been the best national coach but he's certainly improved things as DoR. Maybe he's been able to employ more people who play above ground? I dunno!

He seems to be well thought of in the rugby community now though so fair play him. I don’t think he'd ever turn the opinions of the armchair pundit but he seems to be leaving with more respect than he started with Smile

Hopefully he doesn’t fix Ozzie rugby too much!
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Post by jimbopip on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 8:59 am

Looking at the embarrassment of riches which  overnight became Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard, and now is beginning to restock itself, we get something like this;

Centres: pick four from,  Dunbar, Jones, Taylor, Horne, angel Now all of these, yes you Luvvites ALL, are in their own way excellent centres. Realistically, Dunbar and Taylor won't be in Japan. Huw Jones might be fit for the play offs, so should be ok for Japan. angel can't get a start for the Luvvies so probably can't play himself into contention. Furra Linee just keeps soldiering on, fine man that he is.

So, one out of five likely to make the World Cup Shocked

However, Johnson, Steyn, Hutchinson, Harris and  McDowell while short of experience ( and let's not kid ourselves experience is crucial at the highest level) have bags of potential.

If Toonie had that five plus Furra Linee and Not A Show Pony to choose from .... It could be better, but it could be a whole lot worse. So, Johnson- Hutchinson to start the first warm up game and Lord Stafford- Seaman for the second.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 9:10 am

In a way it is a good thing that we have got the two harder warm up games against France up front, giving any of the fringe players a last chance to make a push for the final cut of the squad.

I am with Jim in that it would be good to see players like McDowell, Steyn and Hutchinson get their chance in those games.

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Post by RDW on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 9:15 am

Matt Scott will be in the mix too - Toonie will probably have to decide whether to get him back up to speed or blood one of the youngsters. He's got the season run in to force his way back - he was in superb form before he got injured so he may well do so.

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 9:18 am

I think That Try has the starting 12 berth sewn up. Huw Jones should be first choice 13.

Furra Linee is not really a 13, much better at 12. But will probably go as he covers 10 too.

So fourth choice? Assuming Grigg is not going. Seaman, Monica or the Lord? Or Bomber Harris? chin

It's Toonie so prepare to be surprised.

p.s. unless Matt Scott has rediscovered his appetite for tackling....no thanks

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Post by RDW on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 9:24 am

jimbopip wrote:I think That Try has the starting 12 berth sewn up. Huw Jones should be first choice 13.

Furra Linee is not really a 13, much better at 12. But will probably go as he covers 10 too.

So fourth choice? Assuming Grigg is not going. Seaman, Monica or the Lord? Or Bomber Harris? chin

It's Toonie so prepare to be surprised.

p.s. unless Matt Scott has rediscovered his appetite for tackling....no thanks

When did Horne ever discover it?

Scott's defence has been running theme on here but I think it's been blown way out of proportion - he was criticised for his defensive positioning at times but he's never shown a lack of appetite for it.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 9:34 am

Matt Scott needs to find some form, or he could be struggling even to get into the wider squad. It will be interesting to see who Cockers picks for the game this weekend.

Christine has done little wrong whilst playing at 12 for Edinburgh in Scott's absence and MS did not do a great deal last weekend to justify playing ahead of him, though in fairness, none of the backs got the chance.

Does he go for Deans's proven good form, or Scott's pedigree. That is not an easy one to call. He has the same dilemma at 13 and seems to have opted for Johnstone's form over Bennett.

For me Matt Scott is currently several rungs down the selection ladder for a WC spot and will have to play very well between now and the end of the season to justify getting into the squad.

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Post by jimbopip on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 9:55 am

Spot on the G-Man. clap

Flounder, Furra Linee's tackle statistics are there for all to peruse. His defence, while not up with Dunbar or Taylor in terms of aggressive physicality, is sound.
Matt Scott gave one of the most abject examples of tackle avoidance at Twickers, the last time he played, I have ever witnessed. Even Turnstile Time was shaking his head at him.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 11:31 am

hate to say it, but could be be needing to look at a third pro team again?

Now I'm not saying bring back the Border Reviers (they had their chance) and I'm not saying form a Caledonian Reds team or a Stirling Bravehearts side. But we're just running out of places to put good players in the 2 team set up that we have.

Could we look at London Scottish again? Would players want to go and play for some MLR side in the states?

Here's a potential Scotland side of players who could quite realitsically not get much gametime in the end of season run in

Adelle
Turner
Berghan
(we seem to be short of 2nd rows)
Bradbury
Ritchie
Hamilton

G Horne (or ali price is if Horne starts)
Meatball (yeah I know he gets gametime at Wuss, but there's no one else)
Hoyland
Scott or Chistine
Bennett or Johnstone
Rory Hughes
Major General Moustache Rhubarb

Now many of the players are needed for injury cover and if you take them out the team, the drop in quality from starter to backup will be far greater, but at least the backup players will be getting competitive rugby.

No easy eh!
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Post by RDW on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 11:51 am

jimbopip wrote:Spot on the G-Man. clap

Flounder, Furra Linee's tackle statistics are there for all to peruse. His defence, while not up with Dunbar or Taylor in terms of aggressive physicality, is sound.
Matt Scott gave one of the most abject examples of tackle avoidance at Twickers, the last time he played, I have ever witnessed. Even Turnstile Time was shaking his head at him.

I didn’t realise a single game from 4 years ago should rule a player out of potential 2019 selection (and for some reason he’s the only player to blame that game)! If that is the case them what gives Horne the golden pass given he’s made some huge mistakes that have lost Scotland games, like missed tackles leading to tries or missed kicks to touch right at the death, not to mention missed glaring 2 on 1s etc? Again to reiterate, I’m not saying he should be picked – I’m saying if he plays well for Edinburgh for the rest of the season he will be in the conversation.  He’s only just back from a long-term concussion layoff so will take a few games to get up to speed. Horne's performances in the 6N were completely uninspiring (but at least he made his tackles!).

If Townsend still doesn’t trust Hastings there’s a good chance he’ll pick Horne – I don’t see the point in picking Horne and Hasting though.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 12:20 pm

The trouble for Matt Scott is that he may not get those games to get up to speed, as every game now is a must win. Can he afford to be bringing a player back up to speed in those games?

Him and Mark Bennett may have to watch on from the side-lines and hope someone gets injured. Christine and JJ have both played well in their absence. Those two got them to the quarter finals, they probably deserve the chance to play.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 12:27 pm

A lot of this will depend on the outcome of the game against Munster.

There's still plenty games to play and rotation will be needed. There's also a posibility that if we lose the next league game that Cockers will write the pro 14 off this year and will look to develope the sqaud by giving as much game time to others as possible to get the ready for next season.

The Pro 14 is going to be an utter pigs ear for the first 3 months with the world cup. Players will be away with Scotland so Cockers will need to have the players he's going to be able to keep ready to hit the start of the season running!
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 12:36 pm

If you go down that route Tattie and include some of the English Championship and fringe Scots players at other sides

Reid - Fenton - McCallum (Marfo - Bryce/Malcolm - Nicol)
McDonald - Atkins (Hodgeson, Sykes, A Toolis who went back to Aus or Murray Douglas)
Hamilton - Eadie - Smith (Flockhart/Wynne)

SHC - Thomson (Steele - Lang (We really have little extra depth at 10))
Dunbar - Kelly
Hoyland - Brown - Fife (Nairn)

That team....probably competes with Newport, Zebre and Kings for the wooden spoon. You would need some more star players in there, but that hurts depth. It is a catch-22. Do you build up two clubs like Leinster who have unbelievable depth or spread it out to three teams who are more like Scarlets (more at risk of injury)?

If the Pro 14 decides to get bigger (say to 20) with two divisions, we could probably afford a development side, but right now we need to focus on getting two teams with regular attendance around 10k and the infrastructure off the pitch to support that. Third team should be a goal for after 2027 RWC.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 27 Mar 2019, 2:45 pm

Oh I agree that you dont want to spread resources too thin, but we need to keep an eye out on talent not being given a chance to play.

This is why I very much advocate players going to other teams or leagues is it helps thier development and also frees up space for another youngster to come in.

Look at Finn, he's deffo improved his game by going to France and the space he's left has allowed Hastings to get gametime and develop. Had Finn still been at glasgow then we'd be in a horrible position come the world cup if he were to be injured!

I think a team with Dell, Berghan, Bradbury, Dean, Bennett etc would hol its own in the Pro 14. They may not be in the play offs but they'd be above Zebre and Kings I'd wager. Probably in the region of the Blues. Remember most of these lads have international caps so they have the ability.
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Post by jimbopip on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 10:01 am

Clare Baldwin out for the rest of the season with concussion Shocked

Really bad news for him, but I think it also should rule him out of the World Cup. Sad

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Post by BigGee on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 10:18 am

That is not good news for Dents, he has had significant time off with concussion already in his career and his future career must be in doubt if he does not pick up from this.

Hopefully the extended time off will do the trick, but you do wonder what it will do for his mind set. His whole game is built around running hard into people and he knows that he is going to get clattered doing that.

Fortunately though, it does seem like Leicester are taking good care of him.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 10:45 am

He keeps retriggering the symptoms without ever reaching the contact stage of the protocols. Hopefully he will now be able to step away from worrying about getting back on the pitch, enjoy life for a while away from sport and hopefully get himself right. 

You do have to worry about his long term health.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 1:04 pm

He is not the only player who was competing to be in the RWC squad to have a long time away due to concussion this season. Blade Thomson has been out for a similar period and is likely in the same boat. Hopefully both come back fine in September, but both are likely to be fighting for spots in the 2020 Six Nations instead.

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Post by RDW on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 1:09 pm

These kind of injuries aren't new, however the length of time players are out for certainly is a new thing - makes you wonder just how many players over the years had similar injuries but came back too soon and are going to suffer long-term consequences because of it. Duncan Taylor has already admitted he did that.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 10:28 pm

I think our squad, injuries aside, can't be far from settled. For example at hooker the trio of MacInally, Brown and Turner is fairly set. Likewise it's hard to see past Nel, Berghan and Fagerson at tighthead. Second Row will be interesting as Toolis, Gilchrist and Jonny Gray seem to be the three first choice. Skinner offers versatility. Which leaves us in a place where Richie Gray won't necessarily be travelling which would have been hard to imagine a few years back. Bradbury seems to be the 8 we've been crying out for, Wilson is a decent operator and also seems popular around the squad which you need with a long training camp and a tournament far from home.
At scrum-half the first choice three currently would appear to be Laidlaw, Price and Horne. Pyrgos could play his way into the mix and rather the first two could continue to play their way out. Hidalgo-Clyne is the dark horse. He's been given a lifeline with Quins and with his talent could quite possibly play his way back into the mix. You'd have to assume it's too little too late. At 10 Finn Russell is now up with the two or three best in the world, on his day (or rather more specifically on his half) there is no player in the world I'd pick ahead of him. Sam Johnson is our 12 now, which means Toonie has to choose between taking Horne as a like for like back up or look elsewhere. Dunbar is injured and you have to think his body might have given up on him. Which is a real shame because he was one of the players (you could also include Mark Bennett in this) who really dragged us up from the pit we found ourselves in around 2013. Injury has cost him dearly. Personally I would take Duncan Taylor if he's fit and Matt Scott also along with Huw Jones as our centre options. Johnson is an out and out 12, Jones an out and out 13 the other two can cover both. My only concern is that both have a shocking injury record. Ultimately I can't see Peter Horne not travelling.

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Post by Eejit on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 11:12 pm

Can we talk about Huw Jones being a showpony yet or am I likely to get screamed at? Personally I'm on the Rory Hutchinson hype train (choo choo). Unpopular as it may be I think Toony will take Harris in the world cup squad as he seems to value his versatility.

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Post by RDW on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 9:31 am

Chris Harris is a difficult one - other than that Wales game he's not done much wrong, but then again other than the Fiji game he's not done much of note! He's a solid player but we're not going to get far in the world cup with a player like him.

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Post by Eejit on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 9:44 am

RDW wrote:Chris Harris is a difficult one - other than that Wales game he's not done much wrong, but then again other than the Fiji game he's not done much of note! He's a solid player but we're not going to get far in the world cup with a player like him.

Interestingly, Fraser Brown was on the Glasgow Warriors podcast this week and he was talking about getting picked on the bench because he can cover hooker and back row (presumably when he thinks he should be starting, and I am inclined to agree with him as you know). Its definitely worth a listen as he goes into that interview with Tom English and the mental side to the game. Very interesting listening.

I suppose what we forget being armchair fans is that within the wider squad there needs to be considerations of different matchday 23s. Its not as simple as picking the best 31 rugby players in Scotland which is why I think Harris will go.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 10:51 am

Harris won't go if Huw Jones and/or Duncan Taylor goes. Harris is a 13/wing whereas Duncan Taylor is a lesser Richie Vernon who can cover every position between 11 and 15, and Huw Jones can cover wing (not 12).

If both are out, I think Eejit is right. Versatility is a must in the squad unless you are a nailed on starter. Stafford McDowall could do with some games at 13 to prove he can do it. Chris Dean has probably missed the chance to replace Harris in the past because he is ineffective at a second position.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 11:27 am

Centres for the world cup

Johnson (Scott if fit)
Jones (Taylor if fit)

If Scott and Taylor arent fit then it's Harris to cover. Horne may well travel to cover 10 and 12 but he should be absolutely nowhere near a national team!

Had he been given some games in the 6ns (why he wasnt picked over Grigg is beyond me) then Hutchison would have been the cover man but hey ho!
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Post by 123456789. on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 11:58 am

Eejit wrote:Can we talk about Huw Jones being a showpony yet or am I likely to get screamed at? Personally I'm on the Rory Hutchinson hype train (choo choo). Unpopular as it may be I think Toony will take Harris in the world cup squad as he seems to value his versatility.

Jones has been poor this year, but let's not write him off as a player. He has scored 10 tries in 17 internationals, a strike rate better than Tuilagi, Joseph, Davies and Ringrose. They've not been against bad opposition either. Jones has scored 4 against England, three against Australia, as well as against New Zealand, France and Samoa. If his showpony 'trick' is scoring tries it is a pretty valuable one. His defence needs serious work but Hutchinson's defence isn't the strongest part of his game either.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 12:21 pm

Still dont see why folk are still being caught up in the myth of Jones' defence being god awful based on that game. It's been shown that he was having to cover for other players and it was the system that was horribly exposed rather than Jones as a player.

Statistically Jones was the best devensive centre in the 2018 6Ns I beleive???
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Post by jimbopip on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 1:09 pm

Centres for the World Cup?

Johnson-Jones.

Easily the best we have.

Back ups? That's an ecumenical question Dougal.

Let's be full on Tombola and have Stafford-Seaman.

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Post by BigGee on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 5:17 pm

123456789. wrote:
Eejit wrote:Can we talk about Huw Jones being a showpony yet or am I likely to get screamed at? Personally I'm on the Rory Hutchinson hype train (choo choo). Unpopular as it may be I think Toony will take Harris in the world cup squad as he seems to value his versatility.

Jones has been poor this year, but let's not write him off as a player. He has scored 10 tries in 17 internationals, a strike rate better than Tuilagi, Joseph, Davies and Ringrose. They've not been against bad opposition either. Jones has scored 4 against England, three against Australia, as well as against New Zealand, France and Samoa. If his showpony 'trick' is scoring tries it is a pretty valuable one. His defence needs serious work but Hutchinson's defence isn't the strongest part of his game either.

Its a bit harsh to say Jones has been poor when he has hardly played. He just has not really been able to build any form this season.

My main worry about Shuggy is that he seems to be developing an alarming tendency to get injured and that is what is currently stopping him from becoming the player he could be.

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Post by RDW on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 5:44 pm

BigGee wrote:
123456789. wrote:
Eejit wrote:Can we talk about Huw Jones being a showpony yet or am I likely to get screamed at? Personally I'm on the Rory Hutchinson hype train (choo choo). Unpopular as it may be I think Toony will take Harris in the world cup squad as he seems to value his versatility.

Jones has been poor this year, but let's not write him off as a player. He has scored 10 tries in 17 internationals, a strike rate better than Tuilagi, Joseph, Davies and Ringrose. They've not been against bad opposition either. Jones has scored 4 against England, three against Australia, as well as against New Zealand, France and Samoa. If his showpony 'trick' is scoring tries it is a pretty valuable one. His defence needs serious work but Hutchinson's defence isn't the strongest part of his game either.

Its a bit harsh to say Jones has been poor when he has hardly played. He just has not really been able to build any form this season.

My main worry about Shuggy is that he seems to be developing an alarming tendency to get injured and that is what is currently stopping him from becoming the player he could be.


To be fair, in the games he did play he was poor!

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Post by Eejit on Fri 29 Mar 2019, 5:57 pm

Right. Screamed at - got it.

He is a showpony though. Rory Hutchinson choo choo.

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Post by bsando on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 2:38 pm

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.rugbypass.com/news/lima-sopoaga-to-ditch-wasps-reports/

This article about Liam Sopoaga got me wondering about some of Scotland’s players and the game plan leading into the World Cup. The reason being, Sopoaga mentions in the article that he finds the NH game very physical and that players bulk up a lot more. I think he has an interesting point.

 Sean Maitland when he first arrived was one of the fastest wingers on the planet. He has bulked up a lot now and is a great defender because of that, well suited for Saracens in the premiership. Hogg was a lean player who bulked up and had to drop a bit of weight because of it not long ago, but he’s looking fairly bulky again now actually. There’s lots of other examples across various teams in the premiership and pro 14.

So I just wonder, will Scotland’s World Cup conditioning be more about physicality or fitness and speed? The 2015 camp sounded pretty gruelling, French Marines, dead bunnies, a lot of hard work to be one of the fittest sides. Some of the players who starred then haven’t been fitter than they were during that tournament. I’d love to see Hogg and Maitland in particularly dropping a few kg’s for the Rugby World Cup. 

Does anyone else have any thoughts or opinions on Scotland’s conditioning pre World Cup? Do we need cryo chambers to be installed at Murrayfield?

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Post by RDW on Fri 05 Apr 2019, 8:37 am

Scotland's game is all about fitness and speed so I'm sure there'll be a real focus on that.

It's certainly not going to be like 2011 when they all became huge - even Mossy (relatively speaking)!

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Post by BigGee on Fri 05 Apr 2019, 9:02 am

https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/guinness-pro14/interview-scotland-forward-david-denton-on-concussion-and-his-rugby-future-1-4902171

Denton definitely going to miss the WC, but we probably already knew that. A great shame for him as he was one of our stand outs last time around and I doubt he will get another chance at his age.

He seems to be accepting that his career is going to be curtailed and that even he may not play again.

He also points out how supportive Leicester have been, which is great to hear.

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Post by EST on Sat 06 Apr 2019, 10:12 am

After last night, Steyn must be in the mix for a centre position, how do you pick four from this list (usual caveat that Taylor gets fit in time):

Johnson
McDowall
Horne
Jones
Steyn
Bennett
Scott
Taylor
Hutchinson

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Post by RDW on Sat 06 Apr 2019, 10:18 am

Conversely it's also a bit of a worry going into a world cup having no idea who our midfield will be - we're certainly not going to have a settled, proven team!

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Post by BigGee on Sat 06 Apr 2019, 10:33 am

EST wrote:After last night, Steyn must be in the mix for a centre position, how do you pick four from this list (usual caveat that Taylor gets fit in time):

Johnson
McDowall
Horne
Jones
Steyn
Bennett
Scott
Taylor
Hutchinson

That group may not be as big as we think, even if you add Grigg to it, which would probably be fair as he played most of the 6N. Don't forget about Harris as well.

Taylor as we have said needs to get fit, but he is clearly still in Toonie's thoughts.

Scott and Bennett have hardly played this year and need to get some games in and show their form, time is running out for them unfortunately. Bennett needs a big game this weekend and Scott needs Cockers to let him on the pitch!

Peter Horne, who everyone though would get in on the basis of his versatility is also now struggling for game time, now that Hastings has re-discovered his Mojo and with the emergence of Steyn. People talk about covering FH as well, but don't forget that Laidlaw can do that as well and arguably better. That might become his role in the squad if he finally has slipped away from the captaincy and the starting SH role.

Assuming all fit, I think we might see the following in an extended squad:

Taylor
Jones
Horne
Steyn
Johnson
Hutchinson
Grigg

and from that, it will be whittled down to 4. Some very good players are going to miss out.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 12:25 pm

So pre-WC warm-up games. What are our thoughts?


Front row is fairly settled, I'd say. Chance to give Z Fagerson a run against a big French/Georgian pack. Loosehead... A N Other? Not sure what the best option here is really. I'd say give Bhatti a run as Dell did reasonably well this 6Ns.

I would like to see the Grays paired up against France to see what they can do together after a long time apart.

Ritchie arguably has shown us what he can do already, but I think he has an opportunity to grab a squad spot. The problem is with Barclay playing pretty well, I can see his leadership skillset winning over Ritchies form, which would be a shame it's unlucky for him that Watson is so good he's practically made himself undroppable. Definitely against Ireland we'd benefit from a wily operator such as Barclay, that's what we lacked in the 6Ns imo.

I'd put Fagerson against France with Bradbury benching, then maybe try Skinner at 8 against Georgia, again with Bradbury benching. Wilson will probably be in the squad, even if Fagerson/Bradbury score a hattrick against France and make 400 metres between them. I think in all likelihood Skinner will be listed as a second row due to his versatility, and he's definitely not a bad option, just all the more shame that likely means one of R Gray and Toolis will miss out.

SH has to be George Horne, he needs the opportunity to push for a spot. Depends on how many SHs Toonie decides to take, but Horne Jr has to be very close, he's too sharp to not take, and could be a game changer. We have to see how he does against France imo. Price has an opportunity to cement himself as first choice. Laidlaw should likely go as a game finisher, though I think after this 6Ns he has a lot to prove, he's back to his bad old form. For me Horne and Price are very much the form choice.

What a difference a month makes. Hastings should start at least one of the games at 10, would be good to see him against France again. Finn should be put in an isolation tank up until the world cup, we're Donald Ducked if he gets injured. Pete Horne has been pretty poor most of this season, maybe put him at 10 against Georgia. If he buggers that up we know he's not adequate cover at 10. Meatball could feature on the bench there too, it'd be nice to see what he can do at international level on his current form. That said I think it's extremely unlikely he'll be on the plane in September.

Hutchinson for me is a must-look, especially given our current predicament at OC. Huw should be on the bench but we know what he can do on form, he just needs to show he's regained form for me. Duncan Taylor I think it's too late, he's been injured too long to be parachuted in. Scott and Bennett of course have played together recently but haven't really clicked much in a backline starved of ball. I'd put them together against Georgia perhaps to see if they can still cut loose against a physical side. Bench bolters could be Lang perhaps, he's playing well for Quins who are in the top end of the premiership and covers 10 better than Horne in my opinion. Not forgetting the one man team Stafford. I'd maybe have him go against France, plunge him in the deep end and see how he copes. Steyn for me should be on the bench for at least one of the games.

Back three is relatively straightforward. I'd actually be inclined to rest Darcy to be honest. He's shown excellent form all season and in the 6Ns particularly, in my opinion we'd be mad not to book his ticket. Maitland should be rested too, a solid player and good FB cover. Hogg is a given so rest him. That leaves the tricky conundrum of Kinghorn, who is in a race against time. I think he may actually miss out, especially with Hastings proving he can cover fullback perfectly well and Maitland a likely pick. It's a shame but at 22 we'll see the best from him yet anyway. Other wing I'd try Rory Hughes, again just a solid player but not bad either. Would it be worth looking at Hoyland again?

Interesting and exciting times..


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Post by RDW on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 1:53 pm

Toonie is going to have to decide early on which players he wants so look at - with 2 games pre final squad selection and 2 after (usually) there's not much opportunity for a newbie. Plus he needs to balance giving enough gametime to the 1st choice players to get them match fit. It won't be ideal to have our top players going into the world cup with only a half or one full match under their belts, especially with Ireland first up.

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 4:09 pm

RDW wrote:Stab at a 31 man world cup squad:

Props - Dell, Reid, Nel, Berghan, Fagerson
Hooker - McInally, Brown, Turner
Lock - R Gray, J Gray, Gilchrist, Toolis, Skinner (back row cover too)
Back row - Barclay (C), Ritchie, Bradbury, Watson, Wilson

SH - Price, Laidlaw, Horne
FH - Russell, Hasting
C - Johnson, Jones, Scott, Benentt (big assumption on the last two though, and I can see him picking Horne)
Back 3 - Hogg, Maitland, Graham, Kinhgorn

Doing that made me realise how ridiculous it is to have 31 man squads - should at the very least be 32 to allow 6 props! If we wanted 6 props we'd probably have to lose a back rower with Skinner providing cover. Could do with another back 3 player too.

Unlike some teams we've got a mega short turnaround in the last two games, and given that the last game is Japan we're going to have to rest players against Russia.


Flounder, I quite liked the look of this squad but a lot of water has been passed under the bridge since you posted this.


Props- Nel, Ragnar, Bhatti, Dell, I would argue we need two more props in the squad but we'll likely see one and one on holiday in Yokohama. Allan and Rae.

Second Row- agree with your five.

Back Row-Barcs, Batman, Hamish must go, this leaves baby Fagerson, Ritchie and Malcolm Bradbury looking at two places.


Scrum Half- Aldi and Wee George must go. Frodo goes "for leadership and experience" but mainly because there isn't another Scottish 9 who looks to have anything to add.


Finn Russell- Himself and the Haircut.


Centres- Let the nightmares begin. We all know that teams that win the WC usually have settled partnerships here with approx. 30+ caps each.Sad That Try and Pony will be our first choices. Scott and Bennett have played almost as little first team rugby this season as Dunbar and Taylor. All four of them are out of the running. Safe choice? Two of Horne, Grigg and Harris. Tombola Stylee? Lord Stafford and Seaman. I think the second choice pairing will be crucial to our chances of progressing in the tournament. we will need to rest players and our "second 12-13" will be expected to start together at least once. Grigg-Harris haven't played together too often. Horne-Seaman or Stafford-Seaman at least have experience of playing together at club level. I think Harris will miss out to Seaman on that score. Grigg is not able to cover wing as well as Seaman. Does Toonie gamble on Stafford or go with Peter Horne? I think we'll see Horne-Seaman.

Back Three- Hogg, NoMaits, Graham, Seymour. Assuming King Blarehorn isn't fit in time. If he is then …..I'm just glad I'm not a selector.

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Post by RDW on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 4:12 pm

I can see why they'd be picked, but a centre group of Johnson, Horne, Jones and Grigg is so uninspiring!

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Post by jimbopip on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 4:42 pm

I shall pretend that your envy isn't showing. Very Happy

Johnson-Jones first choice.

Horne-Seaman one covers 10, in the direst emergency, the other can play wing and 15.

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Post by RDW on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 5:06 pm

What envy? Do you not agree that Horne and Grigg aren't World Cup class centres?

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Post by BigGee on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 5:25 pm

I think one of Hutchinson or Steyn would likely go over Grigg. They are probably better international prospects and Griggs injury has allowed them to come into the equation.

Taylor probably over Horne as well, if he is fit (a big if?)

Toonie is not a conservative selector and will take a player with limited experience if they show up well in the camp and the warm ups.

Props is a tricky one though, I am not sure how we can't take 6, otherwise one injury to a LH and we are Donald ducked. Japan is not around the corner and a very different time zone, not easy to get someone out and up to spedd quickly

Bhatti has been playing well for Glasgow the last couple of games, so we might see

TH Nel, Bergs, Zander

LH Dell, Bhatti and Gordy

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 17 Apr 2019, 3:56 pm

Someone check the rules but I think all sqauds need to have 6 props (3 LH and 3 TH)

In the matchday squad you need 2 of each and 2 hookers, but I seem to have it in my head that at WC time, you also need to have a reserve couple of props to cover the bench in the next game in the event your starting props get gubbed. This is to lessen the chance of a WC game going unopposed at scrum time.

I also think you need 3 hookers.

The backs, being the bunch of little girls that they are, can be picked however the coach wants to as any old numpty can cover theback positions as long as they have suitable levels of fake tan and hair gel!
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Post by RDW on Wed 17 Apr 2019, 4:50 pm

I think you're making things up again tattie!

In 2015 we only had 5 props.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/33794735

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Post by BigGee on Wed 17 Apr 2019, 4:54 pm

RDW wrote:I think you're making things up again tattie!

In 2015 we only had 5 props.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/33794735

True, but it would have been pretty easy to bring another one in during that tournament. It won't be in Japan.

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