Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September

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Post by BigGee on Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:39 am

First topic message reminder :

So after a mixed bag in the first two games, we now face a difficult away trip to Tiblisi followed 6 days later by hosting the same team at home at Murrayfield.

With the travelling involved, a 6 hour flight apparently, as well as a Georgian team with a lot to prove playing in front of a crowd of 50,000, this ill no doubt be a serious test and an indication of what playing in a hostile environment in unpleasant conditions will be like. A dress rehersal for the Japan game in many ways.

So who does he play first up?

The squad is being finalised after the away game, but you would imagine that he is not going to want to waste any spaces on players that he has already made his mind up about.

He certainly is not going to risk any injured players, so that rules out Thompson, Skinner, Seymour for sure, along with the possibity of Taylor, Bradbury, Gray and we are not sure if Brown and Johnson will be fit either.

I am going to assume that none of them are ready to travel and have a stab at a team along these lines:

1. Reid
2. McInally
3. Fagerson Z
4. Gilchrist
5. Cummings
6. Wilson
7. Ritchie
8. Fagerson M
9. Horne G
10. Hastings
11. Graham
12. Hutchinson
13. Jones
14. Maitland
15. Kinghorn

Subs
Berghan
Turner
Nel
Toolis
Barclay
Price
Horne P
Harris

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:10 pm

Decent enough showing from the boys. There were a few mistakes that more established international sides would have punished but that bodes well for the important match against Japan.

As I said earlier Ireland look to be back to their old game of letting you play yourself into defeat, so much as I don't enjoy Frodo's slow game it may pay to have him in the saddle against them. Really still waiting for Toonie to pick Horne first so he actually gets a chance to show what he can do, wasn't really overwhelmed with Price today, although at least he made a dart or two.

Graham I think has his spot on the plane now, he has all the attributes of a great winger and could be young player of the tournament if he gets the chance. Hutchinson hasn't harmed his case and looked confident outside Johnson. I have to say I'd still take a form Jones or Taylor starting but I wouldn't be unhappy if Hutchinson started for us against Ireland. Solid defensively with a little more in attack than Harris. Hoping Taylor and Jones get another chance against Georgia, they need gametime. Jones needs to play out of his skin, against that Georgia side he should be scoring tries for sure and he's falling behind fast.

Kinghorn looked decent. He reminds me a lot of Chris Paterson but unfortunately he's come at the wrong time where we've got quite a bit more choice in the backs. He should book a holiday in Japan just in case but I don't think he'll quite make the squad - of course if Seymour isn't fit then that changes things as I doubt McGuigan will grab a spot (although it is Toonie selecting, for all we know he'll call up Rory Hughes on Monday night because he can't make an unusual choice for the extra wing spot).

Haircut looked back to being relaxed and playing his own game a bit. I think he's quite comfortable for now being second fiddle to Finn as that's mostly what he's known. He just needs time to grow confidence in his own style of playing and we'll have genuine selection headaches at fly half by 2023 (one can dream!).

The pack coped well although it was a big step down in the front row. We need to pray that Nel remains injury-free until November at least... Toolis and Gilchrist looked pretty assured, as you'd expect from players who regularly start together, and our lineout went well enough. Backrow played okay, solid performances all around. Strauss looked good and aggressive when he came on and made a few yards, although hard to say if that was Georgian fatigue setting in. Still not convinced as he can put in this sort of performance off the bench but falls short when called on in the starting XV.

All in all I'd say a good solid effort today, 6.5-7/10

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:12 pm

I agree about Georgia, they finally got the chance they’ve been pushing for and they fluffed their lines. Shame really, but the only way they’re realistically going to be able to bridge that tier 2 to tier 1 gap is by getting more of these opportunities. But how many other tier 1 teams are going to give them a game if they don’t turn up when they do get a chance to show what they’re about?

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Post by RDW on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:13 pm

I'm torn too - I'm not sure we've played out Ireland team combos fully together yet. But then again I would also like us to rest Mcinally, Watson, Russell and Hogg!

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Post by 123456789. on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:14 pm

Well that was a bit of a non event. It was obviously a big deal for the Georgians and we were a bit too professional. I hope they offer more resistance at Murrayfield otherwise our prep looks a bit thin. Might leave us a bit raw against a potentially battle hardened Ireland (who have been hardly world beaters themselves).
Time to guess the squad I suppose. Closest to the final selection is the winner. Winner gets a whacking great dollop of self-esteem. Jones wasn't great but I think will just about make it. I'd have him and Taylor going again next week to compete for the starting spots against Ireland. Johnson and Hutchinson are, on today's showing. a fair bit ahead currently.

Forwards:
Dell, Bhatti, Berghan, Nel, Fagerson, MacInally (c), Brown, Turner
J Gray, Cummings, Toolis, Gilchrist
Barclay, Watson, Ritchie, Fagerson, Bradbury

Backs:
Laidlaw, Price, Horne, Russell, Hastings
Johnson, Hutchinson, Taylor, Jones (reckon he's just about got about half a pence worth of credit left over)
Hogg, Maitland, Seymour, Kinghorn, Graham

There's a 17-14 split there, on the basis that MacInally, Brown and Turner could cover the back row against Samoa and Russia. I have a sneaking suspicion that he'll go with an 18-13 with Harris travelling as a centre/back three cover. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Horne go or Barclay miss out. I reckon Strauss, Reid, Stewart and McGuigan are toast.
Is there a specific reason why the world cup has such small squad to cater for games closer together than usual? I can see that theoretically speaking it could help smaller nations less able to afford larger numbers and less depth. However extending the squad to 35 isn't going to break the bank and means it won't be as crucial to flog the players.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:20 pm

I’m very nervous about the blind faith rationale for picking Jones at this point, based on what he’s managed to do a long time ago but hasn’t now managed to produce for donkeys. On the same basis we may as well pick Adam Hasting’s dad in the squad, pretty sure he’s also got some ‘credit in the bank’

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Post by RDW on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:25 pm

So what the hell does this all mean for Bradbury, Ritchie, Taylor and Jones?

I suspect Ritchie is out (although it does leave us with only out and out 7 in the squad) but will Townsend really pick Bradbury given he's not played? Ditto Taylor - we've seen nothing since the first game and given he's barely played in 2 years it would be a huge risk to pick him. Jones has done bugger all - will he be picked over Harris or Hutchison who have put in big performances?

Tell you what, bugger being a coach!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:27 pm

TheMildlyFranticLlama wrote:I’m very nervous about the blind faith rationale for picking Jones at this point, based on what he’s managed to do a long time ago but hasn’t now managed to produce for donkeys. On the same basis we may as well pick Adam Hasting’s dad in the squad, pretty sure he’s also got some ‘credit in the bank’

Agree. He needs a boot up the erse and if it takes non-selection for Scotland then so be it. With bennett back fit, HJ could potentially be pushed further down the pecking order come the 6Ns if the messiah returns.
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Post by tigertattie on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:39 pm

Crikey. That’s our first away win for 14 months????

Anyhoo.

I think Ritchie might still be in with a chance of going. He covers 6 and 7. For me he’d need to go over Wilson who is gash bit I think Bradbury’s lack of games may mean he loses out.

My 31 would be

Dell Bhatti
McInally turner brown
Nel Fagerson Berghan

Gray gilchs Toolis Cummings
Barclay Watson Thompson Ritchie fagerson

Laidlaw price Horne
Russell Hastings
SJ hutch Taylor  Harris
Hogg maitland  Graham Seymour blairhorn
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Post by 123456789. on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:44 pm

It’s not so much blind faith as looking at the stats, we need two 13s. That means two of Harris, Jones, Hutchinson and Taylor. I’d take Taylor as a 12 that covers more. Has Harris shown anything ever that Jones can’t do? No. Jones has a phenomenal record against the top teams in the world, with 20 minutes to go against South Africa, if we needed a try I’d rather have Jones than Harris or Horne (with Taylor at 13) every day of the week and twice on a Sunday. Ultimately I suspect Harris will go ahead of him as a utility option. On the basis that if need be Harris can cover wing and Taylor 13.


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Post by NeilyBroon on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 7:58 pm

The point is that currently Jones is offering less than Harris so you'd be putting Jones in the team purely in the hope that he'd pull a performance out of nowhere.

That being said, next week is a great opportunity for HJ to show us what we've been missing for so long. I would more than welcome his form of old but take llamas point that this hasn't surfaced for 18 months.
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Post by Shifty on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 8:05 pm

I guess Scotland put the relegation from the 6 Nations debate to rest to day. Credit to them for going out there for the game. In fairness it's the far side of Russia!
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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 8:31 pm

123456789. wrote:It’s not so much blind faith as looking at the stats, we need two 13s. That means two of Harris, Jones, Hutchinson and Taylor. I’d take Taylor as a 12 that covers more. Has Harris shown anything ever that Jones can’t do? No. Jones has a phenomenal record against the top teams in the world, with 20 minutes to go against South Africa, if we needed a try I’d rather have Jones than Harris or Horne (with Taylor at 13) every day of the week and twice on a Sunday. Ultimately I suspect Harris will go ahead of him as a utility option. On the basis that if need be Harris can cover wing and Taylor 13.


Sorry, but with 30 minutes to go against Georgia he managed exactly heehaw. As Mr Broon says, right now he is offering significantly less than other options. Harris, as widely derided as he’s been, has put in a strong performance in these warm ups. Jones hasn’t. What the stats will also tell you is how long it has been since Jones put in a phenomenal performance against a top team. On that basis it’s a massive risk to expect him to suddenly pull one out of the bag against a team like South Africa, in the face of all recent evidence. I’d happily take Harris who has shown an awful lot more recently that he has the ability to impact a match than Jones has

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Post by 123456789. on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 9:48 pm

It's all relative though isn't it? Jones has been solid but unspectacular in his appearances. Against France he made a couple of half-breaks but was of a very similar standard to the rest of them in a poor performance. Harris was very, very poor in the first half of his start but was admittedly decent in his second half shift. The fact is we are used to Jones being outstanding, genuinely the best Scottish outside centre this century and Harris being really bloody dreadful. This summer both of them have been average. The difference is we know that Jones can be outstanding on his day, we also know that Harris can be incredibly poor. But Jones is pilloried for falling from his previously high standards. Harris has risen above his generally low ones. We also have to consider that it's been a while since Hogg has really lit up a game like he used to. He is now marked much more tightly than he once was, it's probably similar for Jones. I'd admit that Hutchinson has probably pulled ahead of Jones in the order but I can't see that Harris has.

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Post by tigertattie on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 10:11 pm

The problem for Jones is he’s not been getting game time for Glasgow and Harris is apparently “excellent” in training according to the coaches. The excellent training stats will likely put Harris ahead of Jones for selection.

My big worry is that Toonie will likely want 2 inside and 2 outside centres. SJ is the first inside centre but who is the second??? Is it Taylor and all his lack of playing time over the last year? I still have a niggling feeling that Taylor hasn’t done enough to get picked. This could mean than Horne and all his awfulness still gets to go.

It’s the a shootout between hutch Harris and Jones for the 13 shirt.
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Post by BigGee on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 10:22 pm

To be fair to Shuggy, he was not the only player who looked pretty sluggish in that first game, some of whom have had the chance to redeem themselves.

Playing in the centres today, for the last 30 mins, when the game had gone way off the boil, he did not even get a pass of note, again, not really his fault.

Hutch and Harris probably deserve to go on there performances, but they may also have been fortunate that they were not picked to start the first game.

I am wondering if there is any permutation where Toonie may take 5 centres, so both Jones and Harris would go along with Johnson (who looked good in his first game today) and Taylor. Taylor, Harris and Shuggy have all played on the wing before and Hutchy can play FH.

That would defintely mean Pete Horne does not go and the 14 backs would probably looke like this.

Laidlaw, Price, Horne G, Russell, Hastings, Taylor, Johnson, Hutchinson, Jones H, Harris, Seymour, Maitland, Graham, Hogg

Probably the only outstanding issue in the backline, is whehter to take Kinghorn over Harris or Jones.

We have got plenty of other FB cover, so maybe Blairhorn misses out, which would be tough, but a good player is not going to go.

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Post by 123456789. on Sat 31 Aug 2019, 10:44 pm

I suspect Taylor is going. He was on the bench as the sixteenth man. If he wasn't going to the world cup then surely they wouldn't risk trucking him over or potentially waste game time on him. Townsend is said to love him. Harris I think is more than likely to go. Again Townsend obviously has a soft spot for him and I think unless he held a special place in Townsend's mind he would have gone with Graham. Peter Wright seems to think Hutchinson might/should miss out.
I suspect Johnson and Hutchinson are there. Then it becomes a case of at least two of Harris, Horne, Taylor and Jones. As I've said I think Taylor probably goes and Horne I think has blown it. That's based on little as both of them have played less than one game. So that presumably leaves Harris vs Jones for the next 13 shirt. Unless Harris becomes an extra utility pick.
The other option is that Toonie picks a crop of utility centres. Johnson travels as a 12. Jones as a 13. Harris as a 13/ back three. And Hutchinson (who covered 12 today) goes as a 12/13. Russell also covers 12 if Hastings (or even Laidlaw) plays 10. Taylor misses out on account of his lack of game time (although I suspect for the above reasons that he'll travel) and Horne for his general mehness.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 8:36 am

I was impressed with Fagerson and Hutchinson last really. Both looked sharp and really motivated. Jones now has fierce competition at 13. His has been the poorest performance so far. All eyes on Duncan Taylor in the next game.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 9:19 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:I was impressed with Fagerson and Hutchinson last really. Both looked sharp and really motivated. Jones now has fierce competition at 13. His has been the poorest performance so far. All eyes on Duncan Taylor in the next game.

Lads, you'll need to forgive me for being dense, or more so than usual, but I was under the impression that the squad is announced before next week's game.

I think that in the centres we're either blessed or on a very sticky wicket...depending on whether your glass is half-full or half-empty.

Half-Empty
12 jersey
Taylor hasn't played in a year, except for a fairly blah performance in a thrashing against France.
Furra throws stupid interceptions and never really makes the step up to international level.
Sam Johnson, still relatively inexperienced at international level and has only played fifty minutes of the warm ups. hasn't really formed a partnership with any of the likely 13's.

13 jersey
Not A Pony picard What a slow motion car-crash his season has been. Can't get a start for Glasgow. Couldn't buy a try at the moment. Seems anonymous when he does get on the pitch.
Hutchison Georgia Double Header - Scotlands last warm up games 31st August and 6th September - Page 5 4278589029 looks to have bags of potential but totally lacks experience of real test rugby. Looked very good against a Tier 2 side, but not quite so good against France at Murrayfield, yes France who have lost 384 games away from home in the last six months. Slight exaggeration but you know what I mean.
Harris has less experience than Johnson, and while Pony can't get into the Glasgow side...at least they are one of the best in the Pro 14 Harris can't get into the Newcastle side. Nuff said.

Half-full
12 jersey
Taylor, was in line to cover for Brad Barrett in the European Cup Final; that's how highly Sarries rate him and they don't make decisions based on anything but cold, objective facts. A phenomenally talented player.
Furra, DR rates him very highly and believes he could be Scotland's Ryan Crotty. Hard- working model professional. Marmite for Scotland fans.
Sam Johnson seemed to carry on in Tblisi from where he left off at Twickers: this is the man who made Alex Dunbar surplus to requirements at Scotstoun…. an immense talent.

13 jersey
Not A Pony has a poor scoring record against Tier 2 opposition and an unbelievable on against Tier 1 sides. Fact! (as Rafa Benitez would say). I think you have to go back to the days of Townsend or McGeachan, as players not coaches, before you find a Scottish centre with his try scoring ability. Seems to play his best rugby in the biggest Tests. On form he could light up a World Cup.
Hutchinson reminded me of angel last night. So much ability and confidence in one so young. Surely he will have a stellar future in dark blue.
Harris, played well against a very good France side. Toonie knows a good centre when he sees one and he really rates him. Nuff said.

OK, so here goes...
Johnson and Taylor go at 12.
Not A Pony and Hutch go at 13.

But, Hogg, Maitland and Graham are nailed on as our starting back three. Seymour will go unless his concussion is worse than reported. Toonie may take Harris as back three cover rather than Blarehorn who really seems unable to take his decision making up another level when he plays for Scotland.



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Post by RDW on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 9:39 am

Never thought I'd say this, but that's a well written balanced post Jimbo! Laugh

And yes the squad is being announced on Tuesday, so the only way Taylor will be playing on Friday is if he is in it

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 9:41 am

Agree mostly jimbo but I think jones may be dropped in favour of Harris.

The squad is chosen today (not sure if it’s announced today though)
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Post by jimbopip on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 9:52 am

tigertattie wrote:Agree mostly jimbo but I think jones may be dropped in favour of Harris.

The squad is chosen today (not sure if it’s announced today though)

The biggest problem I have with the possible squad is that I keep thinking of Eddie Jones saying that Bob Dwyer told him "coaches don't pick players, the players pick themselves." Meaning that the best players' performances leave the coaches with no option but to pick them. I just don't think that there have been enough performances, behind the scrum, that have made selection a foregone conclusion.

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Post by RDW on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 9:54 am

jimbopip wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Agree mostly jimbo but I think jones may be dropped in favour of Harris.

The squad is chosen today (not sure if it’s announced today though)

The biggest problem I have with the possible squad is that I keep thinking of Eddie Jones saying that Bob Dwyer told him "coaches don't pick players, the players pick themselves." Meaning that the best players' performances leave the coaches with no option but to pick them. I just don't think that there have been enough performances, behind the scrum, that have made selection a foregone conclusion.

I think the problem is that it was the fringe players who put in the performances of note - Harris and Hutchinson. If they hadn't selection would have been easy.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 10:16 am

RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Agree mostly jimbo but I think jones may be dropped in favour of Harris.

The squad is chosen today (not sure if it’s announced today though)

The biggest problem I have with the possible squad is that I keep thinking of Eddie Jones saying that Bob Dwyer told him "coaches don't pick players, the players pick themselves." Meaning that the best players' performances leave the coaches with no option but to pick them. I just don't think that there have been enough performances, behind the scrum, that have made selection a foregone conclusion.

I think the problem is that it was the fringe players who put in the performances of note - Harris and Hutchinson. If they hadn't selection would have been easy.

Do you mean, "The established players didn't put their hands up while the fringe players did:if only they hadn't then we could have just gone ahead and gone with what we know"?.
That is what is known as The Cockers' Gambit. And while it is, just, acceptable for the Luvvies it won't really do for any team coached by Toonie.

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Post by RDW on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 10:34 am

jimbopip wrote:
RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Agree mostly jimbo but I think jones may be dropped in favour of Harris.

The squad is chosen today (not sure if it’s announced today though)

The biggest problem I have with the possible squad is that I keep thinking of Eddie Jones saying that Bob Dwyer told him "coaches don't pick players, the players pick themselves." Meaning that the best players' performances leave the coaches with no option but to pick them. I just don't think that there have been enough performances, behind the scrum, that have made selection a foregone conclusion.

I think the problem is that it was the fringe players who put in the performances of note - Harris and Hutchinson. If they hadn't selection would have been easy.

Do you mean, "The established players didn't put their hands up while the fringe players did:if only they hadn't then we could have just gone ahead and gone with what we know"?.
That is what is known as The Cockers' Gambit. And while it is, just, acceptable for the Luvvies it won't really do for any team coached by Toonie.

No, I'm saying the fringe performances are why this has become complicated. Of course we want fringe players to put their hands up.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 10:58 am

RDW wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Agree mostly jimbo but I think jones may be dropped in favour of Harris.

The squad is chosen today (not sure if it’s announced today though)


I think the problem is that it was the fringe players who put in the performances of note - Harris and Hutchinson. If they hadn't selection would have been easy.

Actually no. If Not A Pony and Taylor had put in notable performances (or noticeable in Pony's case) then selection would have been easy; Johnson , Jones , Taylor and AN Other and Toonie could have indulged himself as the fourth choice, with any luck, would have been playing Russia and the last twenty against a beaten Samoa (lots of wishful thinking there).
The problem is we don't have three definite picks who are definite picks on the back of their performances over the last three games. In the half-empty scenario. In the half-full the known players are saving it for the big games and the fringe players have all exceeded our expectations. Thanks for the, slightly insulting, back-handed compliment to my earlier post, Flounder, but if you had read it properly you wouldn't have made such a banal response.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 11:10 am

I think the problem is it comes to ruling out players and the one who has done the most to warrant non-selection over the last season, let alone warm-ups, is Huw Jones. Now I'm no Harris fan but he has been solid defensively and currently the same as Jones in attack. It's much like when people were calling for Dunbar to be picked when he was in bad form for a good season. Yes Shug is capable of great things when he puts his mind to it but he doesn't seem to be putting his mind to it, or even enjoying the games he plays.

I said it before, he needs a move away from Glasgow as it's obviously not done him any good. I also think he needs to be shown Scotland can function without him so he gets his act together.

This being said, I wouldn't be surprised if Toonie did take him but he may be as 2nd choice. It seems a shame that kinghorn may be shafted for Harris, as i think blair has shown improvements since playing for Scotland and obviously takes criticisms on board. But i think jimbo may be on the money withhow toonie will play it.

DT is a fantastic player and was one of the few to come from Nice with any credit, despite obviously struggling with fitness. He has the rugby brain with attacking flair and is a defensive rock. Assuming he makes the squad I'd have him or Hutch starting at 13, depending on this weekend and how they go.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 11:41 am

I assume Hutchinson played well from the reports above, he has looked a really class player for Saints against all opposition from Sarries down over. Always has that extra split second of time, somehow manages to simply ghost past players without any obvious effort. Versatile as well, I believe he can cover 10 at a push and has a good boot.

I know that he played age grade rugby for Scotland, but as a born and bred Englishman who I do not believe has ever lived in Scotland, I had hoped he might choose the path of wighteousness and play for England, I believe he has the talent.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 1:24 pm

Never mind all this squad chat, I just saw Allen Jacobson shopping I Lidl.

Part of me wanted to shout “chunk, do the truffle shuffle” the other part of me wanted to keep my teeth.

In the end I elected to leave the man be to continue his shopping In peace but I really did want to get a picture with him as he’s proper ledge!
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Post by reallybored on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 1:30 pm

I hope he's bold and goes for the 17-14 split.

Ritchie has been our best forward whenever he's played for Scotland, I'd be very surprised if that form was ignored.

No-one has excelled at 8 over these three matches, so I think Townsend will put his faith in Bradbury.  Worth remembering what he said after the England match, “Magnus Bradbury was outstanding at No 8 in a game when the opposition kicked a lot of ball to him. He showed courage to play 80 minutes, to tackle hard, and to carry hard after missing four months of the season."

I think it'll be those two with Watson, Wilson and probably Barclay (but I'd prefer Fagerson).

I really hope Jones has enough credit in the bank because he's the kind of player who could come in and score 2 in a QF against NZ or SA.  But worried he'll go with Harris.


5 props - dell, reid, nell, fagerson, berghan

3 hookers - mcinally, brown, turner

4 locks - gray, gilchrist, cummings, toolis

5 backrow - watson, ritchie, bradbury, wilson, barclay

5 halfbacks - russell, laidlaw, price, hastings, horne

4 centres - taylor, johnson, hutchinson, jones

5 backthree - hogg, maitland, graham, kinghorn, seymour

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Post by George Carlin on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 1:41 pm

I'm assuming that some people here are still drunk because selecting Harris on the basis of one semi-decent showing in the past fortnight instead of someone who has scored 10 tries for Scotland in 17 appearances is absolutely barking. On what basis, exactly? Is St Shug injured? Or does he just suffer the heinous crime of being Currently Unfashionable?

Taylor will definitely travel for his versatility and Toonie has fared well with him internationally (he was excellent when we beat Australia away from home, for example).

No.8 is a concern although at least Strauss didn't phone in his performance this time. A tiny part of me wonders whether Toonie doesn't think he needs to see some players as much because he's very familiar with them due to their time at Glasgow? Fagerson a bolter? Bradbury just seems to have melted away for some reason.
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Post by reallybored on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 1:46 pm

George Carlin wrote:I'm assuming that some people here are still drunk because selecting Harris on the basis of one semi-decent showing in the past fortnight instead of someone who has scored 10 tries for Scotland in 17 appearances is absolutely barking. On what basis, exactly? Is St Shug injured? Or does he just suffer the heinous crime of being Currently Unfashionable?

Taylor will definitely travel for his versatility and Toonie has fared well with him internationally (he was excellent when we beat Australia away from home, for example).

No.8 is a concern although at least Strauss didn't phone in his performance this time. A tiny part of me wonders whether Toonie doesn't think he needs to see some players as much because he's very familiar with them due to their time at Glasgow? Fagerson a bolter? Bradbury just seems to have melted away for some reason.
Got injured week before first warm-up game.

Has Barclay done enough to get selected? He's looked off the pace in all 3 games imo.


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Post by George Carlin on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 1:52 pm

reallybored wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I'm assuming that some people here are still drunk because selecting Harris on the basis of one semi-decent showing in the past fortnight instead of someone who has scored 10 tries for Scotland in 17 appearances is absolutely barking. On what basis, exactly? Is St Shug injured? Or does he just suffer the heinous crime of being Currently Unfashionable?

Taylor will definitely travel for his versatility and Toonie has fared well with him internationally (he was excellent when we beat Australia away from home, for example).

No.8 is a concern although at least Strauss didn't phone in his performance this time. A tiny part of me wonders whether Toonie doesn't think he needs to see some players as much because he's very familiar with them due to their time at Glasgow? Fagerson a bolter? Bradbury just seems to have melted away for some reason.
Got injured week before first warm-up game.

Has Barclay done enough to get selected?  He's looked off the pace in all 3 games imo.
It's a fair question about Barclay but he's not long back from injury and is absolutely talismanic as far as I'm concerned as well as being a calm head amidst the chaos. The exactly opposite of Ryan Wilson, really.
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Post by reallybored on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 1:59 pm

George Carlin wrote:
reallybored wrote:
Has Barclay done enough to get selected?  He's looked off the pace in all 3 games imo.


It's a fair question about Barclay but he's not long back from injury and is absolutely talismanic as far as I'm concerned as well as being a calm head amidst the chaos. The exactly opposite of Ryan Wilson, really.

He's been fit since the end of 6 Nations, played the run-in and has had a full pre-season, fitness can't be an issue.  Haven't rated his on field leadership since Cardiff 2018.

Wilson would be on my list before Barclay at this stage.

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Post by RDW on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 2:11 pm

Do we really need 5 back 3 players? It's the least confrontational position and it's not like any of them really cover anywhere else other than in emergency.

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Post by reallybored on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 2:19 pm

RDW wrote:Do we really need 5 back 3 players? It's the least confrontational position and it's not like any of them really cover anywhere else other than in emergency.
Not much of a turn-around time between Russia & Japan, 5 gives us more flexibility in terms of injuries or rest.

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Post by RDW on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 2:22 pm

reallybored wrote:
RDW wrote:Do we really need 5 back 3 players? It's the least confrontational position and it's not like any of them really cover anywhere else other than in emergency.
Not much of a turn-around time between Russia & Japan, 5 gives us more flexibility in terms of injuries or rest.

In the back 3 yes, but it would then mean 2 centres and 2 back row having to double up, and they are attritional positions!

I'm wondering given wee Horne's lack of gametime whether he's planning on doing an Eddie and only taking two 9s!

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Post by LondonTiger on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 2:27 pm

RDW wrote:Do we really need 5 back 3 players? It's the least confrontational position and it's not like any of them really cover anywhere else other than in emergency.

Eddie stated when selecting 6 back 3 players that it was now one of the most attritional positions.

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Post by 123456789. on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 3:07 pm

Blair has said Scotland are taking 3 scrum-halves. The times has Bhatti, Stewart, Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Hastings, Jones and McGuigan missing out.
The logic in the Hastings position is that Russell will play Ireland, Samoa and Japan. And we could play Reid at 10 against Russia if need be.
In the Jones case they reckon Scotland have plenty match winners, of which Jones is potentially one. Whereas Harris won’t lose Scotland a game.
Not sure I agree with much of it bar the obvious McGuigan and Stewart cases. Strauss or Wilson over Fagerson would be baffling. Unless the reasoning is experience. But that surely doesn’t apply when the experience, in a Scotland shirt at least, is of being fairly useless. Selecting Horne over Hastings another also be. I’m fairly entrenched in the Jones camp in the 13 debate. I don’t think taking three genuine locks to cover four games is sensible. Especially when one hasn’t played for months.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 3:15 pm

reallybored wrote:I hope he's bold and goes for the 17-14 split.

Ritchie has been our best forward whenever he's played for Scotland, I'd be very surprised if that form was ignored.

No-one has excelled at 8 over these three matches, so I think Townsend will put his faith in Bradbury.  Worth remembering what he said after the England match, “Magnus Bradbury was outstanding at No 8 in a game when the opposition kicked a lot of ball to him. He showed courage to play 80 minutes, to tackle hard, and to carry hard after missing four months of the season."

I think it'll be those two with Watson, Wilson and probably Barclay (but I'd prefer Fagerson).

I really hope Jones has enough credit in the bank because he's the kind of player who could come in and score 2 in a QF against NZ or SA.  But worried he'll go with Harris.


5 props - dell, reid, nell, fagerson, berghan

3 hookers - mcinally, brown, turner

4 locks - gray, gilchrist, cummings, toolis

5 backrow - watson, ritchie, bradbury, wilson, barclay

5 halfbacks - russell, laidlaw, price, hastings, horne

4 centres - taylor, johnson, hutchinson, jones

5 backthree - hogg, maitland, graham, kinghorn, seymour

Pretty much agree with that with the exception of Bradbury. Agreed, he was titanic against Engurlund , in the hugely heroic sense...not in the drunk driving "Whit feccin iceberg?" sense, but he hasn't featured at all so there must be huge question marks about his fitness.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 3:19 pm

I’m Not saying I’d select Harris I’m saying he could be selected as the coaches rave about his performances in training.

I’m also unsure of Bradbury with his fitness (match fitness at least)

Going to be some tough calls either way
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Post by jimbopip on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 3:23 pm

123456789. wrote: The times has Bhatti, Stewart, Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Hastings, Jones and McGuigan missing out.
The logic in the Hastings position is that Russell will play Ireland, Samoa and Japan.

I feel all nostalgic now.

If Haircut is left behind then Furra Linee will probably be there as 10/12 cover. It's fine saying Shrek could play 10 against Russia but if Dancer takes a knock early in the Ireland game who plays 10?

So now we are about to start a whole new argument about which of our stand-offs is least likely to cost us a game. It's like the Dan Parks-Meatball days of yore.

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Post by jimbopip on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 3:33 pm

I see Wales are going with an 18/13 split and just three centres Shocked

That's Gatland ball for you.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 5:20 pm

On Jones. There's no point in hoping he'll produce magic when he's had a season and a half of none. Has he won us any games recently? Did he help us win the fixture against Ireland at home this year? he didnt even score against Italy. An Italy we put well to bed. Even Harris scored against them. In a team that has so often lacked the basics I'd rather an outside centre that does the basics right. Have we seen many breaks from Jones? No. Have we seen missed tackles? Frequently. He wasn't even in the squad for that insane second half against England so obviously we can attack without him. He's not in form, he doesn't get picked. Picking off form players on reputation is the Scotland of old. Hutchinson is very capable of stepping up, as is Taylor, and if we're talking about credit, Taylor already has more for his versatility and how highly rated he is in the best team in Europe. None of us wanted Seymour playing when he had his post lions form. Jones is no exception. He can't make a positive impact if he's not playing well, that's just a simple objective observation. I've always said if he plays well for us I'd be delighted to see him back at first choice but he has to have a good game first. He's not going to score 5 tries against new zealand if we pick him hoping he'll pull something out of his erse.
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Post by BigGee on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 6:16 pm

I'd be really worried if we went with Pete Horne as our only other FH option. I worry when he plays there for Glasgow, let alone Scotland.

If we are going with the form argument, he did not really set the heather on fire in the French game either. Surely if they were looking at him as the second option, he would have gotten some game time there on Saturday.

Going to be some tough tough calls on this, the players find out tomorrow apparently before the public announcement on Tuesday.

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Post by RDW on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 7:21 pm

Right I'm gonna nail tattie's stones to the mast and predict this will be the squad:

Prop (5) - Bhatti, Dell, Nel, Berghan, Fagerson
Hooker (3) - Mcinally, Brown, Turner
Lock (4) - Gray, Gilchrist, Toolis, Cummings
BR (5) - Barclay, Wilson, Watson, Bradbury, Fagerson,

SH (3) - Laidlaw, Price, Horne
SO (2) - Russell, Hastings
Centre (4) - Johnson, Taylor, Jones, Hutchinson
Back 3 (5) - Hogg, Maitland, Seymour, Graham, Kinghorn


With the main difficulty being choosing between a 6th BR or 5th back 3! I think Brown and Turner's ability to play 7 will be utilised, and I think we could even see one of them there against Russia. Let's face it we could put Fusaro at 7 and should still win comfortably! The 3rd hooker traditionally doesn't get much gametime so it might be a way to use Turner.

Big losers being Ritchie and Harris, but they'll be top of the list of injury replacements.


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Post by BigGee on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 7:56 pm

You hsve picked the Maitland twins, unfortunately going to hsve to stick to one of them.

Personally, i would opt for Sean!

So sub Harris or Blairhorn in for whichever Maitland you leave out and i thin you might be thete in the backs.

Forwards not quite so clear still

Bhatti or Reid id a close call and there are still gsrious bsck row combos to argue about

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Post by RDW on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 7:58 pm

Well spotted! Kinghorn it was meant to be.

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Post by tigertattie on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 8:31 pm

Oi. Stop nailing my stones to the mast, especially when Toonie tombola is a factor!

Good shout with turner (or brown) being used as a back rower possibly vs Russia. Gives them game time while giving a back row a rest.

The key will be Seymour’s fitness. If he’s a doubt then you take Kinghorn, if he’s fully fit, you take the extra backrower.
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Post by Heuer27 on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 8:38 pm

Think he might take five centres including Horne. Otherwise you are asking two fly halfs to play every game.
Kinghorn to miss out.  
If he takes Johnson, Taylor, Jones, Hutchinson and Horne,  he has back three cover there as well.

Squad for me

Dell, Reid,
McInally, Brown , Stewart
Nel, Fagerson, Berghan
Gray, Gilchrist, Toolis, Cummings
Watson , Ritchie, Thompson, Barclay, Fagerson
Laidlaw, Price, Horne
Russell, Hastings
Johnson, Taylor, Horne, Hutchinson , Jones
Hogg, Maitland, Graham, Seymour.


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Post by RDW on Sun 01 Sep 2019, 8:44 pm

tigertattie wrote:Oi. Stop nailing my stones to the mast, especially when Toonie tombola is a factor!

Good shout with turner (or brown) being used as a back rower possibly vs Russia. Gives them game time while giving a back row a rest.  

The key will be Seymour’s fitness. If he’s a doubt then you take Kinghorn, if he’s fully fit, you take the extra backrower.

I'd nail Ianbru's remaining stone but that's now been taken by his new fiance!

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