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 BigGee on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 5:22 pm

Agree about the second row rankings and Boris!

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 5:26 pm

Are either of these games going to be on terrestrial TV?

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Post by RDW on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 6:16 pm

Brown, Bradbury and Johnson could be fit this weekend according to Danny Wilson. There's a chance Swinson will play too!

Less positive news on Gray - sounds like there's a good chance he won't feature in the warm-ups at all. Certainly not worth risking him given our other injuries at lock.

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Post by reallybored on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 6:57 pm

RDW wrote:Brown, Bradbury and Johnson could be fit this weekend according to Danny Wilson. There's a chance Swinson will play too!

Less positive news on Gray - sounds like there's a good chance he won't feature in the warm-ups at all. Certainly not worth risking him given our other injuries at lock.
Hamstring injury is concerning, definitely wouldn't risk him this weekend.

He'd be a huge miss for the RWC, especially with Skinner's injury, and would leave a very big hole in the front-five.

Good opportunity for Gilchrist, Cummings & Toolis to get game-time in a proper test match.

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Post by George Carlin on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 7:02 pm

Interesting that Danny Wilson had to actually go on the record to say that Richie Gray has ruled himself out of the squad. Presumably they were tired of the constant questioning.

Makes you wonder what sort of injury crisis we would need to have for R Gray to decide that he had to play. Then again, if he has a wife as terrifying as mine at her Time Of The Month, he would surely risk permanent testicular damage in breaking his promise.

The centres are a mess, but it's a hot mess. I cannot believe that some posters are actually contemplating taking Peter Horne to Japan. He does nothing better than any of the other choices and has consistently pulled on asbestos underpants at times of high pressure. He will presumably see some game time against Georgia Ladies Under 15s and look great, but against good opposition, I have never, ever been impressed with him.

He's just not a test class player. There. I said it. I said it.
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Post by RDW on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 7:08 pm

George Carlin wrote:Interesting that Danny Wilson had to actually go on the record to say that Richie Gray has ruled himself out of the squad. Presumably they were tired of the constant questioning.

Makes you wonder what sort of injury crisis we would need to have for R Gray to decide that he had to play. Then again, if he has a wife as terrifying as mine at her Time Of The Month, he would surely risk permanent testicular damage in breaking his promise.

The centres are a mess, but it's a hot mess. I cannot believe that some posters are actually contemplating taking Peter Horne to Japan. He does nothing better than any of the other choices and has consistently pulled on asbestos underpants at times of high pressure. He will presumably see some game time against Georgia Ladies Under 15s and look great, but against good opposition, I have never, ever been impressed with him.

He's just not a test class player. There. I said it. I said it.

His brother getting injured I suspect! If not him we're down to Bob Harley or Fraser McKenzie...

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Post by tigertattie on Wed 28 Aug 2019, 9:43 pm

Careful GC, jimbo will put you on the west coast naughty step for daring to say how knickers you think Horne Snr is at international rugby!!!

The team as a whole faired reasonably well on sat with Hooray Horney the exception. The interception exception so to say. All his big words in the press leading up to it is surely going to be ammunition for teammate banter!

If SJ is still crocked then it’s Taylor to start against Georgia. 80 mins of rugby would do him good. I’d pop hutch at 13 with his harrisness on the bench as cover.

Final game can be SJ at 12 (he’ll need a game) with either Taylor at 13 (he needs more games) or whoever Toonie thinks will be his starting 13 to get the pairing some game time together.
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Post by hugehandoff on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 8:59 am

Read the BBC article on Georgia this morning and they sound like a decent side. Lack of matches against tier 1 nations remains an ongoing issue for all tier 2 sides, but what are Scotland expecting? Any risk of defeat or just a tough workout?

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:01 am

There is a real risk of defeat - Scotland are not yet a team who can go away to these places and just expect to win. Georgia will be absolutely gunning for us too - their first home game against a Tier 1 nation and 50,000 strong crowd.

We have recently lost to USA and Fiji away from home when we've not had our strongest team out - we're probably going to be put a mixed team out for this game so it is going to be a tough one. We should still have enough to win, but it's not going to be comfortable.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:45 am

We are Scotland. We are the new France

This game could go a multiple of ways depending on the mindset o the Scotland team who really are still maters of thier own destiniy (or downfall).

Either Scotland will go out there and give Gerogia a bit of a spanking (we beat them by 30 in 2016) or the game will be a hard fought narrow win for either team.

Last summer Scotland webt to the Americas and narrowly lost (by missing a conversion at the death) against the States but then comprehensively beat the Pumas.

We just need the team to perform at a consistent level!
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Post by bsando on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:48 am

https://ranked-list-images.files.bbci.co.uk/France-Scotland-fffadba8cb62368f92c0dfa8ebc782e8.html

That would be my starting XV for Saturday. Very interested to see how the team does. I think Scotland need to focus on winning and defending well during this match. It will most likely be a low scoreline but I'd expect Scotland to win. Personally I'd have a few decent players on the bench like russell, maitland and Laidlaw just incase things do get a bit hairy. However, i'd really like to see Hastings get another shot with Price. If Russell does get injured early against Ireland for example, Hastings will be our backup 10 and we need to see him stepping up to the plate. I think this will be a difficult test match in a hostile environment.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:51 am

No excuses.

We must win comprehensively against Georgia to have any claim in doing well at the WC. Lose this, and the mental impact on the players will be massive.

I'm sorry, but even a 2nd string team should be coming away with a win. We drew with England at Twickenham FFS (a game we should have won tbh). If we can't overcome Georgia, we're in serious trouble.

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:54 am

On the assumption that Brown, Bradbury and SJ will be fit I'd go with

1 Dell
2 Brown
3 Fagerson
4 Toolis
5 Gilchrist
6 Bradbury
7 Ritchie
8 Fagerson

9 Price
10 Hastings
11 McGuigan
12 Taylor
13 Jones
14 Graham
15 Kinghorn

Subs - Bhattie, McInally, Nel, Cummings, Wilson, Horne, SJ, Maitland

My reasoning being we really need to see that midfield play again, flakey players like Hasting and Kinghorn really need to step up and show they can dominate a game, plus an experienced bench should that not happen! That team includes a number of players who haven't played since the mauling away to France so this is their last chance.

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Post by nickj on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:59 am

https://ranked-list-images.files.bbci.co.uk/France-Scotland-6e1343034b2db19feca924c1718afa3e.html
This is my line-up. Risky, granted, but a back up 15, with the big names on the bench and a first choice 15 to start next weekend

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 10:07 am

There is every chance that we'll come off second best in this one. You really hope that for the in-flight movie to Tblisi Toonie had them watching the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz fight. If we don't front up from the start we will come off second best.

Shrek and Nel should be rested, they seem certainties for japan after their solid showing against a very good French scrum.
It seems Fraser Brown has travelled, as has Grant Stewart so they'll probably share hooking duties. I think Rambo is our number one 2, as it were, and Brown has to show he is fit to travel. Turner stays home because the nightmare scenario would be our second and third choices both getting injured. Mind you, with Turner's concussion history and Brown's dodgy toe young Stewart may well be travelling to Japan.

At present we seem to have three fit second rows. Plus Tim Swinson. Cummings played in both French games so will be due a rest since he's only a toddler, really.

The back row from last week looked very good. Barcs came on and played well, but he played in both French matches and took a nasty dunt to his head in the first so he should be rested.

Is it time Wee George started a game? Do we want Frodo steadying the ship? or do we want to get the ball away from the Georgian forwards as quickly as possibly?

This is not a game to be risking Dancer in: but it is a cauldron where we can test Haircut's mettle. Hutch to be back up ?

Don't get me started on the centres. steam

Barry-Blarehorn-Graham seems the obvious back three. But when was Toonie ever that obvious?

So;
1. Dell Bhatti. I think it'll be five props in Japan so one of them will miss out. Who will man up under pressure?
2. Brown Stewart, he may very well be in the squad so he needs this kind of experience.
3. Berghan Ragnar
4. Toolis Who had a bad day at the office in Nice. Swinson will want to come on and make a point. Or start a fight. Or both
5. Gilchrist Is he getting ready to show us what all the hype was about when he first arrived at Edinburgh?
6. Batman We need people who will revel in the challenge.
7. Younger Fagerson
8. Bradbury The Georgians have a very fast pair of half backs so Batman and Fagerson will need to be on them. Bluto will probably be given another last chance from the bench.
9. Aldi Price/Wee George
10 Haircut Hutch
11. Barry
12. Taylor/Johnson
13. Harris
14. Graham
15. Blarehorn Not A Pony

For a "possibles" Xv that's not too shabby.




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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 10:10 am

Fagerson at 7 Jimbo? Are you Toonie in disguise??

Also I'm not convinced Taylor is anything but an 'in case of emergency' wing option at this level, so I don't think he should be starting on the wing (in reference to some other teams mentioned on this thread).

Team announced at 1:30

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:25 am

I think that it could be Batman at 7 and Fagerson at 6, but they are pretty interchangeable. Having a jackalling 7 really depends on the referee: some will allow the attacking side to seal off the ball to such an extent that jackalling a turnover is impossible, some will insist on a fair contest. Basically, I want to see three back rowers who can be in their faces all day long and have the pace to keep up with the Georgian half backs who are pretty nippy. Personally, I would have Mbawsa on the bench rather than Bluto but we know what Mbawsa can do (and I really like what he does) I think Toonie wants to see if Bluto has anything left in the tank or if he is going home on Monday.

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:33 am

Scotland twitter jsut tweeted the team then quickly deleted it - I didn't see the team but the title was SJ returns

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:35 am

RDW wrote:Scotland twitter jsut tweeted the team then quickly deleted it - I didn't see the team but the title was SJ returns

Yes I've been interning in their IT department. Whistle

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:36 am

Someone in Georgia is obviously struggling with their time differences!

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 11:45 am

On a more serious note, Duncan Taylor really has to play somewhere close to 80 minutes over these two games if he is to have any hope of being match fit for the Ireland game. Realistically, the same goes for Sam Johnson.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Johnson - Not A Pony start and Taylor-Harris come on around the hour mark.

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Post by EWT Spoons on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:00 pm

jimbopip wrote:
RDW wrote:Scotland twitter jsut tweeted the team then quickly deleted it - I didn't see the team but the title was SJ returns

Yes I've been interning in their IT department. Whistle

I'm not really sure how the wee face things work on this, but I genuinely laughed out loud at that.

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:17 pm

Teams up an hour early

1 - Dell
2 - McInally (C)
3 - Nel
4 - Toolis
5 - Gilchrist
6 - Barclay
7 - Watson
8 - Fagerson

9 - Laidlaw
10 - Russell
11 - Maitland
12 - Johnson
13 - Hutchinson
14 - Graham
15 - Kinghorn

Subs - Bhattie, Stewart, Fagerson, Cummings, Strauss, Price, Hastings, Jones

That's a stronger team than I feel comfortable with! He's taking no chances with a defeat. McInally captain even though Barclay and Laidlaw are playing suggests he'll be the permanent captain.

Big chance for Fagerson to stake a claim with a powerful pack around him.

Does this mean Ritchie's chances are gone? No Taylor either.

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Post by EST on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:24 pm

Well Toonie has gone almost full noise for this one, I count 10 test starters: front row, Gilchrist, Barclay, Watson, Laidlaw, Russell, Maitland & Johnson. I'm excited to see how Fagerson and Hutch go - a good performance from either of them could secure their place in the squad...you've got to be a bit worried if you are Huw Jones!

Speaking of centers, I wonder where this leaves Taylor - surely he would be playing if fit?

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:25 pm

It means Bradbury will have to rely on reputation to get picked too, as he also misses out on selection for this weekend.

Centre Sam Johnson will make his first Scotland appearance since emerging on the international scene in the 2019 Guinness Six Nations in this Saturday’s Summer Test match against Georgia at the Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi (31 August, kick-off 5pm BST, 8pm local time) – live on Premier Sports.

The play-making midfielder is one of 10 changes to the side that defeated France 17-14 at BT Murrayfield last weekend. He will make his comeback alongside 23-year-old Rory Hutchinson, who will start his first Test match for his country.

Scotland will be the first Tier One national side to travel for a Test match on Georgian soil, which doubles as the last opportunity for players to stake their claim for the final 31-man group for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, announced by Head Coach Gregor Townsend at a public event at Linlithgow Palace on Tuesday 3 September.

Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Sam [Johnson] back into the side, having performed so well for us in the spring, while a number of other players also get the opportunity to build on Saturday’s performance.

“There were improvements in our back-to-back games against France, in particular in defence, game management and at scrum, as well some elements of our attack.

“All of these will be put to the test against a very good Georgian side who we expect to be extremely motivated by their passionate home support."
Head Coach Gregor Townsend
“We’re expecting a very physical and confrontational encounter, which will be a great test for our squad. In order to rise to this challenge, we must take the game to our hosts right from the start, playing with relentless effort and accuracy.”

Hooker Stuart McInally returns to start the match and will captain the side once again, having done so in the opening Test against France in Nice, while the team also features first campaign starts for full-back Blair Kinghorn, prop Allan Dell and number 8 Matt Fagerson.

Wing Darcy Graham replaces the injured Tommy Seymour (head), with Sean Maitland remaining on the other flank of the back-three. Returning half-backs Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell complete the back division.

In the pack, prop Willem Nel starts again on the tighthead side alongside Dell and McInally in the front-row, while second and back-row forwards Grant Gilchrist and John Barclay have been promoted from the bench to start.

Lock Ben Toolis comes into the squad to start alongside Gilchrist, while last weekend’s man-of the-match, Hamish Watson, returns to link up with Barclay and Fagerson in the loose forwards.



Scotland team to play Georgia in the Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi
(kick-off 5pm BST, 8pm local time) – live on Premier Sports

15. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) - 13 caps

14. Darcy Graham (Edinburgh) - 5 caps
13. Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) - 2 caps
12. Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) - 4 caps
11. Sean Maitland (Saracens) - 41 caps

10. Finn Russell (Racing 92) - 44 caps
9. Greig Laidlaw VICE CAPTAIN (Clermont Auvergne) 72 caps

1. Allan Dell (London Irish) - 23 caps
2. Stuart McInally CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) - 28 caps
3. Willem Nel (Edinburgh) - 30 caps
4. Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) - 19 caps
5. Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) - 35 caps
6. John Barclay VICE CAPTAIN (Edinburgh) - 73 caps
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) - 26 caps
8. Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) - 4 caps

Substitutes:
16. Grant Stewart (Glasgow Warriors) - 1 cap
17. Jamie Bhatti (Edinburgh) - 14 caps
18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) - 20 caps
19. Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) - 2 caps
20. Josh Strauss (Blue Bulls) - 23 caps
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) - 25 caps
22. Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) - 12 caps
23. Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) - 22 caps


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Post by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:32 pm

Wow, Shocked (EWT Spoons, click on the yellow smiling face in the box on the right above this message when you are typing a new message, that is and then click on the emoticon you want from the drop down box) that's a very strong team. A few who played on Saturday, so probably won't play in the return. Toonie obviously thinking that it'll be easier to win at home, methinks.

I can see that front row starting against Ireland.
Ditto the second row.
Does the back row mean Wilson-Thompson-Bradbury next match?
That is potentially a blistering set of backs IF they can get fast ball to work off. Yes, Frodo I am looking at you.


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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:34 pm

Bloody strong team. Great stuff.

Get 3 scores up by half time and ring the changes.

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:36 pm

Shall we start a sweepstake for how long it takes Georgia to score their first try?

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:46 pm

Within 5 minutes.

Did you get my message Jim?

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Post by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 12:52 pm

Received and understood Tattie. I have FB'ed Bru but he is busy trying to persuade the Hagia Sophia that Proroguing The House is not necessarily a hanging offence. So when he gets back to me I can start making arrangements.

Within 5 minutes?? Like my sex life...rather too optimistic a window. Crying or Very sad

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 1:54 pm

I'm sure this will come back to bite me, but on reflection I think we'll do well this weekend and win comfortably enough in the end. We have picked a strong team and if there's any complacency in the squad about what they are going to be facing they don't deserve to be international rugby players! I think we're going to be going into this with the right mindset and to mean business. Yes it will be tough but we've got more than enough class to win this by a couple of scores, especially if we're mentally prepared which we should be after what happened last away match.

I look forward to people throwing this quote back in my face after 80 minutes on Saturday! Very Happy

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 2:24 pm

Going by the comments on the SRU facebook posts, the Georgian fans are absolutely cockahoop that we're visiting!
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Post by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 3:13 pm

Just looking at that side...there are only two Glasgow players in the starting line up. Shocked

We're doomed....Doomed I say.

Mind you if you include the bench and ex-players there are another eleven Warriors. There's hope for us yet.

On  a conciliatory note, I agree with Flounder...that pack looks as if it should be able to stand up for itself and the backs from 10-15 look dangerous.

My only concern is that against France Frodo had 0 runs with the ball for 0 metres gained. Surely the Georgians ignore the ruck and fan out either side, they know we're playing off 10 and wait to smash us back. Not so long ago the next step was ;repeat until they run around like headless chickens and cough up the ball. Dancer seems a bit more controlled now, but I still think Frodo should break into a medium pace trot now and then.


Last edited by jimbopip on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 3:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 3:13 pm

Can't see G horne getting a chance to start now which is a real shame as I'd like to see what he can do for more than 5 minutes. Strong side on paper, so if we go by rank we should win comfortably. Based on recent away form, maybe squeak by... just...
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 3:17 pm

It's a strong team. I'm worried that Bradbury isn't fit enough to bench, and I'd have included Jamie Ritchie over Struass and George Horne over Laidlaw, but otherwise there are enough Edinburgh players in that pack to sort out the Georgians.

Exciting centre partnership there. A little surprised that Taylor isn't on the bench to collect more game time.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 3:54 pm

I dont get Strauss being there as I cant see him going to Japan at all!

Wee Horne looks like the world cup is a year too early for him and he'll only be playing a bit part in the game against the Russians. Perhaps having to share time at Glasgow is his undoing. Time for one of them to move on to pastures new?

With Taylor not getting more gametime, surely this means he is being ruled out of going to Japan. Thsi could mean that SJ is the 12 with someone covering (possibly Hastings or Russell). Or does this mean that the venerable Horne Snr is going Sad

Either way, I hope this team put on a show for the rugby mad Gerogian supporters.
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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 4:00 pm

If Taylor is fit I don't get why we're starting SJ over him - surely Taylor needs the gametime. SJ's form in the 6N proves that he is incredibly capable so there would be low risk in picking him in the squad then giving him a game in the last Test (i.e. after the squad is announced). Conversely is he really going to pick Taylor based on that first game? Huge risk.

Bradbury will be sweating too, but again he has credit in the bank for the 6N. Maybe he is in the squad and will get the last game for a runaround.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 4:47 pm

Some interesting calls there

He clearly has not given up totally on Josh Strauss and that may suggest that he is concerned about Bradbury and/or Thompson's fitness, or that he has already ruled either of them out.

He is also having another look at Grant Stewart, who actually did ok when he came on last weekend, if I was Turner, I would maybe a little worries and would be doing plenty of line out throwing practice in front of the coaches.

MCguigan, I would say, looks like he will be gone, if he was worth another shot, it would have been now.

Pete Horne, I would say is now only going to go if other centres are not fit.

Huw Jones has got to produce something off the bench when he comes on after the way Harris played last week. I can see Hutch moving to 12 at some point when Johnson runs out of puff and that combo getting a decent run out in the second half.

Anyway, I am glad we are going in with a strong side, to me it would serve no purpose to go out their half cooked and get beaten. It is time for a proper test and you would imagine that they will be getting one.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 5:48 pm

I am wondering if Jonny Gray and Richie Gray's absences are linked. They have been particularly vague and Richie Gray cited family reasons. Obviously I hope that is not the case but perhaps they have determined that taking two players in the same position who may need to leave for family reasons at any given point was not practical.

I wonder if a decision has been made on Harris. Therefore, Jones and Hutchinson have been selected to give them more game time or (and personally I suspect this is more likely) Harris still possesses compromising pictures of Gregor Townsend and therefore will continue to be selected. I have to say I am much happier about that after his second half performance last week. The obvious connotation being that Hutchinson and Jones are playing for one position.

I am starting to worry about George Horne, he is obviously a very promising player. However he seems to be suffering from Jesse Lingardism he is now 24 years old. Whilst he has all the credentials to be a world class scrum half, he is reaching an age where he should really be pushing past an aged Laidlaw and Ali Price who is, at best, solid but unspectacular. As a point of comparison Conor Murray established himself against much more impressive opposition at Ireland's first choice aged 22 and Ben Youngs did the same aged 20. As a position it should be one of relative strength going into the next cycle. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, George Horne and Ali Price are all very talented players, but all three are also in danger of not achieving their potential.

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 5:52 pm

Numbers - Ritchie specifically made himself unavailable due to his new baby and not wanting to be away from his wife with a newborn. Jonny has been recovering from a hamstring injury.

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Post by reallybored on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 6:52 pm

Bradbury's absence is really concerning, for me his performance against England was precisely what we've been crying out for (most carries, most metres made & scored a try) and I think it would be a huge mistake not to take him to start him against Ireland.  I just don't think we've got anyone that offers the same physicality at 8, they've all too small or too light (apart from Strauss but he's had plenty of chances).

I feel like Barclay is in last chance saloon to be honest, Ritchie covers the same positions and is in better form, and Fagerson offers something totally different to the squad.

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Post by RDW on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 9:26 pm

Jonny gray and Taylor are out in Georgia training with the squad which is a good sign. Jonny was even strapped up for line-outs. We may see him back next week after all.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 29 Aug 2019, 10:47 pm

Apparently Ritchie Gray also made himself unavailable for the original wider squad, as well as the subsequent attempt to call him up when Skinner went down. He cited fitness issues and the new baby as the reasons.

I guess with all the injuries he has had over the past few seasons, he maybe just felt he needed to stay in France and get a good pre-season in. He is probably thinking he does not have to much more time in the game and wants to get one more decent contract in. The thought of being away from home for a long period of time, with a young baby at home probably made the decesion even easier.

RG really does not do to much media. Jim Hamilton has his phone number and was trying to ask him by text on his ruby pod, what was going on, but he was not getting any joy from him. He seems happy to keep his own council and clearly does not feel he owes it to anyone to provide an explanation.

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Post by EST on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 9:13 am

BigGee wrote:Apparently Ritchie Gray also made himself unavailable for the original wider squad, as well as the subsequent attempt to call him up when Skinner went down. He cited fitness issues and the new baby as the reasons.

I guess with all the injuries he has had over the past few seasons, he maybe just felt he needed to stay in France and get a good pre-season in. He is probably thinking he does not have to much more time in the game and wants to get one more decent contract in. The thought of being away from home for a long period of time, with a young baby at home probably made the decesion even easier.

RG really does not do to much media. Jim Hamilton has his phone number and was trying to ask him by text on his ruby pod, what was going on, but he was not getting any joy from him. He seems happy to keep his own council and clearly does not feel he owes it to anyone to provide an explanation.

That's interesting, and fair play to him. I do wonder if he receives a call-up during the tournament if his thought process will be different - less time away, more of one-off nature if its in the latter stages of the comp etc, I'm still holding out for RG to play a part in this WC somehow.


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Post by NeilyBroon on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 9:30 am

Good for him. Its the kind of thing that you only get to experience once, and as disappointed as I am I support his choice to support his wife. Also with his injuries I can see why he'd be more hesitant.

Looking forward, I never thought I'd say this but we may be in trouble in the second row. We are seriously lacking a Hines or Hamilton character and with Skinner injured, we've lost some of the abrasion he brings. If one of the others gets injured, who do we call then? Davidson? Callum HH? Looking a bit threadbare....
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Post by Tramptastic on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:05 am

Sad/happy to hear the actual reasons behind Gray's omission - Townsend wanted him to join the squad multiple times but Gray has admitted a worry about form/fitness and also fears about being away for an extended period of time from his new family.

Means Townsend is looking a bit more sure in his decision making so we can all stop going "SWINSON?! WHUT!?!?! GET TOONIE OOT".

On the team selected for Saturdays match: Oh wow! Just about full fat Irn Bru, tasty centres, experienced outside backs and half backs, Edinburgh heavy pack so they will be able to actually deal with a physical opposition.

Not what I was expecting, although I'm happy to see Hogg wrapped in cotton wool until the Ireland match!

Will be interesting to see if Hutchinson/Jones are given a half each. I suspect if Johnson, Hutchinson and Jones all show any kind of form it'll be Horne Sr that is dropped from the wider squad along with, maybe, Harris.

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Post by RDW on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:33 am

Tramptastic wrote:Sad/happy to hear the actual reasons behind Gray's omission - Townsend wanted him to join the squad multiple times but Gray has admitted a worry about form/fitness and also fears about being away for an extended period of time from his new family.

Means Townsend is looking a bit more sure in his decision making so we can all stop going "SWINSON?! WHUT!?!?! GET TOONIE OOT".

On the team selected for Saturdays match: Oh wow! Just about full fat Irn Bru, tasty centres, experienced outside backs and half backs, Edinburgh heavy pack so they will be able to actually deal with a physical opposition.

Not what I was expecting, although I'm happy to see Hogg wrapped in cotton wool until the Ireland match!

Will be interesting to see if Hutchinson/Jones are given a half each. I suspect if Johnson, Hutchinson and Jones all show any kind of form it'll be Horne Sr that is dropped from the wider squad along with, maybe, Harris.

I'll hold my hands up as one of these people but I'm certainly not the only Scotland rugby fan to have that reaction! I get it was for personal reasons but I'm amazed they didn't say this from the start. Maybe he didn't want to downplay Cummings' end of season form by basically saying he was only there because Ritchie said no.

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Post by Tramptastic on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:39 am

Och I was referring mostly to the wild mood swings of the Facebook/twitter Scottish rugby fan consortium

I wonder if Gray just didn't want anything said aboot it as, considering he's known for not liking the limelight, he didn't want to generate a fuss (which inevitably got created anyway)

Toonie is still young for a coach so PR management and player management skills will come with time

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Post by reallybored on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:40 am

Absolutely gutting to hear Gray turned down being part of the squad but his choice I suppose.  Granted he's never delivered on his early potential but he's still a huge man with a very good engine and experience.

Wonder if Townsend will select him in the future if he makes himself available.

Wouldn't be surprised if Skinner was involved before the end of the group stages, 6 weeks takes us to the Samoa match.

Who's behind Swinson if we get another couple of injuries?

I'm really surprised Taylor isn't being given a run, surely he needs minutes if he's to play against Ireland; are they wrapping him in cotton wool or do they need to compare Hutchinson with Jones?

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Post by Tramptastic on Fri 30 Aug 2019, 11:46 am

Suspect, with regards to the centres, its a case of determining the last places this week, letting Johnson, Hutchinson and Jones battle it out and Taylor is already considered to be on the plane. He'll get gametime next week to get him up to speed!

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