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Scotland XV to face Ireland 6N 2014

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Post by Nematode on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:15 pm

So after the final Heineken Cup games, where Edinburgh suffered at the hands of a clinical Munster and Glasgow impressed but failed to deliver against Toulon, players have done all they can to merit selection for the opening 6 Nations game.

Front row - Geoff Cross, Alasdair Dickinson, Ryan Grant, Moray Low

Hooker - Ross Ford, Scott Lawson, Pat MacArthur

Second row - Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, Tim Swinson

Back row - John Beattie, Kelly Brown, David Denton, Chris Fusaro, Robert Harley, Kieran Low, Ross Rennie, Alasdair Strokosch, Ryan Wilson

Scrum halves - Chris Cusiter, Greig Laidlaw

Fly halves - Ruaridh Jackson, Duncan Weir

Centres - Nick De Luca, Alex Dunbar, Max Evans, Matt Scott, Duncan Taylor

Back three - Dougie Fife, Stuart Hogg, Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Tommy Seymour, Greig Tonks

* I'm trying to be ambitious and use the poll so you can select who you want in your 15.
** It's not great and some players may not be the correct number i.e. you might want Dunbar at 12. Just pick your 15 going by name, the shirt number is just to help make it clearer.

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Post by Nematode on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:24 pm

Not sure how the poll will work as I'm new to it, hopefully it'll be refreshing

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Post by George Carlin on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:27 pm

Good work, Mr Tode.

I would also like to see Jon Welsh in there as a tighthead option as I am worried about Moray Low's manshaming earlier this week.
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Post by Notch on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:29 pm

Anyone else going to this? Our tickets arrived earlier this week  Yahoo 
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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:33 pm

Ford was his usual garbage self today - can't throw and can't hook and he has added being a penalty magnet to his underwhelming rugby expertise.
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Post by Nematode on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:40 pm

George Carlin wrote:Good work, Mr Tode.

I would also like to see Jon Welsh in there as a tighthead option as I am worried about Moray Low's manshaming earlier this week.

Afraid I don't think I can add to the poll. Also he wan't in the squad so I didn't include him unfortunately.

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Post by Nematode on Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:41 pm

George Carlin wrote:Good work, Mr Tode.

I would also like to see Jon Welsh in there as a tighthead option as I am worried about Moray Low's manshaming earlier this week.

Afraid I don't think I can add to the poll. Also he wan't in the squad so I didn't include him unfortunately.

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Post by Nematode on Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:29 pm

So Richie Gray, Kelly Brown, Sean Maitland and Stuart Hogg all seem to be our top picks atm.

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Post by Nematode on Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:53 pm

Just wondering, would you play at the moment any of the following if they weren't retired?

Dan Parks or Nathan Hines

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Post by George Carlin on Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:59 pm

Nematode wrote:
George Carlin wrote:Good work, Mr Tode.

I would also like to see Jon Welsh in there as a tighthead option as I am worried about Moray Low's manshaming earlier this week.

Afraid I don't think I can add to the poll. Also he wan't in the squad so I didn't include him unfortunately.
No, you're quite right. He can't be voted on if he's not in the squad.
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Post by GLove39 on Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:46 pm

By all accounts John Barclay was immense for the Scarlets against Quins today. The welsh crowd were apparently singing 'Flower of Scotland' every time he won a turnover ffs! Which does rather beg the question, why isn't he in the squad? Doh Headscratch 

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Post by MacKnocked-on on Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:49 pm

Just voted but couldn't bring myself to vote for either Low or Cross for tighthead, surely Welsh or somebody else (Kalman?) needs to be brought in to the squad now as we could get penalised out of games if either Low or Cross are propping.
I've voted for Laidlaw at 9 mainly for his goal kicking but Cusiter offers more as a scrumhalf I feel, but please can somebody tell Laidlaw to stop his endless box kicking away of possession.
And it's got to be Tonks as the form selection at 10, he just looks sounder than either Jackson or Weir.

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Post by RDW on Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:32 pm

I normally stick up for Ford but he was poor today - his squint throw on the halfway line led to a Munster try soon after.

De Luca has also been very poor the past few games.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:11 pm

My big decision was ditching Ford. He'll be a useful impact sub in the loose but I think MacArthur deserves a run of games in the starting jersey.

Tonks on the bench, Weir to start.

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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:23 pm

No - Weir was not good when he came on yesterday - Tonks was gash today also and v Warriors. Jackson must start - he has been the stand out 10 in Scotland by a long way this season.
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Post by BigGee on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:42 pm

21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:No - Weir was not good when he came on yesterday - Tonks was gash today also and v Warriors.     Jackson must start - he has been the stand out 10 in Scotland by a long way this season.

Weir looks to me to have played himself out of the team in his last couple of games and he would have been my choice up until Saturday. I would now say Jacko to start and Tonks on the bench as he offers more options. He will get some game time at some point and we will see what he can do at international level.

Weir needs to get back to playing regularly for Glasgow and get his confidence back.

This choice is probably the lesser of all evils and unfortunately, no one playing stand off is really inspiring me at the moment. This could be a big problem for us. Not easy to make an impression without a play maker.

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Post by Nematode on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:51 pm

Got to say, I watched the sarries game and Duncan Taylor was really quite impressive - assisted Strettle twice.

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Post by Nematode on Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:56 pm

All the Welsh are commenting on how good Barclay was...

SJ, you sir are  censored 

Why not pick him but Low or even Rennie?! Who's played what, 2 games????!!!!!

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Post by VinceWLB on Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:29 pm

It beggars belief how Barclay isn't included in the squad, if some of you have watched the Scarlets-Quins game, you will know were i'm coming from.

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Post by RDW on Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:17 am

21st Century Schizoid Man wrote: Jackson must start - he has been the stand out 10 in Scotland by a long way this season.

That comment alone fills me with dread about our prospects in the 6N.

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Post by Notch on Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:31 am

It wouldn't be a Scotland Six Nations campaign without some degree of existential dread RDW.
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Post by Nematode on Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:48 am

With all these positional changes, Beattie to ten?

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Post by tigertattie on Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:20 am

Tonks surely is going to be on the bench at least. Covering 10 and 15???
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Post by TJ on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:19 am

Vernon at 13?

Tonks at 10?

Meatball at hooker?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:24 am

21stC - I think we do need to take a slightly more long term view than picking based on one weekend of rugby. You seem to vacillate between your choice of fly half on a weekly basis.

I agree, Weir was poor off the bench yesterday, but I didn't think Jackson was particularly good either. Tonks was ok - nothing special, no real mistakes, Edinburgh were just completely overrun in the second half. He certainly wasn't "gash". His performance was absolutely on a par with Jackson's.

The fact is we don't have a good international quality fly half to select, and on "form" you can argue the toss between the three viable options in the squad. On that basis I think you just have to pick the player you think most likely to wear the shirt at the World Cup, based on what you've seen thus far in that player's career. Based on the 6 Nations last season, I felt Weir gave us more control. Yes, I have serious doubts about his ability to get a backline moving, and he is a "when in doubt kick" sort of player. But we've seen Jackson get the benefit of the doubt on many an occassion, and now I think it's Weir's turn.

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Post by TJ on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:30 am

Weir has disappointed this year - he did get a few games and hardly shone but IMO still needs a run of games to gain confidence hopefully with the same 9 which he hasn't had. Could he be loaned to Edinburgh to play with laidlaw?

I have been a big Weir fan but he has not really taken his opportunity this year even if he didn't really get a run of games to settle in.

Jackson we know who he is and how he plays and he will never be a international standard player - too many mistakes and not a good enough kicker from hand

to some extent it will depend on the game plan but none of the choices for 10 really give me hope.

tonks has been OK and steady but nothing sparkling. could he play 12 outside Weir?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:46 am

Not for Scotland TJ. I can take the odd leap of faith from time to time, but sticking someone in a completely new position at international level isn't my cup of tea.

I think we have one of three choices at 10: Jackson, Weir and Tonks. There is no clear winner in terms of ability, consistency or form. Jackson has the most experience, but has never really put together a compelling run of games for either Glasgow or Scotland that has truly made him stand out. Most of his games have been down to a lack of competition for places.

I don't think there's a wrong answer here, you can make a case for all three. I suspect much will hinge on who SJ wants at 12, whether Scott can be ready, or whether he'll go with Dunbar or Taylor (please not Lamont at 12).

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Post by Captain_Sensible on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:50 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:Not for Scotland TJ. I can take the odd leap of faith from time to time, but sticking someone in a completely new position at international level isn't my cup of tea.

I think we have one of three choices at 10: Jackson, Weir and Tonks. There is no clear winner in terms of ability, consistency or form. Jackson has the most experience, but has never really put together a compelling run of games for either Glasgow or Scotland that has truly made him stand out. Most of his games have been down to a lack of competition for places.

I don't think there's a wrong answer here, you can make a case for all three. I suspect much will hinge on who SJ wants at 12, whether Scott can be ready, or whether he'll go with Dunbar or Taylor (please not Lamont at 12).

Until Scott is fit, I'd like to see Dunbar at 12 and Taylor at 13. I think Tonks at 10 would work pretty well, especially with Laidlaw at 9 to offer some familiarity. As long as Laidlaw doesn't spend the whole game against Ireland box-kicking as badly as he did vs Munster.

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Post by George Carlin on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:56 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:Not for Scotland TJ. I can take the odd leap of faith from time to time, but sticking someone in a completely new position at international level isn't my cup of tea.

I think we have one of three choices at 10: Jackson, Weir and Tonks. There is no clear winner in terms of ability, consistency or form. Jackson has the most experience, but has never really put together a compelling run of games for either Glasgow or Scotland that has truly made him stand out. Most of his games have been down to a lack of competition for places.

I don't think there's a wrong answer here, you can make a case for all three. I suspect much will hinge on who SJ wants at 12, whether Scott can be ready, or whether he'll go with Dunbar or Taylor (please not Lamont at 12).
Agree entirely about our problems at 10. My issue is that seeing Jackson have one good game and two bad ones (then repeat) is really starting to make me despair. Is Tonks' potential lack of razzle dazzle (but with nous and a field cannon boot) an acceptable compromise in comparison to Flakey McFlakerson? When is it better to have the devil you don't?

At centre, if Scott isn't ready, then Dunbar at 12 and Taylor at 13 is a footballing combo full of youthful brio and reasonable form.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:59 am

Yeh, those box kicks became pretty painful. It all felt a bit Andy Robinson. Lots of sideways pick and drives followed-up with an over hit box kick with no chase.

In the absence of Scott, I agree that Dunbar and Taylor are probably the best bet. Both solid and dependable in defence, and pretty powerful taking the ball into contact. I have little faith that they will create much as a partnership other than the odd offload, so I think Hogg and Maitland will need to have their counter-attacking hats on and run the ball back at every opportunity.

The argument for Tonks at 10 has two compelling strands: firstly he can kick a rugby ball an unholy distance, further than Weir or Parks I'd wager. Secondly, as a converted fullback, he has decent pace so when a gap opens up he isn't afraid to run it. Both Jackson and Weir can get through a gap or two as well, but Tonks can sustain his pace better, so hopefully will offer finishing capability from an unconventional position (as CP should have done for us for years.....). Against him is clearly the very limited amount of game time he's had in the position. It would be a big risk. Luckily for him the competition is pretty flimsy. I suspect we'll see one of Jackson and Weir starting, with Tonks on the bench.

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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:27 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
21st Century Schizoid Man wrote: Jackson must start - he has been the stand out 10 in Scotland by a long way this season.

That comment alone fills me with dread about our prospects in the 6N.

Jesus RD - thats rich when Ford and De Luca are almost certain to start !  Shocked Shocked Shocked 
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Post by EWT Spoons on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:35 am

Every time I try and post something meaningful here, some inconsiderate person comes over to talk to me or wants to have a meeting and by the time I get back to looking at this someone else has already posted what I was going to say.

So in this case I agree with FES.  Dunbar & Taylor at centre would make sense if Scott isn’t fit (which I doubt he will be), and there are pros and cons of each of our options at 10, but if it was me I would start with Tonks, for the reasons FES has stated, and also because he’s playing quite well.  However I think SJ will start with Jackson


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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:36 am

I don't think NDL is certain to start. He's had two poor games on the bounce now, and Taylor is playing well at 13 for Saracens.

Ford will probably start to give the front row some bulk. I'd personally go with MacArthur, a better allround player and I think he's earned his chance, but I suspect we'll see Ford starting regardless. Ford also had a decent game against Perpignan, particularly carrying the ball, so I wouldn't say he's off form.

NDL though is certainly not a foregone conclusion. He's been unfairly picked on in the past, but at the moment I don't think his performances for Edinburgh justify him starting the 6 Nations.

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Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:36 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:21stC - I think we do need to take a slightly more long term view than picking based on one weekend of rugby. You seem to vacillate between your choice of fly half on a weekly basis.

I agree, Weir was poor off the bench yesterday, but I didn't think Jackson was particularly good either. Tonks was ok - nothing special, no real mistakes, Edinburgh were just completely overrun in the second half. He certainly wasn't "gash". His performance was absolutely on a par with Jackson's.

The fact is we don't have a good international quality fly half to select, and on "form" you can argue the toss between the three viable options in the squad. On that basis I think you just have to pick the player you think most likely to wear the shirt at the World Cup, based on what you've seen thus far in that player's career. Based on the 6 Nations last season, I felt Weir gave us more control. Yes, I have serious doubts about his ability to get a backline moving, and he is a "when in doubt kick" sort of player. But we've seen Jackson get the benefit of the doubt on many an occassion, and now I think it's Weir's turn.

OK Tonks was not that bad (or good) but he is not a line breaker. Jackson is and at times if he just backs himself more. Jimbo made a great point while we were in Exeter that he constantly broke their line but either gave up waiting on support or did not back himself to proceed up the field. His kicking is not great but he was the most successful kicker on Saturday (100% - ok 1 from 1  Whistle ) . Tonks should cover the bench but Jacko starts. Weir needs to play through the int window for the Warriors and get his form back - remember he is not long back from a serious injury.
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Post by RDW on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:41 am

21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
21st Century Schizoid Man wrote: Jackson must start - he has been the stand out 10 in Scotland by a long way this season.

That comment alone fills me with dread about our prospects in the 6N.

Jesus RD - thats rich when Ford and De Luca are almost certain to start !   Shocked Shocked Shocked 

Schitz - My post had nothing to do with Ford and De Luca, so not sure why you thought me saying Jackson fills me with dread automatically suggests he is the only player to do so!

Since yesterday’s game I’ve already posted on here saying how bad Ford was yesterday and how bad De Luca has been for a while.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:42 am

As above Schizoid, I don't think there's a wrong answer here. I'd be pretty happy with Jackson starting and Tonks on the bench. It's not often I lack a strong view on Scotland team selections, but I really don't care much who starts at 10 this time round.

Second row is the same. I want Swinson to start, but who starts alongside him could go any one of three ways: Gilchrist, Hamilton or R Gray. I'd probably hold-off starting J Gray for this 6 Nations as he isn't starting regularly for Glasgow at the moment, but otherwise you can make a decent case for the others. Personally I'd go with big Richie and have Gilchrist on the bench, but there's a good case for Hamilton coming on with 20 minutes to go just to throw a few punches and give away some penalties.

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Post by TJ on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:42 am

Weir needs to play through the int window for the Warriors and get his form back - remember he is not long back from a serious injury.

What \i really really hope does not happen is what Robinson did to him. Have him in the squad but ot play him so he didn't get the chance to play his way into form. Either he is the starting 10 or he goes back to glasgow. He needs gametime still

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Post by TJ on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:43 am

If Cusitor plays we need Hamilton so that when Cus has wound up the opposition forwards he has Hamilton to hide behind - or is Swinson able to do this role?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:44 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:
21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:
21st Century Schizoid Man wrote: Jackson must start - he has been the stand out 10 in Scotland by a long way this season.

That comment alone fills me with dread about our prospects in the 6N.

Jesus RD - thats rich when Ford and De Luca are almost certain to start !   Shocked Shocked Shocked 

Schitz - My post had nothing to do with Ford and De Luca, so not sure why you thought me saying Jackson fills me with dread automatically suggests he is the only player to do so!

Since yesterday’s game I’ve already posted on here saying how bad Ford was yesterday and how bad De Luca has been for a while.

But you criticised a Glasgow player. That's what you did wrong.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:48 am

TJ wrote:If Cusitor plays we need Hamilton so that when Cus has wound up the opposition forwards he has Hamilton to hide behind - or is Swinson able to do this role?

I'd imagine Swinson can probably hold his own, although I can't imagine Cusiter hiding behind anyone to be honest. He's got that "I could start a fight in a empty room" look to him when his blood is up.

What is excellent about Cusiter being back in the squad is that we won't have to endure his hopeless punditry on the Beeb this year. So it'll just be Andy Nicol prattling on endlessly making unjustifiable statements about Scottish rugby.

Personally I think they should have hired Jim Telfer as a pundit. I'd pay double my licence fee to listen to him and Brian Moore commenting on a rugby match together.

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Post by Captain_Sensible on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:55 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
TJ wrote:If Cusitor plays we need Hamilton so that when Cus has wound up the opposition forwards he has Hamilton to hide behind - or is Swinson able to do this role?

I'd imagine Swinson can probably hold his own, although I can't imagine Cusiter hiding behind anyone to be honest. He's got that "I could start a fight in a empty room" look to him when his blood is up.

What is excellent about Cusiter being back in the squad is that we won't have to endure his hopeless punditry on the Beeb this year. So it'll just be Andy Nicol prattling on endlessly making unjustifiable statements about Scottish rugby.

Personally I think they should have hired Jim Telfer as a pundit. I'd pay double my licence fee to listen to him and Brian Moore commenting on a rugby match together.

Problem is, you wouldn't get to see the inevitable fight that would break out in the commentator's box? All you'd get is the muffled audio of Jim Telfer headbutting Moore after a contentious English try.

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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs on Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:01 pm

Laugh

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Post by TJ on Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:01 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
TJ wrote:If Cusitor plays we need Hamilton so that when Cus has wound up the opposition forwards he has Hamilton to hide behind - or is Swinson able to do this role?

I'd imagine Swinson can probably hold his own, although I can't imagine Cusiter hiding behind anyone to be honest. He's got that "I could start a fight in a empty room" look to him when his blood is up.


I have seen this many times - Cusiter winding up opposition forwards and then when one of the big guys comes after him he hid behind Hines or Hamilton. Peering round from behind them sticking his tongue out and blowing raspberries - Ok I exagerate a bit but its ice to have a tough guy on your side.

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Post by cakeordeath on Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:43 pm

George Carlin wrote:Good work, Mr Tode.

I would also like to see Jon Welsh in there as a tighthead option as I am worried about Moray Low's manshaming earlier this week.

Apparently Jon Welsh has been doing some Strongman Comps.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:52 pm

OK ok ok

Who would win in a fight

Telfer vs Moore
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Post by cakeordeath on Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:55 pm

tigertattie wrote:OK ok ok

Who would win in a fight

Telfer vs Moore

Depends, would the winner get a sticky chocolate eclair, because that would be enough motivation for Moore I reckon

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Post by nickj on Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:18 pm

I'm struggling with my 6 and my centres to be honest. My favourite for the 6 shirt, Beattie, played at 8 for Montpellier at the weekend, while neither Stroks or Harley got any game time.

Surely form wise, Brown at 6, Fusaro at 7 and Denton at 8 would have been a good option, with Beattie on the bench covering 6 and 8?

As things stand I think we'll see Beattie at 6, Brown at 7 and Denton at 8, with Fusaro on the bench with Swinson covering. Unless Stroks has been tearing things up in Perpignan?

I'm struggling with the centres too. If Scott's out, Dunbar has to play at 12. Maybe De Luca at 13? I think Taylor is a good bet, but he's not played that well for Scotland to date

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Post by Nematode on Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:22 pm

I think Jackson will start - he hasn't been great but at least he was trying things and was going forward. Been more consistent than Weir.

If Scott's fit, then I'd have Lamont, Scott, Dunbar, Maitland, Hogg.
If not, then Lamont, Dunbar, Taylor, Maitland, Hogg.

Taylor did play quite well vs sarries.

Really feel for Barclay, although if you move away then I suppose you can't expect to be on the radar fully. Disappointing by SJ.

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Post by TJ on Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:25 pm

Lamonts day is surely gone? Fife instead? One of the few players to have enhanced their reputation recently.

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Post by TJ on Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:25 pm

Vernon at centre? Came on on the wing at the weekend - and has been working hard to convert to centre - too soon for him?

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