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Post by Highland Shaun on Sun 01 Dec 2019, 11:26 pm

First topic message reminder :

With the 6N fast approaching, I thought I'd be the first to start a thread for it, my team being Scotland because its my nationality lol.

First of all, we know that Danny Wilson won't be coaching as he's off to coach Glasgow plus there are rumours of Matt Taylor the assistant going with Rennie to Australia so that leaves a couple of vacancies available, hopefully after the 6N, the main head coach one will be available too, which I would suspect Richard Cockerill would be the outright fav for, but that's a topic for after the 6N.

So, who would you like to see be in our 6N squad, are there any new caps that are likely, are there any players possibly getting recalls or would we likely see any younger players get a shot.

This is the place to discuss so go ahead 😉.

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Post by bsando on Sun 12 Jan 2020, 5:40 pm

Question. Is Fraser Dingwall Scottish qualified? Or is he hoping to progress with England?

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Post by BigGee on Sun 12 Jan 2020, 6:05 pm

Yes he is, played U18s, then switched to England for u20s

Like a lot of young players in England, would not want to give up their EQ status whilst establishing themselves.

He is a long way down their pecking order, but you would probably say the same for us!

Still someone to keep an eye on.

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Post by RDW on Sun 12 Jan 2020, 7:42 pm

https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/poll/vote-scottish-rugbys-team-of-the-decade/

Interesting to note who gets by far the most votes for coach!

Also, it shows we've capped some absolute Poopie - Peter Murchie, Tom Ryder??

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Post by TJ on Sun 12 Jan 2020, 11:09 pm

RDW wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/poll/vote-scottish-rugbys-team-of-the-decade/

Interesting to note who gets by far the most votes for coach!

Also, it shows we've capped some absolute Poopie - Peter Murchie, Tom Ryder??

It is fun - but who voted for Godman?

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 8:06 am

TJ wrote:
RDW wrote:https://www.scotlandrugbynews.com/poll/vote-scottish-rugbys-team-of-the-decade/

Interesting to note who gets by far the most votes for coach!

Also, it shows we've capped some absolute Poopie - Peter Murchie, Tom Ryder??

It is fun - but who voted for Godman?

You’ll always get a few funny characters thinking they are cool and picking rockets. Like the 20 people who picked Johnson as coach

How in God’s name though is Kevin Bryce topping the poll for hooker and Jack Cuthbert on the Wing? There’s surely something wrong with the algorithm here
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Post by RDW on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 8:49 am

So the 6N squad is announced on Wednesday. Here's my winners and losers from the weekend's games:

Edinburgh


Winners:

Rory Sutherland - not because he was a stand out player as such but he actually got some much needed gametime. There is probably a high chance he will feature at some point this 6N given our lack of options and attritional nature of the tournament. He looks an absolute unit these days - immensely physical but he also looks too heavy and was lumbering round the pitch. He could do with some more sessions on the Watt bike and less bench pressing!

Darcy Graham - he was electric and one of our few bright sparks.

Gilchrist/Toolis - the Edinburgh pack fell apart without them, showing the significant value they bring to the team.


Losers:

Lewis Charmichael - I don't think he is anywhere near Scotland selection, but he will be even further away after that performance. Completely anonymous in open play and was the man in charge of the shambolic lineout display. He is not a big lock and struggles against big packs in slow, stodgy games. He would actually fit better at Glasgow!

Magnus Bradbury - he didn't look overly interested, and had two high profile knock ons, one of which was unforgivable from the kick off straight after we scored. He looks a bit slow on his feet just now and has maybe bulked up too much. He hasn't actually played well at all since coming back from the WC and shouldn't be the guaranteed starter that we were all assuming.

Scott/Bennett partnership - this was their chance to put a marker down and show they are the form pairing for the 6N, but they didn't do it. It really can't help having to implement Hodge's coaching but neither of them posed much thread. Scott trucked things up well though, which has its uses at International level.


Glasgow


Winners:

Zander Fagerson - another top performance against a top class pack. If he can follow this up in the 6N - a brutal environment as a prop - he'll have nailed down the Scotland jersey long term.

Ryan Wilson - I never, ever thought I'd say this but he's put in some real physical shifts lately, none more so than this weekend. With Bradbury looking disinterested there could be life in the old dog yet. He will likely be knackered though after an excessive run of games in a row.

Adam Hastings - an outstanding performance, up there with his best. Varied the play very well, with a particularly good kicking game. He's becoming a very similar player to Russell which certainly helps from a Scottish perspective.

Johnson/Jones - they must have been listening when people were saying the Edinburgh pair had a chance of usurping them. Johnson was back to his effective best and Jones showed he still remember the way to the tryline.

Glenn Bryce - he's nowhere near international calibre, but was definitely more promintent than Hogg!


Loser:

Fraser Brown - I'm being harsh to call it a loser performance, as he was immensely physical, but his discipline once again got the better of him.


Others


Winner:

Hutchinson - put in another strong performance in a poor Saints display. Him and Dingwall (also SQ) are a promising partnership.

Loser:

R Gray - hasn't played in weeks if not months. No idea if he's injured, but I can't imagine he'll be in the squad now.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 9:26 am

RG has concussion apparently, not sure how long he is likely to be out with that. It may rule him out of the initial squad though and with our depth at lock, may mean he needs an I jury to get back in. Having turned down the chance to go to the WC, we don't even know if he still wants to play for Scotland as well.

I think the run of games that Ryan Wilson is having tells its own story. He can't be under the Scotland players rest protocols any more, which suggests he won't be in the squad. That is not a bad thing, as the squad does need freshening up and so some old stalwarts are going to have to step aside. RW has got plenty more rugby in him for Glasgow and at this stage of his career, he can just concentrate on that which is probably his level as he has never really convinced at international level.

In the centres, I think Hutchy, Johnson and Shuggy are nailed on now, all playing well in big games. As for the rest, it depends on how many centres he has in the squad. It would be tough to leave out Harris, who had a decent WC and has been playing well for Gloucester, even if at 30, he is unlikely to make the next WC squad. If he has 5 centres in the squad, then I think Bennett, Scott and Taylor are playing for the final spot and Taylor may get the spot on account of versatility.

Bradbury needs to get his act together, as there are a lot of decent back rows around and Skinner, who is just to good to leave out completely, could easily slot into his BS spot if his mind has gone walkabout again. A few more decent performances from Flockhart could easily see him pressing his case as well.

Second row, I don't think Toolis will be in the squad and Gilchrist is hanging on by a prayer. RG not being fit, not perhaps wanting to play might be to his advantage.

So maybe a squad looking like this:

Kinghorn, Hogg

Graham, Maitland, McGuigan

Hutchinson, Jones, Taylor, Johnson, Harris

Russell, Hastings (Weir on standby)

Price, Horne G, HP

Fagerson Z, Berghan, Nel

Brown, McInally, Turner

Del, Bhatti, Allen/Sutherland hopefully Toonie has a bolter up his sleeve that none of us are expecting!)

Gray J, Cummings, Skinner, Gilchrist, Craig

Ritchie, Watson, Fagerson M, Thompson (though he hardly seems to be playing for Scarlets), Bradbury


That is 33 and so there may be a few others, possibly Weir, Crosby and maybe another centre to take it up to around the 35 mark. You could easily see him asking Dobie along for the experience as well. Its a Toonie squad though, so expect surprises!

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Post by RDW on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 9:42 am

I can't say I agree with the Gilchrist 'hanging on by a thread chat'. Dickinson was talking about this on the Edinburgh podcast - he gets stick in the press but no one seems to appreciate the shear volume of work he puts in outside of his coaches and fellow players. Dickinson said he was in the Edinburgh changing room after the second 1872 game and Gilchrist was a broken man having put in a huge shift - 21 tackles, more than any other player.

Him and Gray have become very similar players - they put in huge shifts but you won't see them breaking tackles with their carries or smashing people in defence. They are too similar to be paired together - one of them should start with Cummings or Skinner and the other on the bench IMO.


Last edited by RDW on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 9:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 9:43 am

I think Steyn may feature amongst the wings as a versatility spot, coaches like him and he can do a relatively decent job there and centre, also was in the WC squad so obviously is in Toonies thoughts, despite not having as good a season this year.

Hoyland could also be a bolter, as he's been having a pretty decent season and we're hardly blessed with SQ options right now.

Taylor, I'd be surprised if Toonie picked him again, given how much it backfired last time due to his lack of fitness. Unfair? Yes, but this will be a "I should still be head coach, I can drop people, see?" selection, part one of saving his Scotland career. Looking at the backroom changes too it may be a Game of Thrones level cull. I expect Scott will take his place, and as I said before Steyn will take the versatility spot. There will be 3 players who can play fullback, I'd imagine Kinghorn will spend the majority of his time on the wing with Hogg at FB then the backline rotates when a centre or wing comes on.

Either way Toonie's redemption or absolute failure begins Wednesday, hoping that it's the former! Will be interesting to see in the long run what systems Tandy puts in place during 2020-21.
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Post by RDW on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 9:48 am

Yeah I'd have Steyn over McGuigan in a heartbeat!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 10:00 am

I also expect Crosbie will feature. I think he's a better option than Bradbury at the moment, although the only downside is that he doesn't play 8. Bradbury sadly looks like he needs to pull his finger out again. Very frustrating to watch his mediocre efforts, especially as it still leaves us desperately lacking at 8. Fagerson Jr hasn't really stuck out either and Thomson is hardly setting the world on fire at Scarlets. Looks like another year where we will struggle for muscle.
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Post by BigGee on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 10:11 am

Yes Steyn may well be a good shout, though I suspect will be in addition to McGuigan who has actually been playing well for Sale. He has turned in to a very steady performer, even if he does lack a bit of Stardust that the best international wingers seem to possess.

Steyn has actually been outstanding in the last few games he has played for Glasgow, after getting caught up in the general malaise that was going on at the beginning of the season.

I would take issue that Fagerson junior has not been standing out either, he was probably our best player in the early part of the season when everyone else was still on holiday. The sending off has put him a bit under the radar as he missed the derby games, but he still deserves to be in the squad.

Thompson is an odd one, as it looks as if he is being frozen out a bit down at the Scarlets, which might suggest he is moving on at the end of the season. I would have him at Glasgow in a heartbeat and I still think he has enough credit in the bank from the WC to stay in the squad.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 10:32 am

Weir needs to be in the sqaud (if he's recovered from his near decapitation the other week)

You simply cannot go into the 6ns with only 2 stand offs. Pete Horne shouldn't be anywhere near the squad, let alone as cover for 10, so please dont even try it jimbo!

It's also time to start to look at the future. Now, you cant just roll in a bunch of kids with no old heads as they start losing and we're back to where we started. There needs to be a blend. Old heads who have younger players just as good as they are need to stand aside. Ryan Wilson is one such player. He may well have been playing well for Glasgow, but time and time agian he's not played well for Scotland so it's time someone else got the run of games.

Adelle seems to be struggling at Irish, Bhatti is playing 2nd fiddle at Edinburgh. We could relly be struggling for looshead props. Come back kyle Traynor, all is forgiven. Not really. What we would give for a Tom Smith or a Al Jacobson eh!

Hooker is Rambo vs Chuckles for who starts and benches.

I think the Ritchie Gray olive branch has been blown away in the wind. I can't see him returning to the fold in future. Cummings is on good form so for me he starts and then it is a toss up between Jonny and Gilchrist for his partner with Sam Skinner on the wings but he's still injured at the moment.

Backrow is a worry. What is Maggie doing? If there's a coach out there who can kick a lazy forward into performing, its cockers, but Maggie jsut isnt firing at all. He could be in danger of becoming the next Adam Ashe and just not living up to his potential.

9 has to be Horne the Competent. Aldi price benching.

10 is Finn. Hastings in reserve

12. Go one, pick someone, I dare you.

13 on current goings is a toos up between Huw Who (seems to be coming back into his game) and Hutchinson. Of course you could go full Townsend and have Hutch at 12 with Huw at 13.

Wings are No Maits and The Hawick pixie

15 is Hogg but Blairhorn breathing down his neck
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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 11:22 am

I see the U20s drew 14-14 against the mighty Ayrshire bulls. Grandslam material! picard
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Post by RDW on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 11:31 am

I can see it being a long tournament for our under 20s.

All that matters is we get back to the top table for the next World Cup - hopefully the 6N isn't too much of a disaster!

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Post by BigGee on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 11:47 am

Actually for a first hit out for a scratch team, that is not so bad.

They always used to have a run out against the club international team as part of their build up, which was also a thrown together team. The Bulls play together regularly and at a decent standard.

You'd hope the U20s will improve as they get more familiar with each other, but they always do struggle at this level.

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Post by bsando on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 1:57 pm

To add to your list RDW, Marfo started at loosehead for Ospreys vs Saracens. Don't know how he got on but in the highlights he pops up a few times. Dell didn't feature for Irish against Bayonne.

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Post by RDW on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 2:01 pm

Marfo has around 40 minutes of pro rugby in the last year before his recent move - it's great he's getting time at the Ospreys but we're really in trouble if we need him for Scotland this 6N.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 2:33 pm

RDW wrote:Marfo has around 40 minutes of pro rugby in the last year before his recent move - it's great he's getting time at the Ospreys but we're really in trouble if we need him for Scotland this 6N.

When it comes to loosehead we are really in trouble anyway!

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Post by BigGee on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 3:15 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:Marfo has around 40 minutes of pro rugby in the last year before his recent move - it's great he's getting time at the Ospreys but we're really in trouble if we need him for Scotland this 6N.

When it comes to loosehead we are really in trouble anyway!


Unfortunately very true

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 3:23 pm

Could Berghan do a job at loosehead a la Jon Welsh interchange style? He's quite good in the loose (even if he is a bit of a butterfingers) and seemed to do okay there when he had to fill in. I'm not sure of the technicalities as my only experience of the front row is playing hooker for school over 10 years ago... but we've had a couple of players who seem to fare okay on both sides. I'd rather have someone who is playing than someone who has to shake the rust off against Ireland. I know Dell has played a couple of games for Irish but that's hardly a ringing endorsement.
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Post by RDW on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 3:36 pm

That's a good point - he prepared all summer so must have done a lot of work in it.

Filling in as an emergency is very different from playing in the 6N though!

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Post by reallybored on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 3:38 pm

tigertattie wrote:Backrow is a worry. What is Maggie doing? If there's a coach out there who can kick a lazy forward into performing, its cockers, but Maggie jsut isnt firing at all. He could be in danger of becoming the next Adam Ashe and just not living up to his potential.

His issue seems to be drifting out of games but I don't think that's entirely his fault. At blindside he's having to do more of the grunt work than he would if he was at 8, so he shows up less often in the ways we'd want to see him, i.e. running over people.

Whereas when played at 8 for Scotland against England he was our top carrier, wasn't able to drift out of the game because at 8 you're constantly involved; whether it's kick receipts or the back of the scrum.

It's maddening that he doesn't move to 8 whenever Mata isn't on the pitch, why play Barclay there ahead of him?

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Post by RDW on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 3:42 pm

reallybored wrote:
tigertattie wrote:Backrow is a worry. What is Maggie doing? If there's a coach out there who can kick a lazy forward into performing, its cockers, but Maggie jsut isnt firing at all. He could be in danger of becoming the next Adam Ashe and just not living up to his potential.

His issue seems to be drifting out of games but I don't think that's entirely his fault. At blindside he's having to do more of the grunt work than he would if he was at 8, so he shows up less often in the ways we'd want to see him, i.e. running over people.

Whereas when played at 8 for Scotland against England he was our top carrier, wasn't able to drift out of the game because at 8 you're constantly involved; whether it's kick receipts or the back of the scrum.

It's maddening that he doesn't move to 8 whenever Mata isn't on the pitch, why play Barclay there ahead of him?
Yeah that happened when Mata went off at the weekend on 25 minutes - Barclay played 8. He's even less dynamic these days - Bradbury should have moved across.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 3:56 pm

I'd disagree - it's still possible to make your presence felt at 6, look no further than Ritchie (or Barclay the younger) to see that. Also Crosbie made more of an impact at 6 than Bradbury did. The number on your back shouldn't be an excuse. Backrows are so interchangable now, the only difference with 8 is that they're bigger and generally are better footballers and should be leading the charge through the lines. This is what we saw with Johnnie Beattie 10 years ago, which he sadly failed to replicate, and in 2015 with Denton (more of the charging, less of the footballing skills). Don't get me wrong, Bradbury has shown he can do it, but people like Crosbie have somewhat shown him up in terms of effort and yards made.

If you look at the Vunipolas, the Matas, Picamoles etc etc, their impact is that they can make the yards and distract the defence whilst having the savy to offload to unleash a sharper attack on the outside. Our only player who seems to pull that off is Cummings at the moment, and maybe Skinner (although the 6Ns will probably be too soon). Thomson has the footballing skills, Bradbury has the bulk, neither of them have really put it to good use and have been outshone by others in the backrow most of the time. 2 players making a nuisance of themselves in the tight for 80 minutes isn't enough to trouble the defence, you need all 3. We either need to find a cohesive unit who are a collective bugger to play against, or we need a massive totem of an 8. That's probably why Ryan Wilson has got away with being Scotland's 8 for so long and has managed to be a part of our successes despite not being a particularly good 8 beyond club.
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Post by reallybored on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 8:10 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:I'd disagree - it's still possible to make your presence felt at 6, look no further than Ritchie (or Barclay the younger) to see that. Also Crosbie made more of an impact at 6 than Bradbury did. The number on your back shouldn't be an excuse. Backrows are so interchangable now, the only difference with 8 is that they're bigger and generally are better footballers and should be leading the charge through the lines. This is what we saw with Johnnie Beattie 10 years ago, which he sadly failed to replicate, and in 2015 with Denton (more of the charging, less of the footballing skills). Don't get me wrong, Bradbury has shown he can do it, but people like Crosbie have somewhat shown him up in terms of effort and yards made.

Crosbie definitely shows up more in the loose, but that's a skill in itself knowing where to be to carry the ball and maybe Bradbury isn't great at it, plus he's probably more athletic too.  

But maybe Bradbury needs to be a 8 to demonstrate his carrying, there's no doubt he's a powerful carrier and if he's at 8 he'll get his hands on the ball more.

NeilyBroon wrote:If you look at the Vunipolas, the Matas, Picamoles etc etc, their impact is that they can make the yards and distract the defence whilst having the savy to offload to unleash a sharper attack on the outside. Our only player who seems to pull that off is Cummings at the moment, and maybe Skinner (although the 6Ns will probably be too soon). Thomson has the footballing skills, Bradbury has the bulk, neither of them have really put it to good use and have been outshone by others in the backrow most of the time. 2 players making a nuisance of themselves in the tight for 80 minutes isn't enough to trouble the defence, you need all 3. We either need to find a cohesive unit who are a collective bugger to play against, or we need a massive totem of an 8. That's probably why Ryan Wilson has got away with being Scotland's 8 for so long and has managed to be a part of our successes despite not being a particularly good 8 beyond club.

I disagree, Watson and Ritchie are both great at the breakdown, plus McInally and Brown are both effective.  We desperately need to get someone to get us going forward, and he's the only guy we've got who's big enough to do the job 6'4 / 18st.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 8:42 pm

Unfortunately in the modern game, it is not enough just to be a great carrier of the ball. Jonny Beatie could do that, so could Josh Strauss but it did not cover up the other limitations in their games.

At international level, players need to be on it for every minute they are on the pitch and increasingly, you need your number 8 to be able to do an 80 minute stint. That was Strauss undoing, especially as he got a bit older and JB also was not always keen on getting his hands dirty and on doing the less glamorous sides of the job.

Look at Vinapolo, Picamoles or Paraise in his prime, they just go non stop for the whole game, never seem to need to catch their breath. Every time the ball is kicked long, they are back to catch it and run it back.

Bradbury is good when when the ball sits up for him, but he still does not go looking for work the way that the best back row carriers do. He may well be at a bit of a cross roads in his career, he had a decent WC, by Scotland standards and needs to push on. Fagerson does not have his physical attributes but beats him head over heals for workrate and coaches like that!

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Post by reallybored on Mon 13 Jan 2020, 9:39 pm

BigGee wrote:Unfortunately in the modern game, it is not enough just to be a great carrier of the ball. Jonny Beatie could do that, so could Josh Strauss but it did not cover up the other limitations in their games.

At international level, players need to be on it for every minute they are on the pitch and increasingly, you need your number 8 to be able to do an 80 minute stint. That was Strauss undoing, especially as he got a bit older and JB also was not always keen on getting his hands dirty and on doing the less glamorous sides of the job.

Look at Vinapolo, Picamoles or Paraise in his prime, they just go non stop for the whole game, never seem to need to catch their breath. Every time the ball is kicked long, they are back to catch it and run it back.

Bradbury is good when when the ball sits up for him, but he still does not go looking for work the way that the best back row carriers do. He may well be at a bit of a cross roads in his career, he had a decent WC, by Scotland standards and needs to push on. Fagerson does not have his physical attributes but beats him head over heals for workrate and coaches like that!
Agree with that, Fagerson would be great off the bench.


Dell, McInally, Nel, Skinner, Gray, Ritchie, Watson, Bradbury
Price, Russell, Maitland, Johnson, Jones, Graham, Hogg

Brown, Sutherland, Fagerson, Cummings, Fagerson, Horne, Hutchinson, Kinghorn

The majority of points in a test match are scored in the last 10 minutes, with that bench we could be lethal in the final quarter.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 7:31 am

We need to be careful of ruling players out for what they can't do, and ignoring what they can. But I also take the point that every pack needs 80 minute men, and I would agree that Bradbury often isn't busy enough. Cockerill is the right coach for him, however, and I do think he could work well at 8 with Ritchie and Watson on the flanks.

I rate Fagerson, he is a better player than Wilson ever was, and he has a wonderful engine. But if it's ball carrying at international level you want then I don't think he'll make a huge impact. Much more potential in Bradbury.

8 is certainly an issue for us, and ball carrying in general. Particularly if McInally is side lined. Brown is a better breakdown player, but you lose McInally ball in hand.

I suspect Blade will start with Bradbury benching. Watson and Ritchie completing the back row.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 8:18 am

Agree. The burgeoning issue is that Bradbury only seems to show up off of the bench. He just doesnt have his head in it if hes on from kick-off.

Thomson does a job but I think, like Strauss, has come into Scotland a bit too late, plus after a lot of injuries. He isnt the long term solution.

Its worth remembering Matt Fagerson is only 21 as well and Bradbury is 24, though arguably that means maggie should be heading towards his best years. Fagerson needs more time to develop, I still prefer Bradbury but F Jr also shows good promise. If his brother is anything to go by, his best is yet to come. Hes still over 17 stone as well so is not wee by any stretch! The reality is we dont have 20 stone freaks like Vunipola in Scotland so we need to be going for units over pure size.
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Post by RDW on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 8:45 am

So who is going to nail tattie's stones to the mast and make a call on captain?

The Scotland rugby Facebook group (nowhere near as bad as the Glasgow one but similar themes) have been getting all excited about Hogg being captain, which I think is a really bad idea. He's needing to just concentrate on his game just now, plus fullback isn't a good position for a modern captain to be. I also don't think he has the temperament for it just now.

I suspect it will be McInally again if he's fit, but it's hardly a ringing endorsement given he was dropped in our last game. We've all said we would love it if someone young like Ritchie was given it but I just can't see it happening.

J Gray is probably on the shortlist but for me he just isn't captain material.

The most natural leader still available for selection is Wilson, but that certainly wouldn't represent a step to the future!

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Post by BigGee on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 8:58 am

Ritchie for me, could end up being our Sam Warburton. He has got a presence on the rugby field that others seem to lack.

He showed a lot of leadership in the WC, unlike some of our designated leaders.

Hoggy and Gray are not good ideas, wrong position and wrong temperament. McInally probably should not be starting on form and Wilson's time has come and gone.

With Ritchie I think if you are good enough, you are old enough and he has now proved himself good enough.

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Post by RDW on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 9:08 am

I would have no issues at all if it was Ritchie - I'd be delighted - I just can't see it happening.

Problem is he's not even a guaranteed starter at Edinburgh never mind Scotland! He hasn't actually had a great deal of gametime for Edinburgh this season, although he has had a few small injuries.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 9:11 am

I think Toonie may pull a last tombola and go with Russell as captain. Prepare for a cat herding a box of cats.
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Post by BigGee on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 9:38 am

NeilyBroon wrote:I think Toonie may pull a last tombola and go with Russell as captain. Prepare for a cat herding a box of cats.

How is he meant to communicate with the ref? The rest of his team struggle to understand him!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 9:59 am

BigGee wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:I think Toonie may pull a last tombola and go with Russell as captain. Prepare for a cat herding a box of cats.

How is he meant to communicate with the ref? The rest of his team struggle to understand him!

Well we've got Mathieu Raynal first game. He can practice his French that he's clearly been working on at Racing...
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Post by tigertattie on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 11:34 am

Oi! Leave my stones be!

Bru's stone is the one you want to be targetting!!!

Anyhoo

Ritchie is a good shout. Jsut seems to be a natural leader. However, he did seem to be boiling over a bit at the WC which while great, if he is captain he'll either blow up or he'll go the other why and calm down too much which could impact his game.

McInally is another that when made captain seems to reduce his intensity so I dont think he'll be given the armband again.

Jonny is a shout as being captain may do the opposite for him and give him a bit fire in his belly. Such a talented player but he's just, well, not soft, but he's not gnarling away trying to tear opposition apart.

So, Bru's stone to the mast, my pick for captain, Sean Maitland.

You heard it hear first.
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Post by RDW on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 11:36 am

Bru's stones are no longer his property now that he's engaged - it had to be someone else!

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Post by EWT Spoons on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 11:59 am

For me it should be Ritchie.

He's had ample captain experience through age grades and unless something significant changes, the no. 6 shirt is pretty much nailed on him. Other than mandated rest periods or injury (which has occurred a few times this season) he's trusted by Cockers, especially in the big games, so is likely to be playing alongside Watson for most the season.

Of the other options, Hogg's been tried before and it didn't really work, same with J. Gray, McInally possibly isn't suited either and I'm not sure Watson is really captain material either. There's no one else in the team who is really assured of their place in the starting 15.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 12:51 pm

It's a shame we don't have any centres nailed on, an Eck figure would be an ideal captain whilst allowing the forwards to do their job (let's face it, they need as much pressure taken off of them as possible).

Ritchie is the best option for lack of options and has captaining experience. The only other I can think of is GG but he's not a nailed starter, although could become one if his captaincy and leadership proves valuable?
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Post by tigertattie on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 1:06 pm

Ok, whats our list of absolute nailed on starters (barring injury)

I'd say it's:
Dell
Nel
Ritchie
Waston
Finn
Maitland
Darcy
Hogg

So thats who we/Toonie have to choose from.
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Post by RDW on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 1:08 pm

I reckon the only nailed on from that list are Watson, Finn and Hogg! Could probably reasonably say J Gray is too.

That doesn't mean it has to be a nailed on starter - there isn't much to choose from between certain players (McInally and Brown for example) and captaincy might be the reason to pick them.

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Post by bsando on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 1:09 pm

I’m really set on the idea of Gray being captain. He wants to achieve more at the highest level as he disclosed in various interviews regarding his move to Exeter Chiefs. He has it in him I think and it may be the nudge he needs to help him on the journey ahead. Ritchie would be a good option too, I think he can be bit of a hot head though. If he could reduce that part of his game he would be a brilliant candidate. Hogg should be nowhere near captaincy.

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Post by Tramptastic on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 1:18 pm

There's nowt wrong with Gray being captain. Gray isn't a flash player, he tackles and hits rucks for 80 minutes, his basics are excellent. What's important is he's well respected, is a natural leader in the Glasgow squad and he gets picked for his work rate and doing the basics well. Gray doesn't really drop off form, he just keeps going. Very Paul O'Connell-ish.

What you have to look at is who is his main rival for the shirt. As has been mentioned previously the player most similar to Gray is Gilchrist. Whether you prefer one over t'other is probably based on your pro-team bias. You aren't going to replace Gray with Cummings, Skinner or Toolis, they are players who would partner him in the row.

Gray won't get dropped for Gilchrist unless he gets injured so pick Gray for Captain to Make Scottish Rugby Great Again!

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 1:22 pm

Gray is just too quiet. He doesn't have the conversational/persuasion skills of Barclay with the ref, nor the authority/seniority that Laidlaw held with the players. The best route for Gray would be to lead by example, the Jason White style captain. The thing is he's just not got that bloody mindedness. Ritchie is cut from the same cloth but has that aggression, and I think captaincy would do him good and teach him more control of the aggression. If we're going with the upping their game argument you may as well give it to Bradbury!

Maitland is too laid back to be captain but he knows the game bloody well so I expect him to take a leadership role in the backs.

Anyway we all know Toonie will put bantsman of aldershot in charge.
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Post by RDW on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 1:55 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:Gray is just too quiet. He doesn't have the conversational/persuasion skills of Barclay with the ref, nor the authority/seniority that Laidlaw held with the players. The best route for Gray would be to lead by example, the Jason White style captain. The thing is he's just not got that bloody mindedness. Ritchie is cut from the same cloth but has that aggression, and I think captaincy would do him good and teach him more control of the aggression. If we're going with the upping their game argument you may as well give it to Bradbury!

Maitland is too laid back to be captain but he knows the game bloody well so I expect him to take a leadership role in the backs.

Anyway we all know Toonie will put bantsman of aldershot in charge.
This

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 2:18 pm

Ritchie, 100%. He's going to be a long term feature in the Scotland side so has plenty of time to grow into the role and give us some continuity at captain for the foreseeable. As biggee says, much in the way Sam Warburton did for Wales. Make it happen please Toonie!

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 2:29 pm

I worry that Townsend is about to make the same mistake that Robinson made in 2012. Picking the same players that underplayed at the World Cup expecting a different result in the Six Nations. If I recall correctly it was 2011-2012 that Greig Laidlaw, Harry Leonard, Matt Scott, Lee Jones, Tim Visser, Tom Brown, Grant Gilchrist and David Denton were carving it up in Europe. I remember at the time thinking they were going to be the future. In fairness to Andy Robinson it didn't turn out like that. However there was no doubt that the form players going into the 2012 Six Nations were not the ones who were picked. When the defeat to Italy came through I was at the Eiffel Tower, the signal was terrible and I was thoroughly depressed, the temptation to throw my phone off the top was enormous when the final score was confirmed.
It depends whether Townsend is too arrogant or too cautious to admit that Horne and Harris is not the way to go in the centre, to bring Gray back into the fold (if Gray wants back), to bring Jones back into the fold, to admit that he has to change his tactics.
I am terminally optimistic about Scotland, I think we have an opportunity in this tournament. Wales and Ireland are changing their coach for the first time in years, one to an untried coach at international level and one to an untried head coach full-stop. Italy are, well, Italy. France are bringing a group of supremely talented but inexperienced players to Murrayfield where no French side has won in years. England coming to Murrayfield is always a bit different, the last three games have been extraordinary. What's more our best players are on form if Townsend will just pick them: George Horne is scoring tries, Finn Russell is playing brilliantly in Paris, Hutchinson and Jones are both playing very, very well for their sides, Graham and Maitland are both scoring tries. Our pack is weaker, we have no decent looseheads but at hooker MacInally is quality on his day and Brown is playing well, Fagerson looks close to fulfilling his potential. At lock, Skinner, the Grays, Cummings and Gilchrist is not a bad pool to choose from. In the back-row we are a tad bare but between Ritchie, Watson, Bradbury and Thomson there's the makings of a good starting side and a bench option. In short "if" we get things right and in it's context (i.e this is Scotland we're talking about and it is rugby so...) it could be a very good year if Townsend can move past the ridiculous halfway house between kicking and running from anywhere at the world cup and if the new coaches work quickly.
The captaincy issue is a difficult one, Ritchie or Jonny Gray would be the long term pick but I wouldn't say either is 100% guaranteed nailed on to start. In fact I'd say a big part of our problem is perhaps that our best players are not our big characters. Russell, above and beyond the fact that he is Finn Russell, is too laid back plays fly-half so is not a natural captain, Hogg is probably too far from the action, Maitland is probably a combination of the two. MacInally as captain has not really worked.

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Post by R!skysports on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 2:33 pm

RDW wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:Gray is just too quiet. He doesn't have the conversational/persuasion skills of Barclay with the ref, nor the authority/seniority that Laidlaw held with the players. The best route for Gray would be to lead by example, the Jason White style captain. The thing is he's just not got that bloody mindedness. Ritchie is cut from the same cloth but has that aggression, and I think captaincy would do him good and teach him more control of the aggression. If we're going with the upping their game argument you may as well give it to Bradbury!

Maitland is too laid back to be captain but he knows the game bloody well so I expect him to take a leadership role in the backs.

Anyway we all know Toonie will put bantsman of aldershot in charge.
This

However, with these people before, it did not seem to work too well with refs so far, so lets give it to Gray

Even Barcly did nt really seem to have much affinity with refs....

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Post by 123456789. on Tue 14 Jan 2020, 2:59 pm

I think this whole affinity with the ref is a bit of a myth. Undoubtedly some players are better than others. But broadly speaking if you are losing a game, you tend to be under pressure, when you are under pressure you cough up penalties, when you are coughing up penalties then you have more negative interactions with the referee. More often than not when we've played in the Six Nations we have been behind. We need someone who can handle that pressure and negate it worst effects in conversation with referees as opposed to somebody who compounds it. Ross Ford was once our most experienced nailed on starter and I've rarely seen anyone handle a referee worse. Gray was not a great captain with Glasgow but he was very young at the time. He may be the right person for now. Ritchie seems hotheaded. I don't think the comparisons with Warburton are particularly apposite. Simply put, he is not as good. If we are going to talk about him as the long term option he is not one of those players you can say with any degree of certainty will be starting in the long term.

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