Scotland WC Chat

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

First topic message reminder :

FORWARDS (23)

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

BACKS (19)

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



World Cup Warmups

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

World Cup Fixtures

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

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

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

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


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

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Post by George Carlin on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 6:55 am

tigertattie wrote:
jimbopip wrote:£110 Shocked

When I was third team captain we could buy a full set of jerseys for that.


when you were third team captain you could buy a house for less than the price of a car these days, no one had a mobile phone, an apple was only a tasty fruit, Tommy Cooper was still on Sat night tele and 3/4s of the population werent constantly moaning about how stressed they are that avocado on toast is that pricey that they can't afford a delux latte from starbucks.
Surely when Jim was captain the scoreboard was in roman numerals and the half time refreshments were warm mead and half a pig? Run

Like the RWC top a lot - will try to get one when I'm back in London Tarn this August.
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Post by jimbopip on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 9:03 am

George Carlin wrote:
tigertattie wrote:
jimbopip wrote:£110 Shocked

When I was third team captain we could buy a full set of jerseys for that.


when you were third team captain you could buy a house for less than the price of a car these days, no one had a mobile phone, an apple was only a tasty fruit, Tommy Cooper was still on Sat night tele and 3/4s of the population werent constantly moaning about how stressed they are that avocado on toast is that pricey that they can't afford a delux latte from starbucks.
Surely when Jim was captain the scoreboard was in roman numerals and the half time refreshments were warm mead and half a pig? Run

Like the RWC top a lot - will try to get one when I'm back in London Tarn this August.

Yes the match reports were written on best quality vellum. however, you are slightly befuddled about the half a pig; he played loose head.

If you're at a loose end when in that London give me a shout. I'll let anyone buy me a cold mead and amoretto shandy.

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Post by jimbopip on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 9:18 am

RDW wrote:I'm 100% confident frodo will be in the final squad if fit
I'm 99% confident he'll be in the 23 for the big matches, most likely on the bench unless Price becomes flakey again.

Horne may find gametime limited like SHC last time, although I'd have him on the bench against Russia and maybe Samoa as an attacking threat if we're needing to find late scores to kill them off.


Frodo will be in the squad as Cockers has pretty much ruined Henners' running and passing game. picard

Wee George should overtake him as back up to Aldi Price mainly because; Horne's skill set is more closely aligned with Toonies' idea of how Scotland need to play to beat the best teams in the world, Frodo's skill set limits the type of game you can play to an arm wrestle or an arm wrestle, Horne is the sort of scrum-half Toonie had wet dreams about playing outside, Toonie's mantra for scrum-halves has the phrase "optimistic support lines" pulsing through it like the bass line in "Walk On The Wild Side", Frodo is not an "optimistic" scrum half he is a safety first two rubber jonnies on and pull out early just in case type of guy, even if he could overcome his instinctive conservatism Frodo's legs are forty years older than Horne's.


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Post by RDW on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 9:21 am

Quite a sexually charged post that Jimbo - you been reading 50 Shades of Gray again?

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Post by jimbopip on Mon 22 Jul 2019, 11:57 am


Sexually charged? Shocked Moi Shocked Shocked

I think that's just your east coast Presbyterianism showing. You can take the boy out of the Manse but you can't take the Kirk Elder off the Sex Offenders Register, as they say in Morningside.

Anyhoo, if Frodo was a song he'd be "Walking Blues", Wee George would be "Firestarter".

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Post by BigGee on Tue 23 Jul 2019, 8:44 pm

A Rugby Pass interview with Ben Vellacott and an explanation as to why he turned down a Scotland call up.

Hard not to be sympathetic to his predicament at that stage in his career, it had the potential to be make or break. For what it is worth, I think he is a cracking little player, who may get his chance again if he can nail down some game time at Wasps.

So much chance involved in these decisions!

Ben Vellacott always knew there might come a time when the phone would ring and a career-defining decision over his international allegiance would loom.

The electric little scrum-half’s back story is well-documented. England-born and raised, a Scotland age-grade international at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-20 level thanks to his mother from Peterhead.




His talents have always been abundant – searing speed, mesmeric footwork, a lithe buzz-bomb half-back who can wriggle through the smallest of gaps and hurt you from anywhere.




A little over 18 months ago, he was dazzling for Gloucester, his form good enough to earn an approach from Gregor Townsend and the opportunity to join Scotland’s Six Nations squad.

The problem was that being capped would nullify his status as an English Qualified Player – a distinction that could torpedo his upward trajectory.


Premiership clubs are incentivised by the RFU to field more English-qualified players. Should a player lose or sacrifice his EQP status, unless he is a superstar in the making or set to become a regular international, he becomes a lot less attractive.

“It is difficult, especially with some international teams nowadays that will call up young players, play them in a game, then they literally won’t get played again,” Vellacott told RugbyPass.

“That’s something you’ve really got to think about. I’ve seen it before. Then when those players try to come back to England, clubs aren’t interested because they haven’t got the EQP status.



“If you’re good enough to play international rugby consistently, then great. But if you only play one or two games, then it can be a real risk.”

It sounds cynical, but players in Vellacott’s situation must often be shrewd about international opportunities. He feels an attachment to his homeland and the country of his mother.

Had there been the option to move to one of Scotland’s pro-teams, Edinburgh or Glasgow Warriors, things might have been different. Thinking of his club career and his future in the Premiership, he felt compelled to turn down the call.


All the while, there were rumblings that Vellacott might instead be involved in England’s Six Nations campaign. His representatives at the time were quietly confident that would come to pass – even Townsend stated as much in a pre-tournament press conference.

He was listed in Eddie Jones’ wider elite player squad, although he was never actually called in to train or play. With Scottish Rugby very publicly intensifying its search for eligible talent beyond Scotland’s borders, the suspicion was that Jones was mischievously marking their card.

“I came to the decision that with only just breaking onto the scene in the Premiership and still being under contract for a couple of years in England, that if I played for Scotland, I would lose my EQP status,” said Vellacott.



“Without a club from Scotland approaching me regarding a contract, it was quite a risky move, as much as I want to play international rugby. Your EQP is very valuable in terms of securing your future.

“It was a very, very tough decision and something I had to sit down with my partner and family, it wasn’t an overnight decision. When I rang back and spoke to Gregor, he was obviously disappointed. It was very tough to make that decision.”

If, 18 months on, Vellacott had to choose, would he plump for thistle or rose? “It’s very up in the air. At the end of the day, I still need to focus on playing in the Premiership week in, week out, and if those international callings come that’s a decision I’ll have to make. It’s not really something I’m thinking about at the moment.”


A teasing question evaded as easily as a lumbering second row, but there is truth in the understandably non-committal response. At 24 years of age, what Vellacott really needs is time in the saddle. He made only 13 appearances for Gloucester in the Premiership and Champions Cup last season, 10 of which came from the bench.

The game plan, he says, was changing, and not in his favour. Too often he was seen as the spark to ignite a dwindling fire, rather than the man to get the blaze going from the start and keep it stoked. It was time to leave.

Wasps had long been tracking his progress, so with his Gloucester contract expiring, he took the option to move to Coventry, where he hopes opportunities will be more plentiful and the rugby more suited to his effervescent style. “I was always branded at Gloucester as an impact player, great off the bench,” he explained.



“I want to be more than that; I don’t want to just be the player that plays 20 minutes or so here and there to make an impact. I want to be doing that from the start and that’s something I’ve got to learn within my game.

“And at Wasps, they’ve already given me that opportunity in terms of developing, whereas I felt at Gloucester I was still getting the same old reason why I wasn’t going to push to start.

“I’ve got no bad words to say about Gloucester but in terms of my career, I needed to go to a team where they revolve a lot of their game plan around the scrum-half. Gloucester were going away from that.



“They play a great brand of rugby, they’re a team on the rise, but I need to think about my career and I didn’t want to stay in the same place that I had been for the last couple of years.

“[Gloucester scrum-halves] Willi Heinz and Callum Braley have got very good basic skills and work perfectly for who they have got outside them – Danny Cipriani. Why wouldn’t you revolve your game plan around him? He’s done absolute wonders for Gloucester. I had to put myself first, be a little bit selfish, and I wanted to go and push on.

“I played two years in the Premiership now and my first year was a pretty good season but coming into last year, I was just getting the same old reasons why I wasn’t going to get any more minutes.”



If last season was underwhelming for Vellacott, it was a damp squib for Wasps, eighth in the Premiership and bottom of their Champions Cup pool. “As a squad from last year, Wasps are very disappointed in how things turned out,” he said.

“Wasps have always been an attractive team to me because of the way they play their rugby. They love to chuck the ball around and if you look at past scrum-halves that have come through their system, they’re always looking for a livewire scrum-half. It was the right time to make the move and Wasps showed a great interest, so it was a pretty easy decision.

“You look at Glasgow Warriors with Ali Price and George Horne, they are both like-for-like players, and if Ali is away or injured, then George literally slots in. Glasgow have moulded their game around the two nines and I believe that’s what Wasps are going to try and do, and the reason I thought Wasps would be the perfect club for me.

“With Dan Robson at Wasps, it’s going to be a very tough task to get more minutes, but I believe between us, we can really push Wasps forward this year.”























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Post by NeilyBroon on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 9:42 am

It's tough for him as he's a decent player and could slot in as a third scrum half in place of laidlaw and pyrgos when they officially retire as we've not got spectacular options coming through at edinburgh and Glasgow. Depends on if England snaffle him first but with their options i think it's unlikely. We'll see where we are injury wise at 6ns time I guess.
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Post by RDW on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 9:47 am

This story is increasingly becoming the norm and I say fair play to him. I can't see Townsend being the kind of guy that caps a player for the sake of it then deliberately ignores him for the next few years, but given Velacott's situation he was 100% right to make that call.

There's a high chance Laidlaw will be retiring this season so next summer's tour might be the time to get him involved - he will hopefully have established himself at Wasps by then too. He's probably the next cab off the rank after Horne.

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 4:15 pm

RDW wrote:This story is increasingly becoming the norm and I say fair play to him.  I can't see Townsend being the kind of guy that caps a player for the sake of it then deliberately ignores him for the next few years, but given Velacott's situation he was 100% right to make that call.

There's a high chance Laidlaw will be retiring this season so next summer's tour might be the time to get him involved - he will hopefully have established himself at Wasps by then too. He's probably the next cab off the rank after Horne.

See Graham Macro - I dont think he'll be in a Scotland shirt again unless injuries like the last 6Ns come about!

On another note, it;s too warm for me to be bothered looking it up, but are the group stages at the WC subject to bonus points? Say We beat Ireland but then we lose to Japan, would we be needing to lok at BPs to decide the group???
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Post by 123456789. on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 8:50 pm

Bonus points are in play in the group stages. There's no shame in not knowing that, Billy Vunipola didn't either last time out. It actually came down to bonus points for us last time; Japan, South Africa and ourselves finished with four wins and one defeat. I presume we qualified on the basis of defeating Japan with a bonus point and a significant margin but I'd have to check to make sure of it.

On Vellacott at 24 and a squad player for Gloucester I suspect he may be not be an enormous gain or loss either way. If injuries bite he might become more important but I assume Horne and Price have the shirt on lockdown if Laidlaw goes after the world cup. If injuries bite then it's a race between Pyrgos, Vellacott, Steele and whoever emerges at Edinburgh, Glasgow or finds a Scottish Granny/ parent/ birth certificate during the world cup.

On a different note, if say Niko Matawalu had been adopted by a Scotsman as a child but still grew up in Fiji, would he be eligible to represent Scotland?

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Post by RDW on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 9:13 pm

tigertattie wrote:
RDW wrote:This story is increasingly becoming the norm and I say fair play to him.  I can't see Townsend being the kind of guy that caps a player for the sake of it then deliberately ignores him for the next few years, but given Velacott's situation he was 100% right to make that call.

There's a high chance Laidlaw will be retiring this season so next summer's tour might be the time to get him involved - he will hopefully have established himself at Wasps by then too. He's probably the next cab off the rank after Horne.

See Graham Macro - I dont think he'll be in a Scotland shirt again unless injuries like the last 6Ns come about!

On another note, it;s too warm for me to be bothered looking it up, but are the group stages at the WC subject to bonus points? Say We beat Ireland but then we lose to Japan, would we be needing to lok at BPs to decide the group???

He was picked because we had nearly no one else, and he'd been on the radar a while and had been in training squads.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 24 Jul 2019, 9:34 pm

Gary Graham to be fair, looked pretty useful on his two runs off the bench but is up sgsinst it in the bsck row. Probsbly playing for a struggling Newcastle side did not help his case going into the 6N.

Hopefully he will get snother run out in the warm ups, but probably still going to struggle to mske the final cut.

I think if he played out of his skin though, Toonie could still tske him. I don't think he capped him just to put him on the shelf.

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Post by Anglobraveheart on Thu 25 Jul 2019, 8:48 am

Regarding Gary Graham, he got a look in due to good reviews and performances at club level earning him a chance, combined with our then injury troubles.
Ideally we should have at least 3 players ready to slot in in each back row position, which we probably have got, but there needs to be a succession plan on this with players being integrated over time, and to also allow for cover for injury or dips in form (Ali Price being a good example at No9).
Regarding succession planning, Barclay, Wilson and Strauss are unlikely to be around for much after 2020, so we need decent players involved in the set up as a back up for both injury and future integration.
It just appears to be good team management to have players like G Graham involved.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 25 Jul 2019, 6:15 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/49109883

Tom English seems to think 24 of the 31 are already chosen. Seems to think Kinghorn is in real trouble.

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Post by jimbopip on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 9:54 am

Thanks numbers. thumbsup

Here are my edited highlights.

Townsend rarely gives things away, but it's fair to say that, injury permitting, about 24 of his 31 are pretty obvious. It still looks up for grabs for the fifth prop, the fourth lock (Sam Skinner will surely travel as a lock/blindside flanker), two of the five back-row slots, a wing and a centre or two.

So, assuming that TE has been told more than he has written, it will be five props and not six. I think the fifth will be a TH who can cover loose head. I think Shrek will miss out.

Townsend will pick a maximum of four centres. A fit Taylor would be one, Sam Johnson would be a second, a firing Huw Jones a probable third.

That leaves one spot for the other five in his current training squad - Pete Horne, Nick Grigg, Kyle Steyn, Chris Harris and the possible bolter, Rory Hutchinson.


Again, assuming a degree of inside knowledge, I would expect Spacey to start against France and if he comes through that unscathed then he is pretty much guaranteed to be on the plane. From the remaining candidates the argument, for me at least, always looks as if "versatility", will be the deciding factor. So, Seaman as a centre/winger or Furra line as 12/10? Well, since Spacey is referred to in the article as a centre/wing/full back I think that may well edge Seaman off the plane and allow Furra Linee to start developing a taste for sushi.

Again, if everyone is fit then the back three will contain; Hogg, Seymour and Maitland.

How many wings and full-backs are needed if Taylor can be utilised in both positions? Possibly three wings - Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour and Darcy Graham - and one full-back - Stuart Hogg. Where does that leave Blair Kinghorn?

D'Arcy Graham has shown that he is a better winger than King Blarehorn, so with NoMaits and Spacey, and even Not A Pony capable of covering for Hogg.... Blarehorn will be revelling in the big crowds at Murrayfield while the real show is going on in Japan.

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Post by RDW on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 9:57 am

Someone posted the highlights of last year's Calcutta Cup game and it reminded me just how good Huw Jones can be - he could make the difference this World Cup if he finds that form again.

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Post by BigGee on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 10:44 am

My pick at the 24:

Nel
Fagerson Z
Berghan
Dell
Bhatti
Brown
McInally
Turner
Gray J
Gilchrist
Skinner
Barclay
Watson
Price
Horne G
Laidlaw
Russell
Hastings
Taylor
Jones
Johnson
Maitland
Seymour
Hogg


So 7 more to add to that and I think TE is right, it will take an injury for Blairhorn to make it:

Toolis/Cummings
3 from Bradbury/Thompson/Fagerson M/Graham G/Strauss/Wilson/Ritchie
2 from Grigg/Hutchinson/Horne P/Harris/Steyn
1 from Graham/Kinghorn/McGuigan

The second row I think will come down to who plays best in the warm ups and/or has impressed in training. Toolis is the more experienced operator and that will count, but Cummings finished the season in fantastic form and was picked over RG at the end of the day, which says a lot about how he is rated.

The backrow is scarily competitive and way to close to call. I would say that Strauss and Graham are outside bets but the rest all have a case and a shout.

The centres it will depend on what kind of versatility Toonie wants. Does he see Horne P as his third FH choice, if so he goes. If he sees Laidlaw in that role, who will be going in any case, then I suspect he will take Steyn, who can also cover the wing spot. Grigg and Harris are the two long shots here, Hutchy will go if he shows up in the warm ups.

The final back three spot comes down to the two youngsters with the smart money being on Graham!

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Post by jimbopip on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 10:53 am

Gee, the only quibble I have is your second row predictions.

I'm sure Tom English refers to "the fifth second row" and seems to indicate that principal Skinner will go as lock/blind side. So; Jonny, GG, Toolis and Cummings for me. But then again possibly Blade Runner as 8/lock so Principal-cummings-Deckar for two spots.

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Post by RDW on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 11:10 am

I think Toolis has plenty of credit in the bank to make it over Cummings - when he plays our lineout is good, when he doesn't play our lineout has been close to a shambles as we saw in the 6N. We've also never seen Cummings at International level, where his relatively slight frame will be brutally tested.

Toolis every day of the week for me - we know what we're going to get with him in a very important position. Cummings is the future and there's no rush as we have a good group of locks as it is.

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Post by BigGee on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 11:17 am

I think if Thompson goes, who also can play lock. that might mean we could travel with just the 4 locks (assuming Skinner is seen primarily as a second row)

If we take Toolis and Cummings, then one of the backrows will surely fall off and it is going to be hard enough to whittle them down in any case.

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Post by RDW on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 11:21 am

Where has this Thompson can cover lock chat come from?? He's an 'athletic' number 8 never mind able to cope as an international lock! Plus has also not played international rugby before.

Are we getting a bit carried away with wanting as much flexibility in the squad as possible? As we've discussed before we're probably going to play our strongest team for every game except Russia, and while we need to cover for injuries we still want our best players to be there. Yes there will be some players there for flexibility but we shouldn't just pick players because they can play other positions!

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Post by BigGee on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 11:27 am

I don't think anyone is suggesting he is going to be a starting lock, but as a versatile bench option, particularly in the Russia or Samoa games, I think it is entirely an option. There is no point taking any players who are hardly likely to get any game time and athletic ball playing locks are completely what Toonie will want.

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Post by 123456789. on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 11:39 am

I’m not entirely sold on this notion we have to bring a first fifteen and then assorted utility players in case the worst happens. We are allowed to call up as many injury replacements as we like. The only short turnarounds are in the group stages. After Ireland we should rally we winning the other three with room to spare. If we have a crisis before the quarters there will be time to bring out replacements beforehand.

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Post by bsando on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 1:19 pm

Refs have been allocated for all the RWC games! Here is Scotland's

Scotland vs Ireland
Referee Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant 1 Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 2 Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO Graham Hughes (England)

Scotland vs Samoa
Referee Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 1 Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant 2 Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO Graham Hughes (England)

Scotland vs Russia
Referee Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant 1 Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant 2 Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Scotland vs Japan
Referee Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant 1 Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant 2 Matthew Carley (England)
TMO Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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Post by NeilyBroon on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 2:52 pm

How nice it is to genuinely have selection difficulties this world cup. Must be the first cycle in the pro era where we're actually having to think a bit about the players who are going.

Mike Blair talking about the players bulking up in 2007 made me chuckle. I remember that phase of reverse crash ball.
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Post by 123456789. on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 10:34 pm

It’s bizarre to think that this time four years ago, Vern Cotter, an excellent coach, deemed Cowan and Strokosch better back-row options than Barclay.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 11:01 pm

Strokosch the bald hard man. He was obviously verns adopted son.
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 27 Jul 2019, 6:11 am

https://scrummagazine.com/skinner-we-have-a-lot-of-depth/

Well that's interesting, Skinner says he's firstly a second row who can play back row. So does toonie feel the same? May mean Toolis will miss out.
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Post by RDW on Sat 27 Jul 2019, 8:05 am

NeilyBroon wrote:https://scrummagazine.com/skinner-we-have-a-lot-of-depth/

Well that's interesting, Skinner says he's firstly a second row who can play back row. So does toonie feel the same? May mean Toolis will miss out.

To be fair that's not really new news - he's been saying that all along. Plus as much as it helps them players don't like to make out that they're utility players as it basically means being stuck on the bench or utility cover in the squad - they all went to be starting players in their position first and foremost.

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Post by jimbopip on Sat 27 Jul 2019, 11:50 am

NeilyBroon wrote:https://scrummagazine.com/skinner-we-have-a-lot-of-depth/

Well that's interesting, Skinner says he's firstly a second row who can play back row. So does toonie feel the same? May mean Toolis will miss out.

Tom English refers to "who'll be the fourth lock"? As there are five in the squad at present; Jonny, GG, Toolis, Cummings and The Principal then common sense would say it would be one of the last two who would miss out. Mind you if it was up to me GG wouldn't be there in the first place. mad

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 27 Jul 2019, 9:48 pm

So after the SA game I stand by my point that I'd rather NZ if we make it to the quarters! They are looking vulnerable by their standards and have less beef up front so suit our gameplan better.

Greater upsets have happened!
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Post by sensisball on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 10:19 am

Particularly if Rettalik's injury turns out to be as serious as it looks. Scott Barrett is a good replacement but no where near the standard of the injured lock. Lack of depth in the second row is definitely an area of weakness for the AB's.

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Post by BigGee on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 11:24 am

I see the SRU have brought in Ben Ryan on a consultancy basis to take over some of Scott Johnson's work while they look for a replacement.

I wonder if he might be willing to take on the role on a permanent basis, he would be a very decent catch if he was willing.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 12:20 pm

That'd be a great boon for Scottish Rugby. Where did you read that biggee?
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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 12:24 pm

On an unrelated note, I see Paddy Dewhirst has essentially ruined his career in the style of Paddy Jackson by filming and sharing a sex video. What a first class erse. Shame to see this kind of behaviour still in rugby circles.
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Post by bsando on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 12:45 pm

Very encouraging to hear Maitland say the squad have been breaking fitness PB’s and a point of difference in the build up to this RWC compared to last is fast paced intensive running. Toonie ball is going forwards 110%!

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 1:18 pm


Half empty-half full.

EMPTY

We play Ireland; Schmidt seems to have the measure of Toonie. Sad

Scotland have struggled against Ireland recently. Sad

Japan have a fortnight off before playing us, whereas we have a four day turn around. Sad

We will play the Blackness or the Boks if we get out the group. The two teams we haven't beaten recently. Or never in the case of the Blackness.

FULL

It looks as if Toonie is going for full warp speed eighty minutes unstructured batshit Finnsanity which in the heat and humidity of Japan may well work against Ireland.

Having just watched the Fiji-Japan game, Japan are a tidy, well organised side but we should beat them.

We have enough grunt in the pack to get parity against any of the SH sides and Toonie seems willing to bet the house on our backs against anyone.

That's it really.




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Post by BigGee on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 1:19 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:That'd be a great boon for Scottish Rugby. Where did you read that biggee?

Mark Palmer was tweeting about it and he usually has the inside line on these things

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Post by BigGee on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 1:23 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:On an unrelated note, I see Paddy Dewhirst has essentially ruined his career in the style of Paddy Jackson by filming and sharing a sex video. What a first class erse.  Shame to see this kind of behaviour still in rugby circles.

What a first class idiot, he seemingly filmed it without her knowledge and then sent it to the whole U20s squad on a WhatsApp group and surprise surprise, she found out.

Hard to feel any sympathy really, he was lucky not to go to jail. Appartently he was going to go to France to play with Lyon before this news broke. He won't be doing that now!

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Post by BigGee on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 1:37 pm

Mark Palmer's take on the likely back three picks.

Of the many memorable snapshots from this year’s Calcutta Cup, a grinning Darcy Graham perched on a throne of two floored England players will always have its place. Though the smile would soon leave the winger’s face as George Ford salvaged a draw, in every other respect the Six Nations was a personal triumph. One which leaves him sitting pretty as far as the World Cup is concerned.

Two tries at Twickenham and a beauty the previous week in his first Test start against Wales were the headlines in a fine all-round contribution that means it would be a shock if the 22-year-old failed to make the squad. Indeed, even allowing for Tommy Seymour’s aerial excellence, there is a strong case to be made for the Edinburgh player starting against the siege-gun Irish on day one in Yokohama.


With Blair Kinghorn, Kyle Steyn, Byron McGuigan and Chris Harris also vying for inclusion in the final 31 and Duncan Taylor able to cover full-back, someone is going to be disappointed. But tellingly, that word sits in total contrast to how Graham has made his club and country coaches feel over the past 12 months.

“He’s obviously very talented,” says Sean Maitland, whose injured foot gave Graham his 64 minutes against the Welsh. “I had a few weeks with him towards the end of the Six Nations and he’s a guy who keeps his head down and works bloody hard; that’s what I love about him.

“He’s a very talented, explosive player, one of those wingers who gets off his wing and looks for work. He gets in around nine and ten and he’s got a hell of a step. When you’re that fast, especially laterally, it brings that natural power.”




Graham’s pace, footwork and finishing ability are what catch the eye, but Maitland is right to point out the strong foundations. As Toulon full-back Mathieu Smaili found out in that January sacking of the Stade Mayol, he can bump as well as wriggle his way out of a tight spot.

He has always punched well above his weight in attack and defence, but having now nudged past 13 stones, Graham is even better equipped to compete over ball. Shorn of Alex Dunbar, Scotland will welcome any back who can mimic the locum flanker role he was always so ready to take on.

For his part, Maitland has long been the most defensively complete outside back available to Gregor Townsend. The 30-year-old also has a knack of coming up with important tries, a point underlined in the 2018 wins over England, France, Italy and Argentina and last season’s Premiership and Champions Cup finals. The 2013 Lion, who would likely have toured again four years later but for injury, brings a wealth of big-game nous and, crucially, a desire for more.

“Setting personal goals helps me press those reset buttons,” explains the 40-cap man from Tokoroa who has won two European Cups and two league titles since joining Saracens in 2016. “You look across the squad and it’s pretty competitive so it definitely helps you, these younger boys coming through. It definitely pushes the likes of me and Tom [Seymour] as we’re into our 30s now. A lot of people are like, ‘You looking forward to Japan?’ and I’m like, ‘Mate, I’ve got to try and get on the plane first’. I don’t want to talk about World Cups and all that. That goes for everyone in the back three — maybe not Hoggy [Stuart Hogg] but all the rest.”

Maitland is taking no chances and made sure to train with Saracens in the recent fortnight break from Scotland camp. Yet the fact is that barring injury, he will go. Hogg and Seymour are also stick-ons while Graham has pole position among the others. If Townsend follows Vern Cotter and takes five pure back-three players, Kinghorn has versatility on his side but then so does Steyn, who has made such a strong impression at outside centre for Glasgow.

It is, of course, another thing playing 13 at Test level, especially in a defensive sense, but plumping for the South African-born 25-year-old might give Townsend a way out of his centre logjam. McGuigan — who played a bit of 13 in his Glasgow days but is now settled on the wing — looks an outside bet, along with the more authentically centre/wing Harris.

The one thing everyone can agree is how good it is to have Duncan Taylor fit after an injury-ravaged two years. “I can’t imagine what he’s had to go through but being around him most of that time, he’s such a positive person,” says Maitland, a teammate of the man the Saracens squad call “Super Dunc”. “He never seems to get too down and it’s just great for him to be back. He’s looking really good, looking sharp, and we all know how talented he is. Hopefully he can stay fit and get some game time.”

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 2:42 pm

BigGee wrote:Mark Palmer's take on the likely back three picks.

Of the many memorable snapshots from this year’s Calcutta Cup, a grinning Darcy Graham perched on a throne of two floored England players will always have its place. Though the smile would soon leave the winger’s face as George Ford salvaged a draw, in every other respect the Six Nations was a personal triumph. One which leaves him sitting pretty as far as the World Cup is concerned.

Two tries at Twickenham and a beauty the previous week in his first Test start against Wales were the headlines in a fine all-round contribution that means it would be a shock if the 22-year-old failed to make the squad. Indeed, even allowing for Tommy Seymour’s aerial excellence, there is a strong case to be made for the Edinburgh player starting against the siege-gun Irish on day one in Yokohama.


With Blair Kinghorn, Kyle Steyn, Byron McGuigan and Chris Harris also vying for inclusion in the final 31 and Duncan Taylor able to cover full-back, someone is going to be disappointed. But tellingly, that word sits in total contrast to how Graham has made his club and country coaches feel over the past 12 months.

“He’s obviously very talented,” says Sean Maitland, whose injured foot gave Graham his 64 minutes against the Welsh. “I had a few weeks with him towards the end of the Six Nations and he’s a guy who keeps his head down and works bloody hard; that’s what I love about him.

“He’s a very talented, explosive player, one of those wingers who gets off his wing and looks for work. He gets in around nine and ten and he’s got a hell of a step. When you’re that fast, especially laterally, it brings that natural power.”




Graham’s pace, footwork and finishing ability are what catch the eye, but Maitland is right to point out the strong foundations. As Toulon full-back Mathieu Smaili found out in that January sacking of the Stade Mayol, he can bump as well as wriggle his way out of a tight spot.

He has always punched well above his weight in attack and defence, but having now nudged past 13 stones, Graham is even better equipped to compete over ball. Shorn of Alex Dunbar, Scotland will welcome any back who can mimic the locum flanker role he was always so ready to take on.

For his part, Maitland has long been the most defensively complete outside back available to Gregor Townsend. The 30-year-old also has a knack of coming up with important tries, a point underlined in the 2018 wins over England, France, Italy and Argentina and last season’s Premiership and Champions Cup finals. The 2013 Lion, who would likely have toured again four years later but for injury, brings a wealth of big-game nous and, crucially, a desire for more.

“Setting personal goals helps me press those reset buttons,” explains the 40-cap man from Tokoroa who has won two European Cups and two league titles since joining Saracens in 2016. “You look across the squad and it’s pretty competitive so it definitely helps you, these younger boys coming through. It definitely pushes the likes of me and Tom [Seymour] as we’re into our 30s now. A lot of people are like, ‘You looking forward to Japan?’ and I’m like, ‘Mate, I’ve got to try and get on the plane first’. I don’t want to talk about World Cups and all that. That goes for everyone in the back three — maybe not Hoggy [Stuart Hogg] but all the rest.”

Maitland is taking no chances and made sure to train with Saracens in the recent fortnight break from Scotland camp. Yet the fact is that barring injury, he will go. Hogg and Seymour are also stick-ons while Graham has pole position among the others. If Townsend follows Vern Cotter and takes five pure back-three players, Kinghorn has versatility on his side but then so does Steyn, who has made such a strong impression at outside centre for Glasgow.

It is, of course, another thing playing 13 at Test level, especially in a defensive sense, but plumping for the South African-born 25-year-old might give Townsend a way out of his centre logjam. McGuigan — who played a bit of 13 in his Glasgow days but is now settled on the wing — looks an outside bet, along with the more authentically centre/wing Harris.

The one thing everyone can agree is how good it is to have Duncan Taylor fit after an injury-ravaged two years. “I can’t imagine what he’s had to go through but being around him most of that time, he’s such a positive person,” says Maitland, a teammate of the man the Saracens squad call “Super Dunc”. “He never seems to get too down and it’s just great for him to be back. He’s looking really good, looking sharp, and we all know how talented he is. Hopefully he can stay fit and get some game time.”

Interesting he's plumping for Graham as first choice... to be fair I wouldn't complain at him or Seymour being on the pitch to start. The only thing I think works against Darcy is his ability to make an impact off the bench. I'd be tempted to go with Seymour starting, then a revved up Graham to play the second half, providing all is going to plan.

Imagine Darcy and Horne coming on to tear things up against Ireland. That'd be quite something! Though it'll be Laidlaw on the bench no doubt as unfortunately against Ireland I suspect they'll make it an arm wrestle, like they usually do. Never know though, Toonie could put faith in the team to cut loose.
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Post by RDW on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 8:40 am

BigGee wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:On an unrelated note, I see Paddy Dewhirst has essentially ruined his career in the style of Paddy Jackson by filming and sharing a sex video. What a first class erse.  Shame to see this kind of behaviour still in rugby circles.

What a first class idiot, he seemingly filmed it without her knowledge and then sent it to the whole U20s squad on a WhatsApp group and surprise surprise, she found out.

Hard to feel any sympathy really, he was lucky not to go to jail. Appartently he was going to go to France to play with Lyon before this news broke. He won't be doing that now!

Where did you read all this?

You've really got to wonder how these things still happen and how people can be so stupid - I know he's not exactly a household name but if you're in a professional rugby set up you just can't do these things. You shouldn't be doing it in any environment but I hope the SRU is making it clear to the academy players how they are expected to behave.

These kind of things can get very messy, especially if a number of players commented on it and that chat was made public!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 8:49 am

It was in the daily record, i have google alerts for any rugby news (sad I know). The court case has only just finished which must be why it's come out. Needless to say thats his career rightfully ended but as i said earlier it's a shame this kind of stuff still happens. He probably regrets it now but he shouldn't have been thinking to do it in the first place!
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Post by RDW on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 8:53 am

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scotland-rugby-creep-secretly-filmed-18771110

So he's now on the sex offenders register for the next 5 years and can't leave the house after 8pm for the next 120 days. Think it's fair to say his career is probably over before it got started!

So, so stupid.

I'm surprised the SRU didn't release a proactive statement about it - you can understand why they wouldn't want to cause a distraction on the eve of the under 20s tournament but it does lead them open to being accused of trying to sweep it under the carpet.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 8:59 am

It's a tough one as it may have been something they weren't allowed to comment on even if they wanted to. It's a blessing it wasn't a well known player outside of scottish rugby fan circles really. I expect the SRU will prepare a statement and it may lead to widespread disciplinaries in the u20 squad. Hopefully they can nip this in the bud before it becomes a systemic problem.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 9:27 am

NeilyBroon wrote:It's a tough one as it may have been something they weren't allowed to comment on even if they wanted to. It's a blessing it wasn't a well known player outside of scottish rugby fan circles really. I expect the SRU will prepare a statement and it may lead to widespread disciplinaries in the u20 squad. Hopefully they can nip this in the bud before it becomes a systemic problem.


As the Court case was still underway they'd not have been able to make a public post about it or what they were going to do as it could prejudice the proceedings.

An absolute brainfart of the highest order from the youngster, simply filming someone without making them aware is breaking the law, but to then share the footage takes it that next step further.

He's very lucky to have avoided jail, now he needs to avoid the girl's family.

I'd say I hope he has a plan B for employment in the future, but he's frankly brought this one himself!
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Post by BigGee on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 9:31 am

Well it will at least serve as a warning to anyone else who might even be contemplating doing such a thing. It is just amazing though that they would even have to be told.

I thought young people were a lot more savvy about social media than us oldies. My kids certainly are and are very wary about what they post online, it is amazing what can come back to haunt you at some point in the future, plenty of prominent people have been caught out like that.

In many many ways I am glad it was not around when I was young and foolish.

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Post by Tramptastic on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 9:59 am

BigGee wrote:Well it will at least serve as a warning to anyone else who might even be contemplating doing such a thing. It is just amazing though that they would even have to be told.

I thought young people were a lot more savvy about social media than us oldies. My kids certainly are and are very wary about what they post online, it is amazing what can come back to haunt you at some point in the future, plenty of prominent people have been caught out like that.

In many many ways I am glad it was not around when I was young and foolish.

Maybe its the modern young mans sense of invincibility? "Nothing could wrong, i'll be fine"?

I think its horrific, theres so many violations of the young womens rights here, how could you morally justify doing that?

It strikes me as being in the same frame as the Howe of Fife initiation incident - there was nobody clear headed enough to say "haud on, simmer down, yer bein a disgustin eejit"

Sense of over inflated self-entitlement? "I'm expected to win at life by playing rugby professionally so I'm entitled to do what I want because I'm a big man". Eurgh. Disgustin.

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Post by RDW on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 10:01 am

tigertattie wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:It's a tough one as it may have been something they weren't allowed to comment on even if they wanted to. It's a blessing it wasn't a well known player outside of scottish rugby fan circles really. I expect the SRU will prepare a statement and it may lead to widespread disciplinaries in the u20 squad. Hopefully they can nip this in the bud before it becomes a systemic problem.


As the Court case was still underway they'd not have been able to make a public post about it or what they were going to do as it could prejudice the proceedings.


An absolute brainfart of the highest order from the youngster, simply filming someone without making them aware is breaking the law, but to then share the footage takes it that next step further.

He's very lucky to have avoided jail, now he needs to avoid the girl's family.

I'd say I hope he has a plan B for employment in the future, but he's frankly brought this one himself!

They could have posted something similar to what the Daily Record quoted - i.e. we are aware of the allegations and have referred the matter to the police, and will be making no further comment.

It's just not ideal that the first time people find out about it is in the Daily Record!

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Post by BigGee on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 10:12 am

[quote="Tramptastic"]
Maybe its the modern young mans sense of invincibility? "Nothing could wrong, i'll be fine"?

quote]

Yes that is possibly true, risk aversion is certainly something that I have developed as I have gotten older. There were plenty of scrapes that I had as a young man that could have done me some serious damage, but I was lucky enough to get away with.

Just last weekend, a good friend of mine, who I had several of those episodes with, phoned me up to tell me that his son was in hospital having been seriously hurt going through the back windowscreen of a car. He had been cycling home from the pub at the time, doubtless having consumed a few pints!

Fortunately the young person concerned looks like he has escaped any lasting damage, but he was incredibly lucky.

You can tell young people about risks, but they don't always listen, just as I am sure I did not back in my day, when my dad was the one laying it down. The only point of difference back then , was that most of the risky behaviour was aimed at ourselves and not necessarily at other innocent parties!


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