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Scotland Autumn Internationals '16

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Post by bsando Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:20 am

First topic message reminder :

AUTUMN INTERNATIONALS 2016

Scotland Squad
Allan Dell (Edinburgh Rugby) – uncapped
Alasdair Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 58 caps
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap
Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs) – 34 caps
Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) – 99 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby) – 9 caps

Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 25 caps
Richie Gray (Toulouse) – 58 caps
Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors) – 24 caps

John Barclay (Scarlets) – 52 caps
John Hardie (Edinburgh Rugby) – 12 caps
Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
Josh Strauss (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps

Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN (Gloucester) – 53 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps

Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps
Finn Russell (Glasgow Warriors) – 19 caps

Mark Bennett (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps
Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 18 caps
Huw Jones (Stormers) – 1 cap
Duncan Taylor (Saracens) – 18 caps

Damien Hoyland (Edinburgh Rugby) – 2 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 23 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 29 caps
Tim Visser (Harlequins) – 26 caps

Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) – 45 caps

Scotland Autumn Internationals '16 - Page 2 Wallab11
Saturday 12 November
Scotland v Australia, BT Murrayfield Edinburgh, kick-off SAT 14:30
Scotland Autumn Internationals '16 - Page 2 Arg10
Saturday 19 November
Scotland v Argentina, BT Murrayfield Edinburgh, kick-off SAT 17:00
Scotland Autumn Internationals '16 - Page 2 Georgi10
Saturday 26 November
Scotland v Georgia, Rugby Park Kilmarnock, Kick-off SAT 14:30

Recent Head To Head

18 Oct 2015 (RWC) Australia 35 - 34 Scotland
23 Nov 2013 Scotland 15 - 21 Australia

08 Nov 2014 Scotland 41 - 31 Argentina
20 Jun 2014 Argentina 19 - 21 Scotland

14 Sep 2011 (RWC) Scotland 15 - 6 Georgia

Recent 2016 Results

Wallabies
Australia 36 - 20 Argentina
Australia 23 - 17 South Africa
New Zealand 29 - 9 Australia
Australia 8 - 42 New Zealand

Argentina
Australia 36 - 20 Argentina
New Zealand 57 - 22 Argentina
Argentina 26 - 24 South Africa
South Africa 30 - 23 Argentina

Georgia
Fiji 3 - 14 Georgia
Georgia 23 - 20 Tonga
Samoa 19 - 19 Georgia
Georgia 38 - 9 Romania


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Post by RDW Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:17 pm

John Welsh is doing well at Newcastle too

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Post by RDW Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:21 pm

MacKnocked-on wrote:The only SQ player down south who seems to be starting and playing week in week out currently is Byron McGuigan surprisingly, based on playing time has he got any realistic chance of making the training squad as back up to Hogg?  

So apart from Greig Laidlaw, Matt Scott, Tim Visser, John Welsh, Sean Maitland, Scot Lawson and Ally Hogg - among others - you were right! Laugh

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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:25 pm

Thank you RDW. I felt there were a few people I was missing. Think we have players at most of the Aviva who are reasonably regular.

Bristol, Quins, Sarries, Exeter, Sale, Newcastle, Worcester and Gloucester

Teams without Scots

Leicester, Wasps, Bath (although Hastings will likely get a few appearances and *Denton is injured) and Northampton (Hutchinson is on the bench this weekend).

*Forgot about Denton as he is a cripple at the moment

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Post by RDW Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:28 pm

Denton is at Bath, although long term injured now

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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:32 pm

Trying to think of a team of Scottish exiles

1) Welsh
2) Lawson
3) Low
4) Gray
5) Hamilton
6) Eadie
7) Barclay
8) Denton
9) Laidlaw
10) Jackson
11) Visser
12) Scott
13) Taylor
14) Maitland
15) McGuigan

Brown (*thanks Bru), Crammond, Davidson, Hastings, Hogg, Heathcote, Hutchinson bench so far

Scotland have a few good club 8's and good backs. Lack of looseheads and hookers is probably the biggest issues. That team could probably beat Italy. Be good to see how Hutchinson gets on for Northampton.


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Post by IanBru Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:20 pm

Kelly Brown is at least back to playing from the bench for Saracens - he's probably not the power he was, but he'd certainly make your bench.
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Post by Nematode Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:47 pm

As far as I can tell, the only players that can be inked in are (non-italics):

1 Dickinson
2 Ford
3 Nel
4 R. Gray
5 J. Gray
6 Barclay
7 Hardie
8 Strauss
9 Laidlaw
10 Russell
11 Maitland
12 Horne*
13 Scott
14 Seymour
15 Hogg

I'm concerned with our depth at centre (and in the back row) as only Scott seems to be i) playing regularly ii) playing well.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:54 pm

I think R Gray can be inked in. It is not like Swinson would be picked ahead of him and the Edinburgh pair (B Toolis and Gilchrist) have started poorly. I would say Sutherland is more competitive towards Dickinson though stranger choices have happened.

Don't understand the concern for centres. Bennett had a good game against Newport and has 2-3 games to stamp his mark. Dunbar is not on top form but is healthy and got 2-3 games to play before Australia to find some spark. Taylor is coming back from injury and will likely get a game or two before AI's. Horne was playing well before injury and will be healthy in time. Scott playing excellently. Even a Scott-Bennett pairing with Dunbar coming in for Argentina is good.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:57 am

Agree on R Gray - I don't see Cotter splitting up the Gray brothers. They work well together.

I also can't see past Hardie at 7. If he's fit he'll start.

Agree with the rest of it Tode, although until Dickinson is fully fit I suspect we'll see Sutherland at 1.

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Post by RDW Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:57 am

This is the man that picked Gilchrist as captain remember - it wouldn't be a huge surprise if he (wrongly IMO) breaks up the Gray partnership.

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Post by bsando Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:31 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:I thought McGuigan would have been capped by Namibia (Wiki says he is born in Walvis Bay (which is in Namibia), South Africa; someone needs to edit that one). Solid club player like Murchie. Would prefer Murchie who has stuck it out at Glasgow rather than rewarding someone who took the trip south.

Laidlaw and Scott are doing well at Gloucester

Not sure how Eadie is doing but he starts regularly for Bristol and Robinson is known to develop a good pack.

Lawson and Hogg start regularly and do well for Newcastle

Heathcote benches often for Worcester

Tonks is a regular at London Irish

Maitland is part of the rotation at Sarries and Taylor is due to be back from injury soon

Has Low been on the bench yet for Exeter or is he injured?

Jackson struggling to get more than bench time at Quins. He needs to find a place he can start regularly. Newcastle or Sale are both viable if Quins does not work out in the end.

Agree on Jackson, if he were getting more chance to shine that would undoubtedly put him in the reckoning to upstage Horne or even Russell if he were out of form. He looked good at times last season for Wasps and it must have been great to be playing at 10 for side that has so many talented players in the backline. Yet Gopperth stole the show really. Perhaps a move to French club would be a another good option for him. I also often wonder what it would be like for a Scottish player to try and play for another pro 12 side like lamont did for a while for Scarlets. Tovey has shown he is Edinburgh's best Flyhalf with some impressive performances last season, perhaps it would be a good way to catch the eye.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:36 am

Munster and Scarlets are probably the only biggish sides without a clear 10. Munster are likely to stick with their South African and Keatley though. Do the Scarlets really want him or do they stick with Patchell? I think if he can't outplay Swiel at Quins then he probably will struggle to convince those holding the purse strings to bring him in.

He will get a chance at Quins because Evans is old and will need to be carefully played through the season. He just needs to make sure he takes the opportunity. Gopperth is outplaying Cipriani at this point so there is no loss of face in losing the Wasps place to him.

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Post by RDW Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:54 am

That's the problem with Jackson - he's now 3rd choice at Quins!

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Post by BigGee Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:40 am

After a promising start, Maitland appears to have dropped right out of the starting squad for Sarries as well and I don't think that he is injured. Seymour and Visser are looking like shoe ins for the wing spots now and maybe Hoyland to be the reserve.

It is hard to see Jacko getting picked when he is not playing at all for Quins, that move does not seem to be working very well for him either. If Horne is not fit by then (I think he will be) then maybe McHeathcote does come back into the reckoning. I always liked him anyway and feel he is worth another chance.

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:45 am

Jacko will get picked. It's the Scottish way. We simply do not have the back up quality or the luxury of ignoring good players not playing regularly for their club.

Weir is pretty much confirmed as out for the AIs, so it'll be Russell and Jackson.

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Post by BigGee Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:01 am

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Jacko will get picked. It's the Scottish way. We simply do not have the back up quality or the luxury of ignoring good players not playing regularly for their club.

Weir is pretty much confirmed as out for the AIs, so it'll be Russell and Jackson.

McHeathcote is a Scottish FH playing regularly for his club in the AP and is by any objective standards a good player.

You may well be correct in saying Jackson will get picked over him though but it is hard to see that making any sense. As I said earlier, I am hopeful that Horne will be fit anyway, I am not sure that Weir is a massive loss.

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Post by Majestic83 Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:10 am

BigGee wrote:After a promising start, Maitland appears to have dropped right out of the starting squad for Sarries as well and I don't think that he is injured. Seymour and Visser are looking like shoe ins for the wing spots now and maybe Hoyland to be the reserve.

It is hard to see Jacko getting picked when he is not playing at all for Quins, that move does not seem to be working very well for him either. If Horne is not fit by then (I think he will be) then maybe McHeathcote does come back into the reckoning. I always liked him anyway and feel he is worth another chance.

Maitland is injured at the moment, nothing long term, think it was a minor leg injury. Taylor has an ankle injury and is out for a couple weeks too.

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Post by Majestic83 Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:12 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:That's the problem with Jackson - he's now 3rd choice at Quins!

Could now possibly be pushed down to 4th choice at Quins. Quins now have the young Scottish/Welsh fly half James Lang who made his debut the other week and is playing very well.

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Post by Majestic83 Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:14 am

A few are mentioning the centre option for the autumn internations but no one has mentioned Huw Jones. He's been the form player in the Currie Cup, that will be finished by the time of the autumn tests so will be available .

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:18 am

I think the assumption was that Huw wouldn't be released by his club for the AIs. Not sure if that's a fair assumption or not. I'd like to see him involved but we have a plethora of quality centres (wow never thought I would say that) it'll be interesting to see who's left out.

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:20 am

I also think Jackson will likely get the nod over Heatcote. Purely because Vern seems to like him for cover at 10 and also 15. If the decision was based on form then Heathcote would be in, given he's actually been playing, but arguably Jackson is a better player.

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Post by Majestic83 Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:27 am

EWT Spoons wrote:I also think Jackson will likely get the nod over Heatcote.  Purely because Vern seems to like him for cover at 10 and also 15.  If the decision was based on form then Heathcote would be in, given he's actually been playing, but arguably Jackson is a better player.

Heathcote has had a few very good games recently for Worcester, if he keeps putting in those types of performances then he will be hard to ignore.

Russell is only back from injury so has still to hit form but the other options haven't been setting the heather alight. Horne was showing good form but will be touch and go for the autumn tests due to his hand injury.

Jon Welsh could be a worry form wise, started of fairly well but his last few games for Newcastle have been pretty poor, gave away a high amount of penalties against Worcester and think he has given away the most amount of penalties this season. For Newcastle he certainly looked a lot better at loosehead rather than tighthead.

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Post by BigGee Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:35 am

EWT Spoons wrote:I also think Jackson will likely get the nod over Heatcote.  Purely because Vern seems to like him for cover at 10 and also 15.  If the decision was based on form then Heathcote would be in, given he's actually been playing, but arguably Jackson is a better player.

Jackson is in danger of living on past glories given that he has hardly played any meaningful club rugby for three years now. He certainly does not represent the future either looking forward.

He generally done ok in a Scotland shirt I agree but if he really was an international class player, he would have played more for his various clubs (including Glasgow) over the years.

McHeathcote is still a bit of an unknown quantity at the top level. He plays regularly for Worcester but is often in a losing team, not through any fault of his own. He really did look the part at International A standard (outplaying Ford by a mile) but has not had any meaningful chances at full international level. Personally I think he has earnt his chance more than Jacko has done recently.

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Post by BigGee Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:43 am

Majestic83 wrote:

Jon Welsh could be a worry form wise, started of fairly well but his last few games for Newcastle have been pretty poor, gave away a high amount of penalties against Worcester and think he has given away the most amount of penalties this season. For Newcastle he certainly looked a lot better at loosehead rather than tighthead.

We had this discussion on the Newcastle thread a few days ago. In truth JW was probably always a better LH than a TH, he did start off there and was very destructive, he was only moved over due to the queue of good LHs at Glasgow and the shortage of THs, he was always more likely to win international honours on that side. The move never really worked out for him at Glasgow and his lack of game time probably contributed to his move to the Falcons.

He is currently in a bit of no-mans land with regard to international selection.

At TH he is fighting for the 3rd spot with Low behind Nel and Fargerson. At least he is playing regularly, even if it is on the wrong side.

At LH, there is a bit of a queue now behind Dickinson (assuming he is fit) with Sutherland, Reid and Allen all putting themselves in the frame and Del not that far behind.

At least he has got versatility on his side!

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Post by Majestic83 Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:51 am

BigGee wrote:
Majestic83 wrote:

Jon Welsh could be a worry form wise, started of fairly well but his last few games for Newcastle have been pretty poor, gave away a high amount of penalties against Worcester and think he has given away the most amount of penalties this season. For Newcastle he certainly looked a lot better at loosehead rather than tighthead.

We had this discussion on the Newcastle thread a few days ago. In truth JW was probably always a better LH than a TH, he did start off there and was very destructive, he was only moved over due to the queue of good LHs at Glasgow and the shortage of THs, he was always more likely to win international honours on that side. The move never really worked out for him at Glasgow and his lack of game time probably contributed to his move to the Falcons.

He is currently in a bit of no-mans land with regard to international selection.

At TH he is fighting for the 3rd spot with Low behind Nel and Fargerson. At least he is playing regularly, even if it is on the wrong side.

At LH, there is a bit of a queue now behind Dickinson (assuming he is fit) with Sutherland, Reid and Allen all putting themselves in the frame and Del not that far behind.

At least he has got versatility on his side!

At the time when he was asked to switch by the Scotland coaches to tighthead I never thought it was a good idea. At that point he had been putting in some good performances at loosehead and was pretty close to being Scotland's starting number 1. If he had stuck it out there I think he probably would have cemented his place as starting prop for Scotland and gained many more caps than he has so far.
With Newcastle signing Dave Wilson who will more than likely become their first choice tighthead could we see Welsh making a permanent switch back to loosehead? For Scotland we have Dickinson but after that there are options but known who are what you would say great props.

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Post by EWT Spoons Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:32 am

BigGee wrote:
EWT Spoons wrote:I also think Jackson will likely get the nod over Heatcote.  Purely because Vern seems to like him for cover at 10 and also 15.  If the decision was based on form then Heathcote would be in, given he's actually been playing, but arguably Jackson is a better player.

Jackson is in danger of living on past glories given that he has hardly played any meaningful club rugby for three years now. He certainly does not represent the future either looking forward.

He generally done ok in a Scotland shirt I agree but if he really was an international class player, he would have played more for his various clubs (including Glasgow) over the years.

McHeathcote is still a bit of an unknown quantity at the top level. He plays regularly for Worcester but is often in a losing team, not through any fault of his own. He really did look the part at International A standard (outplaying Ford by a mile) but has not had any meaningful chances at full international level. Personally I think he has earnt his chance more than Jacko has done recently.

At the start of last season Jackson was playing regularly was he not? He was playing very well especially in Europe, but then was pretty much dropped from then on. I agree the rest of the season he barely played and this season not at all, but at the time I'm pretty certain there were calls for him to be considered first choice 10 for Scotland. You're right though that he doesn't represent the future, but as per normal we don't have a huge amount of depth at 10 so I suspect as long as he's fit he'll remain in contention.

Heathcote is a mystery, he did well prior to his temp move to Edinburgh, where he was poor. I know that is no great barometer of form given how poor Edinburgh have been. He seems to have found form again at Worcester and whilst not a standout 10 currently, he's playing regularly and only 24 so time to improve.

I wouldn't really use an A international to judge a player, some folk still hark back to that game against England when Weir was superb and he's shown nothing of that quality since at International level.

I'd probably play/give Heathcote a chance against Georgia

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Post by MacKnocked-on Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:08 pm

Hopefully some strength in depth at 10 starting to develop with Hastings and Hutchison (who played 10 as well as 13 for the U20s) beginning to get game time for Bath and Northampton. Hutchison scored a great try on his debut for Northampton last week, he tracked George North brilliantly and showed real pace.

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Post by bsando Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:58 pm

Majestic83 wrote:
BigGee wrote:After a promising start, Maitland appears to have dropped right out of the starting squad for Sarries as well and I don't think that he is injured. Seymour and Visser are looking like shoe ins for the wing spots now and maybe Hoyland to be the reserve.

It is hard to see Jacko getting picked when he is not playing at all for Quins, that move does not seem to be working very well for him either. If Horne is not fit by then (I think he will be) then maybe McHeathcote does come back into the reckoning. I always liked him anyway and feel he is worth another chance.

Maitland is injured at the moment, nothing long term, think it was a minor leg injury. Taylor has an ankle injury and is out for a couple weeks too.

"Sean Maitland’s tally of 185 metres over the gainline is the most by a player this season – and in fact the most by any Aviva Premiership Rugby player since December 2014"
Read more at http://www.premiershiprugby.com/news/ross-moriarty-thomas-waldrom-sean-maitland-and-graham-kitchener-top-the-premiership-rugby-opta-rankings/#GPCvmIxU6vAGfrkm.99

I think he'll be starting for Scotland vs Australia, toss up between Seymour and Visser on the other wing I reckon.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:25 pm

Seymour out of Leicester game with a back problem. If minor, I expect him to start. He has had a fantastic 6 weeks. Visser not a bad replacement though.

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Post by mckay1402 Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:09 pm

It's time to bring through some youth at fly half. we aren't exactly rich in that position so it's got to be time to start bringing through some of the under 20s. bring Hastings into the squad...
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Post by tigertattie Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:45 pm

mckay1402 wrote:It's time to bring through some youth at fly half.  we aren't exactly rich in that position so it's got to be time to start bringing through some of the under 20s.  bring Hastings into the squad...

but he hasn't reached his quota on number of professional hours of rugby played on the FES scale!
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Post by mckay1402 Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:55 pm

I think Scotland are far too slow to bring youth through. We don't have a massive pool of players so the young talent needs to be exposed early on. no excuse really.
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Post by Tattie Scones RRN Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:57 pm

Agreed!

If they're good enough, get them in. The gamble with Stuart Hogg paid off.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:57 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:I thought McGuigan would have been capped by Namibia (Wiki says he is born in Walvis Bay (which is in Namibia), South Africa; someone needs to edit that one). Solid club player like Murchie. Would prefer Murchie who has stuck it out at Glasgow rather than rewarding someone who took the trip south.

Laidlaw and Scott are doing well at Gloucester

Not sure how Eadie is doing but he starts regularly for Bristol and Robinson is known to develop a good pack.

Lawson and Hogg start regularly and do well for Newcastle

Heathcote benches often for Worcester

Tonks is a regular at London Irish

Maitland is part of the rotation at Sarries and Taylor is due to be back from injury soon

Has Low been on the bench yet for Exeter or is he injured?

Jackson struggling to get more than bench time at Quins. He needs to find a place he can start regularly. Newcastle or Sale are both viable if Quins does not work out in the end.


Jackson has been struggling back from injury
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Post by bsando Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:54 pm

Well Visser looked good for Quins tonight with 2 try's against Stade Francais which could well have been 3 had two other close chances pulled off.

As it stands, my backline would be..

9 - Laidlaw
10 - Russell
11 - Visser
12 - Scott
13 - Dunbar
14 - Maitland
15 - Hogg

I'd like to have Taylor in there but he needs game time. Jackson did okay as a sub for Quins but got charged down right in front of the posts with a conversion kick, his only flaw really other than failing along with two other quins backs to stop a Stade Francais forward bundling over the try line from a quick tap and go from Parisse.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:24 am

ChequeredJersey wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:I thought McGuigan would have been capped by Namibia (Wiki says he is born in Walvis Bay (which is in Namibia), South Africa; someone needs to edit that one). Solid club player like Murchie. Would prefer Murchie who has stuck it out at Glasgow rather than rewarding someone who took the trip south.

Laidlaw and Scott are doing well at Gloucester

Not sure how Eadie is doing but he starts regularly for Bristol and Robinson is known to develop a good pack.

Lawson and Hogg start regularly and do well for Newcastle

Heathcote benches often for Worcester

Tonks is a regular at London Irish

Maitland is part of the rotation at Sarries and Taylor is due to be back from injury soon

Has Low been on the bench yet for Exeter or is he injured?

Jackson struggling to get more than bench time at Quins. He needs to find a place he can start regularly. Newcastle or Sale are both viable if Quins does not work out in the end.


Jackson has been struggling back from injury

Has it been bad Chequered? He benched behind Swiel last night and got 20 minutes. Unfortunately the game was over by that point and SF got back in the game. He missed the easy kick and nailed the hard one. Overall a bit meh. What do Quins fans expect from him? Will he be starting by December?

As for the backline, Seymour has to be in there if 100% (or as close as pro players get).

How about

9 - Laidlaw
10 - Russell
11 - Visser
12 - Scott
13 - Dunbar
14 - Seymour
15 - Hogg

21 - Pyrgos
22 - Horne/Jackson (Horne preferred as he covers 12 and Maitland already covers 15)
23 - Maitland

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:04 am

tigertattie wrote:
mckay1402 wrote:It's time to bring through some youth at fly half.  we aren't exactly rich in that position so it's got to be time to start bringing through some of the under 20s.  bring Hastings into the squad...

but he hasn't reached his quota on number of professional hours of rugby played on the FES scale!

No, he certainly hasn't!!

I'm just about getting comfortable with the idea of Bradbury getting a start in the AIs, but he has been Edinburgh's standout player in the Pro12 this season.

How many professional rugby matches has Hastings started/featured in this season or last?

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Post by BigGee Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:08 pm

Hastings is no where near ready yet, he gets the odd run off the bench for Bath and plays mainly in the reserves or for Hartbury in the third division.

He is going to have to make some serious career decesions at the end of this season, as he is unlikely ever to break through and get his opportunities at Bath, who will always have the resources to bring in an established player when they need one. He needs regular exposure to a higher level to develop into an international player and I don't think he is ever likely to get that at Bath.

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Post by mckay1402 Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:43 pm

I used Hastings as an example. It could be anyone. The point is that with only two professional sides there are not that many opportunities to bring players through. Hastings will suffer through being at Bath because they will always choose an England qualified player over him (quite rightly). SRU are extremely stubborn and frustrating when it comes to developing new methods and ways of growing the game in Scotland. I would love to see another pro team in the highlands to bring more players through and get exposure otherwise the national team will always struggle to develop them.
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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:09 pm

Money is the problem. Hastings could do with a season at LS before moving into the big time with a club like Newcastle or Gloucester. Either that or he makes the move straight away to a Aviva club.

Hutchinson is starting to get some time at Northampton but he has the problem that he is competing with Mallinder for minutes. Still he has more versatility than Hastings and is making better headway.

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Post by EWT Spoons Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:18 pm

mckay1402 wrote: Today at 13:43

I used Hastings as an example. It could be anyone. The point is that with only two professional sides there are not that many opportunities to bring players through. Hastings will suffer through being at Bath because they will always choose an England qualified player over him (quite rightly). SRU are extremely stubborn and frustrating when it comes to developing new methods and ways of growing the game in Scotland. I would love to see another pro team in the highlands to bring more players through and get exposure otherwise the national team will always struggle to develop them.

Hazel Sapling wrote:Money is the problem. Hastings could do with a season at LS before moving into the big time with a club like Newcastle or Gloucester. Either that or he makes the move straight away to a Aviva club.

Hutchinson is starting to get some time at Northampton but he has the problem that he is competing with Mallinder for minutes. Still he has more versatility than Hastings and is making better headway.

Money and number of players.

Totally agree that the SRU are limited financially to two teams.  With players wages increasing (Hogg on £375k for example) it's going to be tougher and tougher for the SRU to keep Glasgow and....well just Glasgow competitive and Edinburgh making up numbers.

On top of that we don't currently have enough players to fill a 3rd team.  We can list players like Hastings, but he is tied to Bath where he is probably earning a fairly decent wage, a brand new 3rd team couldn't offer him the money he's probably on without making the existing teams weaker, and he's just one player.  A new team would probably cost around £5m per year to run, to keep it inline with the other 2 pro teams, with a squad of c40 players.  Maybe a few years down the line when our academies are cranking out top quality players who are screaming out for regular first team rugby, would a 3rd team be a realistic ambition, but for now the money and playing resource just isn't there to justify it.

Also with the deal the SRU have signed with LS it will give our young players in theory a chance to play regularly in a competitive environment before ultimately staking a place at Glasgow & Edinburgh when they lose players that we can no longer afford to keep.  On paper the SRU have a decent model for player development, could it be better, probably, but for now it's as good as we can realistically expect

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:46 pm

mckay1402 wrote:I used Hastings as an example. It could be anyone. The point is that with only two professional sides there are not that many opportunities to bring players through.  Hastings will suffer through being at Bath because they will always choose an England qualified player over him (quite rightly).  SRU are extremely stubborn and frustrating when it comes to developing new methods and ways of growing the game in Scotland.  I would love to see another pro team in the highlands to bring more players through and get exposure otherwise the national team will always struggle to develop them.

My point would be that it isn't the role of the Scotland team to bring through U20 players. Players in the Scotland squad should be there on merit, and that means proving themselves in the arena of first team professional rugby. If Hastings feels that Bath are holding him back, he should move. Edinburgh only has one useful stand off, and he's NSQ. I more than welcome Hastings to Edinburgh, but he'd no doubt have to accept a pay cut.

Your other points are perfectly valid, however I don't think it's just down to SRU stubbornness. Much has to do with finite resources, and where best to deploy those resources. If the SRU could only tap into the Nicola Sturgeon Fantasy Economics Money Tree, I'm pretty sure we'd have many professional rugby teams, each competing in purpose build stadia and featuring the ideal blend of world class players and SQ players. We know the SRU wanted three teams, but from a financial perspective it didn't work. As a Highlander myself I'd love to see a project to establish professional rugby up north, but deep pockets would be needed to get it up and running.

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Post by bsando Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:25 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
mckay1402 wrote:I used Hastings as an example. It could be anyone. The point is that with only two professional sides there are not that many opportunities to bring players through.  Hastings will suffer through being at Bath because they will always choose an England qualified player over him (quite rightly).  SRU are extremely stubborn and frustrating when it comes to developing new methods and ways of growing the game in Scotland.  I would love to see another pro team in the highlands to bring more players through and get exposure otherwise the national team will always struggle to develop them.

My point would be that it isn't the role of the Scotland team to bring through U20 players. Players in the Scotland squad should be there on merit, and that means proving themselves in the arena of first team professional rugby. If Hastings feels that Bath are holding him back, he should move. Edinburgh only has one useful stand off, and he's NSQ. I more than welcome Hastings to Edinburgh, but he'd no doubt have to accept a pay cut.

Your other points are perfectly valid, however I don't think it's just down to SRU stubbornness. Much has to do with finite resources, and where best to deploy those resources. If the SRU could only tap into the Nicola Sturgeon Fantasy Economics Money Tree, I'm pretty sure we'd have many professional rugby teams, each competing in purpose build stadia and featuring the ideal blend of world class players and SQ players. We know the SRU wanted three teams, but from a financial perspective it didn't work. As a Highlander myself I'd love to see a project to establish professional rugby up north, but deep pockets would be needed to get it up and running.

I'm sure at a grass roots level the SRU could inject some cash into Aberdeen upwards. From Inverness upwards the clubs diminish fast. Thurso and Wick have clubs (Thurso has the old posts from Murrayfield actually) and I think there is one on the west coast too that covers some of that area but otherwise thats about it as far as I know without googling. Football rules all in the highlands currently.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:25 pm

It does not help that my industry, oil and gas, has been destroyed by a massive price drop that is only now starting to show signs of abating. Aberdeen 5 years ago could have supported a team and sponsorship money would have existed. As it is, a new stadium for Edinburgh and expanding Scotstoun should be the near term goals.

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Post by mckay1402 Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:43 pm

I don't agree that it's not the role of the national team to help develop players. It's in the interest of the national team to help develop players.

I'm not getting drawn into political conversation but I don't think this is the place for comments like that.
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Post by BigGee Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:22 am

Well what do we think the Glasgow game last night told us about players international prospects?

To me the performance of the Glasgow pack went a long way to debunk the myth that Edinburgh provide the forwards and Glasgow the backs. Quite a few Glasgow players showed that they are roaring back into form and that they are big game players, which is what you want from an international.

1. The whole front row was excellent. I think Frazer Brown has got a pretty good shout at being the starting hooker now. He is bringing so much more around the pitch than Ford and his set piece is looking very solid to. Zander has surely nailed down the backup spot to Nel, he looks a different player this year and is still only 20 and Gordon Reid looks like he is rising to the challenge once again. I never really saw him as international class, but boy is he playing well at the moment.

2. Any doubts about what Wilson, Strauss and Swinson bring to the party can be put to bed. The physicality they brought to the game last night simply demolished the much lauded Leicester pack.

3. In the backs HP, who has not played that well this season, gave a masterclass in reading the opposition lines. Bennett also showed his class and Nick Grigg suggested that he will be in the mix down the line if he keeps playing this well and gains more experience. Rory Hughes also took his chance well and looks like he has now leapfrogged the venerable Sean in the Glasgow pecking order.

My main worry now may well be just how many players we are going to lose in the international windows! There is certainly going to be some very healthy competition now just to get in the squad.

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Post by RDW Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:33 am

I would have no complaints if there were more Glasgow forwards if they carry on performances like that.

Agreed on Fraser Brown too - selecting Ford at hooker would be a real backwards step.

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Post by BigGee Sat Oct 15, 2016 3:52 pm

The other thing in the news this morning was Morrison saying that Toonie apparently plans to take the Glasgow coaching team, Taylor and McFarland to Scotland with him.

Dave Rennie will then get Humphries and O'Hallrohan with him at Glasgow when he arrives, he apparently, is happy with that arrangement.

Hines is going to go to Montpellier with VC.

Not clear what will happen to Kenny Murray and Mike Blair.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:23 am

bsando wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
mckay1402 wrote:I used Hastings as an example. It could be anyone. The point is that with only two professional sides there are not that many opportunities to bring players through.  Hastings will suffer through being at Bath because they will always choose an England qualified player over him (quite rightly).  SRU are extremely stubborn and frustrating when it comes to developing new methods and ways of growing the game in Scotland.  I would love to see another pro team in the highlands to bring more players through and get exposure otherwise the national team will always struggle to develop them.

My point would be that it isn't the role of the Scotland team to bring through U20 players. Players in the Scotland squad should be there on merit, and that means proving themselves in the arena of first team professional rugby. If Hastings feels that Bath are holding him back, he should move. Edinburgh only has one useful stand off, and he's NSQ. I more than welcome Hastings to Edinburgh, but he'd no doubt have to accept a pay cut.

Your other points are perfectly valid, however I don't think it's just down to SRU stubbornness. Much has to do with finite resources, and where best to deploy those resources. If the SRU could only tap into the Nicola Sturgeon Fantasy Economics Money Tree, I'm pretty sure we'd have many professional rugby teams, each competing in purpose build stadia and featuring the ideal blend of world class players and SQ players. We know the SRU wanted three teams, but from a financial perspective it didn't work. As a Highlander myself I'd love to see a project to establish professional rugby up north, but deep pockets would be needed to get it up and running.

I'm sure at a grass roots level the SRU could inject some cash into Aberdeen upwards. From Inverness upwards the clubs diminish fast. Thurso and Wick have clubs (Thurso has the old posts from Murrayfield actually) and I think there is one on the west coast too that covers some of that area but otherwise thats about it as far as I know without googling. Football rules all in the highlands currently.

Don't forget Orkney. Pretty sure there's a thriving rugby club up there. Still, Aberdeen is the obvious solution for a base, although it would be good if games could be played in Perth and Inverness as well.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:32 am

BigGee wrote:Well what do we think the Glasgow game last night told us about players international prospects?

To me the performance of the Glasgow pack went a long way to debunk the myth that Edinburgh provide the forwards and Glasgow the backs. Quite a few Glasgow players showed that they are roaring back into form and that they are big game players, which is what you want from an international.

1. The whole front row was excellent. I think Frazer Brown has got a pretty good shout at being the starting hooker now. He is bringing so much more around the pitch than Ford and his set piece is looking very solid to. Zander has surely nailed down the backup spot to Nel, he looks a different player this year and is still only 20 and Gordon Reid looks like he is rising to the challenge once again. I never really saw him as international class, but boy is he playing well at the moment.

2. Any doubts about what Wilson, Strauss and Swinson bring to the party can be put to bed. The physicality they brought to the game last night simply demolished the much lauded Leicester pack.

3. In the backs HP, who has not played that well this season, gave a masterclass in reading the opposition lines. Bennett also showed his class and Nick Grigg suggested that he will be in the mix down the line if he keeps playing this well and gains more experience. Rory Hughes also took his chance well and looks like he has now leapfrogged the venerable Sean in the Glasgow pecking order.

My main worry now may well be just how many players we are going to lose in the international windows! There is certainly going to be some very healthy competition now just to get in the squad.


1. Completely agree. Brown is on fire and should start in the AIs, with McInally on the bench. Ford should be made to earn the jersey once more, and can return for the 6 Nations if he can prove his worth. I think Reid and Sutherland are on a par, with Dickinson still first choice when fit. Fagerson is right behind Nel, with Welsh now in 3rd place.

2. A big "yes" to Strauss, he was back to his best. Swinson was as always very consistent and put himself about. I'm not a fan of Wilson, as you may have guessed by now, and for all the good work he does (his work in the build-up to Rory Hughes almost scoring - after Sarto's excellent break - showed his skills ball in hand), he's no openside flanker and he still managed a yellow card. Strauss should be in Scotland colours in the AIs, but I'm still not overly fussed about the other two.

3. Hughes should have been ahead of Lamont for a while. I really like Hughes. Agree on Pyrgos. I don't see Cotter dropping Laidlaw, but Pyrgos is really pushing hard. Bennett is making an already difficult decision re: centres much harder. He reads the game so well. Scott scored again for Glaws, so they could start together.

Don't worry about losing too many players. It'll be a handy excuse to have up your sleeve when Edinburgh delivers its annual festive thrashing to the Great Unwashed.

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