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Scotland 2020 Internationals

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Post by bsando on Sun 23 Aug 2020, 4:02 pm

With club rugby in Europe back up and running I thought it might be time to begin a new International thread.

Scotland's Upcoming 2020 International Fixtures

Warm Up

Scotland vs Georgia 23rd October BT Murrayfield (KO TBC)

6 Nations

Wales vs Scotland 31st October 2.15pm KO (venue TBC)

Eight Nations Tournament pool games

Italy vs Scotland November 14th November 12.45pm KO (Venue TBC)

Scotland vs France 22nd November 3pm KO BT Murrayfield

Scotland vs Fiji 28th November 1.45pm KO BT Murrayfield

December 5th Eight Nations play-off matches (1st vs 1st, 2nd vs 2nd, 3rd vs 3rd, 4th vs 4th)


Last edited by bsando on Wed 16 Sep 2020, 7:19 am; edited 4 times in total

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Post by bsando on Sun 23 Aug 2020, 4:14 pm

From the first round of fixtures several Scots have played well. Harris looked like he had a very good game for Gloucester vs Bristol scoring a try and making a fine break later in the game for an assist. Elsewhere Hogg did what he does for Exeter and Gray has looked solid so farl. CHH and Maitland were part of the Sarries side that beat top hopeful Quins. Lang was playing at 12 for that Quins side. Weir and CDP started for Worcester who featured a young and inexperienced side who were well defeated by Wasps. McGuigan played for Sale and they lost to Exeter.

The 1872 Cup was won by Edinburgh and several players stood out while others looked rusty.

Looking ahead, several players are coming into contention for Scotland caps. Among them are Kebble, VDW, DVDM and possibly Sheil who had a brilliant cameo off the bench in the 1872 Cup. If the Georgia fixture goes ahead I think we may see a few of these guys featuring in that match from the bench or starting.

Then there is the Russell question, will he be back in the squad and starting ahead of the steadily improving Hastings?

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 11:45 am

The thing to remember is this this is going to be a string of 6 matches which will be hard on the squad.

The georgia game is a warm up but in reality you'll want this game to tinker with a set squad to be used in the next 5 games to get them up and running. Its not very likely that this will be a game where a full "B" team is used to rest the A players

While this "8 Nations" are considered more friendlies than anything, there are still ranking points up for grams before the next world cup draw. The games cant be taken lightly so the coachs are going to have to really earn thier bread here looking after the squad, not buring them out but also not under cooking them or facing heavy defeats.
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Post by BigGee on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 12:43 pm

i actually like the idea that a few players who might be pushing to be in the squad or the starting line up will get their chances. Players like Hutch, Bennett and Jones for instance will get their chances and give Toonie some food for thought prior to next seasons 6N. He will have to run a much larger squad than usual and no-one is going to be playing in all the games.

It is a bit of a one off, but their may be some benefits to it.

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Post by bsando on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 1:53 pm

I see a lot of benefits from the make shift tournament. Usually Scotland have a good time in the Autumn only to fall flat in the 6N. So this run of games is a great way to build a bit of confidence or at least learn a bit more about their NH rivals only a few months out from the 2021 6N.

Then there is the Lions factor and the opportunity to present a case for inclusion. That doesn't just include the players, Toonie might lose out to Scott Robertson if Gatland thinks Toonie isn't up the task as Attack Coach (which I think he is in poll position for in terms of NH coaches). A strong run of results would certainly put pressure on Gatland to select Townsend as his attack coach.

I am most looking forward to the Scotland vs Japan rematch though, I just hope we can get a crowd for it so I can go!

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 3:46 pm

The Japan game will be a cracker.

Will Japan still be W/C competitive or has the bubble burst? If they run us close, lose narrowly to France and beat Italy then I'd say Japan are still up there.

If we beat them resonably well as do France and if they cant beat italy then the Blossom bubble will have been burst.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 24 Aug 2020, 9:47 pm

You’ll probably do Wales this year tbh. Our defence is the worst in world rugby, and we’ve lost our home advantage. It all depends if Wales can raise the old spirits of Wembley (should it be hosted there).

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Post by bsando on Tue 25 Aug 2020, 10:38 am

I consider Japan as permanently in the top 10 now with their flourishing, cash rich domestic league. They have a lot more going for them than a lot of the more established rugby nations and should be giving us and the other home nations a hard time every time they meet. I think they'll still be a good side come November but they did have that very good RWC preparation. So it would be good to see their star players at the same level and if they'll still be causing defences huge problems.

I'm not sure about Wales, I think they'll come good soon under Pivac. Scarlets looked very good at the weekend so I guess we'll see. Recent history would suggest an easy win for Wales though as much as that pains me to say.


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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 25 Aug 2020, 11:27 am

We really ought to be targeting all five of those games.

Georgia and Italy should be the simpler games. Georgia will probably require the first team to try and get combinations in sync for Wales. Italy away should be a chance to get Turner, Crosbie and VDW involved. These games are non-negotiable wins.

Japan and France are tough home games. Japan were fantastically prepared for the home RWC and found a style that worked in the heat. Playing in Scotland in November after a weird few months is going to be quite different. France we split games by location (we win at home, they win at home). If we lose one of these games tightly, that is acceptable but ideally we should be winning close games at home.

Wales are in a transition period in terms of coaching and star players at the end of their primes. As Scotland has finally settled into having depth at almost every position (starting no. 8 and back-up to the starting flankers are the exceptions), we should really be beating Wales. I assume prize money is still up for grabs and this game could be worth a £1 million at a time when we could use the money.

I think if we get 4 from 5, that should be the minimum. Two of the difficult games are at home and the other is in neutral territory.

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Post by bsando on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 11:48 am

In terms of a squad I think we'll be looking at something close to this. Who would you like to see involved?

LH - Kebble, Sutherland, Dell
H - McInally, Brown, Turner
TH - Nel, Fagerson, Berghan
SR - Gray x2, GG, Cummings, Craig, CHH
BR - Watson, Ritchie, Haining, Bradbury, Gordon, Crosbie, Skinner, Thomson
SH - Horne, Price, Sheil, Christie (go on Toonie, get him over here for a few months!!)
FH - Russell, Hastings, VDW
C - Bennett, Johnson, Jones, Harris, Lang, Hutchinson
B3 - DVDM, Maitland, Hogg, Graham, Kinghorn, Steyn

That's a squad of 42

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Post by RDW on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 12:11 pm

MOTM from SHC last night too - I'm just watching the game and he played well. Very much central to everything.and got a good try. If he can't regain his mojo in that environment he never will!

I think he's better off getting a run of games though given how disrupted his career has been the last 2 years, but if there ends up being a proper international window I can see him being in the mix.

The Exeter 9 short is very much up for grabs too.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 12:30 pm

Craig has not played since lockdown so both need to do something. Hutchinson has some credit in the bank. Craig has to prove he is better than McDonald, Davidson, Hodgeson (who did not look out of place) and Henderson who are all getting time.

Would drop Lang and put Scott into centre. Lang has done nothing wrong but Scott is better and has more credit.

McGuigan has been playing well for Sale and is getting a starting place whilst competing with Yarde and Solomona. He should get in ahead of Steyn. Tagive had a good game against Edinburgh before his going into touch right before coming off and is liked by the Scotland set up. Any of the three would be fine for me

Does CDP or Graham get a look in over Thomson or Craig (swap Skinner back to SR)?


Last edited by Hazel Sapling on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 1:42 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Disproven on Dell and Hutchinson who played on the weekend against each other)

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Post by RDW on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 12:34 pm

Dell and Hutchinson played almost a full game last round...

Hutchinson seems to have dropped down the Northampton pecking order though as he's dropped with the full team back playing again in the game coming up.

Dell will probably be in the squad as we don't really have anyone else!

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 1:41 pm

RDW wrote:Dell and Hutchinson played almost a full game last round...

Hutchinson seems to have dropped down the Northampton pecking order though as he's dropped with the full team back playing again in the game coming up.

Dell will probably be in the squad as we don't really have anyone else!

Missed that Dell and Hutchinson started at the weekend. Edited

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Post by BigGee on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 6:26 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:
RDW wrote:Dell and Hutchinson played almost a full game last round...

Hutchinson seems to have dropped down the Northampton pecking order though as he's dropped with the full team back playing again in the game coming up.

Dell will probably be in the squad as we don't really have anyone else!

Missed that Dell and Hutchinson started at the weekend. Edited

Hutch played really well for the Saints, made the Sky team of the week. I think they are just rotating, like everyone else.

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Post by RDW on Wed 26 Aug 2020, 11:22 pm

They are definitely rotating but typically teams are rotating between their first team and reserves - Hutchinson so far has been picked in the reserves team.

Over Piers Francis of all people!

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Post by bsando on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 9:51 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:Craig has not played since lockdown so both need to do something. Hutchinson has some credit in the bank. Craig has to prove he is better than McDonald, Davidson, Hodgeson (who did not look out of place) and Henderson who are all getting time.

Would drop Lang and put Scott into centre. Lang has done nothing wrong but Scott is better and has more credit.

McGuigan has been playing well for Sale and is getting a starting place whilst competing with Yarde and Solomona. He should get in ahead of Steyn. Tagive had a good game against Edinburgh before his going into touch right before coming off and is liked by the Scotland set up. Any of the three would be fine for me

Does CDP or Graham get a look in over Thomson or Craig (swap Skinner back to SR)?

I think I would argue that Scott is a different player to Lang and it depends how Townsend wants to develop the squad. I saw an interview with Lang recently. He said he doesn't want to just be a Scottish two cap wonder. So in his mind at least he's pushing hard at Quins to get back into that Scotland squad. Johnson is clearly holding the 12 jersey at the moment then second choice is probably Hutchinson. So that third inside centre spot is up for grabs now that Peter Horne is effectively out of the picture. Wether that is McDowall, Lang, Scott, Dean or even the outcasted Dunbar (doubtful) will be interesting to see moving forwards. Heading into the 6 Nations I thought Scott was looking very good and he was 3rd choice, but he didn't get a chance to make the match day squad.

Du Preez probably should be ahead of Thomson still. Thomson hasn't played in a long time while Du Preez is in good form. He even got a try last night against Quins actually. So I agree he should be ahead of Thomson. I still think Thomson has a future with Scotland if he can get back to his best form at club level. It's funny that our best no.8 recently has been Nick Haining who is probably nowhere near an athlete as Bradbury or Fagerson but just has the doggedness required for NH rugby and a very good arial and offloading game.

McGuigan has done some good stuff for Scotland but has also done some not so good stuff. I think DVDM effectively pushes him out while Graham, Maitland and Kinghorn will definitely be involved. Steyn hasn't played yet true, but I still think he'll be ahead of McGuigan because he can cover centre, FB and wing. I think of Tagive as a back up in case of emergency winger. He looks like he should be awesome but I haven't seen him go on any barn storming runs or do anything particularly spectacular for Glasgow. Just a solid option who adds to Scotland's depth in a way (as harsh as that sounds).

Second row looks really good at the moment, especially with CHH getting regular game time at Sarries and others coming through and being back in the fold. If there was an injury crisis suddenly we'd still have a fit and available Tim Swinson as well which isn't too bad for 8th/9th choice. I want to see more of Craig and have no idea how he is doing but he seems a good prospect.

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Post by bsando on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 11:31 am

Not related to us, but I noticed Wales have scrapped their sevens team and England have scrapped funding for theirs. I sincerely hope the SRU don’t follow the same path, it’s too valuable an asset for player development. I think Dodson knows this though and although he has his critics I think he is doing a very good job during this difficult time.

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Post by BigGee on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 3:04 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/53935898

As predicted, Georgia being lined up to replace Japan in the 8N this autumn.

It will mean though that we will likely need another opponent for our warm up game, assuming we can find one.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 3:45 pm

At least you guys get a warm-up game...

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 10:27 am

mikey_dragon wrote:At least you guys get a warm-up game...

Wales are trying to play France away the week before, apparently.

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Post by demosthenes on Sun 30 Aug 2020, 5:28 pm

BigGee wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/53935898

As predicted, Georgia being lined up to replace Japan in the 8N this autumn.


It will mean though that we will likely need another opponent for our warm up game, assuming we can find one.

Now moves to get South Africa on board to replace Japan. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/53968069

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 02 Sep 2020, 12:46 pm

South Africa would make things more even between the group in terms of rankings

Really would prefer for the 8 Nations to bring in Georgia though and leave SANZAAR alone. Georgia need to be getting games against Tier 1 nations to kick on.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 02 Sep 2020, 1:04 pm

I think it is going to be pretty optimistic bringing SA in.

They are going to have to have a pretty complicated quarantine process to go through and they will likely be seriously undercooked, as they have not played any rugby for a while.

I suspect they will carry on with their existing plans to play the rugby championship in NZ in November and the smart money will still be on Georgia coming in.

I tend to agree with Hazel as well, that would be a better option, with Georgia getting their chance.

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Post by bsando on Thu 03 Sep 2020, 8:33 am

I'd also rather see Georgia involved in this tournament. It sends a poor message when they've been the ones knocking on the door to be involved with the 6 Nations for many years now.

Hopefully it can all go ahead with fans or behind closed doors, including Scotland vs Wales. So much could change in the next few months in terms of Covid-19 and autumn and winter approaching.

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Post by bsando on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 12:52 pm

https://www.allblacks.com/news/all-blacks-squad-named-for-2020-investec-rugby-championship

All Blacks squad does NOT include Finlay Christie. Brad Weber is the third choice scrum half. It was a long shot Christie would have been called up but that means he could feasibly be called up this October for the 8 Nations tournament. Will be interesting to see.

On a side note, how ridiculous is their squad?! Any of those players could be starting.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 1:52 pm

Their squad is ridiculous. A few awesome players have missed out and could get picked up by a French or Japanese club.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 1:56 pm

Makes you wonder if Toonie might pull FC into the squad for the upcoming internationals.

There is some precedent for this, Huw Jones was picked whilst he was playing in Sa for the Stormers.

Edinburgh would probably have won on saturday had they had a better SH, maybe they should think about getting Christie capped and then bring him over permanently next season.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 2:07 pm

BigGee wrote:Makes you wonder if Toonie might pull FC into the squad for the upcoming internationals.

There is some precedent for this, Huw Jones was picked whilst he was playing in Sa for the Stormers.

Edinburgh would probably have won on saturday had they had a better SH, maybe they should think about getting Christie capped and then bring him over permanently next season.

Depends how close Edinburgh are to its limits. Scott was considered surplus to requirements due to the finances. As Glasgow has steadily lost its star players over time, we could start seeing that with Edinburgh (Mata starts as the most likely).

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Post by BigGee on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 2:12 pm

I don't think they will tske him for this coming season they would have to offload an incumbant first, probably Groom. He has one more year on contract

FC could still play AIs and 6N though

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 4:26 pm

Replacing Groom with Christie would work I guess. Edinburgh also have a young SH coming through (Frostwick?) right? Have to find time for Sheil. At least we are having issues fitting players into squads than lacking depth!

If Christie is up for coming over for the Six Nations finale and Eight Nations, I assume he will be competing for a starting spot and knock out either SHC or Dobie from the third spot. I have been disappointed by G Horne at international level so far and Price is okay, not exceptional.


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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 4:27 pm

Aaron Smith is 31. Brad Weber and TJ Perenara are late 20s. Christie is 25. He may want to wait another year or two before bailing out of the NZ system.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 4:46 pm

I think it is now or never for him

The incumbents in NZ are likely eyeing the next WC cycle and if he would be unlikely to get capped in his late 20s for either Scotland or NZ, where there is always another young starlet coming off the production line.

I guess it depends on what he wants really, he looks to have the attributes to play international rugby znc may well have a better chance of doing that in Scotland

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Mon 07 Sep 2020, 5:32 pm

I don't necessarily think it matters whether he gets capped for Scotland (no offence). His main motivation for moving overseas would surely be for a much better wage. That's the pay off for turning down what could be a couple or even just one NZ cap but not a sustained run in the team. Of course international honours would come in to it if he's decided to leave but he should fancy his chances at earning a place in the All Blacks squad for the next world cup if his current form is a sign of his true quality. I also think, if he's good enough which he seems to be, he could walk in to the Scotland squad and almost certainly the Scotland team at any point during the next 2-3 years just like Anscombe did with Wales. The quality of rugby player in NZ is much higher than in Europe even with young players coming through all the time. He will have just turned 29 at the next world cup so could probably even leave it until the 2022-23 season to move to Scotland if that is on his agenda even if it would make more sense to do it the year before.

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Post by bsando on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 7:46 am

I disagree RR&B, several players who come from overseas to play for Scotland then move on to other clubs. Maitland did 3 years at Glasgow then moved to Saracens. Strauss moved to Sale, Dell to London Irish. Many haven't even played for a Scottish club side. The unique position Scotland are in means we are a more flexible nation when it comes to international rugby. Scotland have had multiple players plying their trade in France, England and even SA who will basically come together to play for Scotland when it gets to the Autumn internationals or the 6 Nations. No rules like Wales, England and Ireland because we have a small pool to select from. That combined with an overseas recruitment policy to increase depth means Scotland are very much the vikings of world rugby if you like.  

If Christie was to receive a call up and cap, I am quite certain Townsend would be happy for Christie to see out his contract at Blues. Then the SRU could craft out a route for him to join Glasgow or Edinburgh when his contract is up but equally he may want to play in the Premiership or Top14 which would also be okay. This is all dependant on Townsend actually being interested and believing he is worth calling up (which he definitely is).

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Post by RDW on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 7:51 am

I'm surprised Scottish journos haven't done some digging and tried to get an interview. Maybe they have but he is keeping things close to his chest - he's technically one injury away from an ABs callup based on his selection for the North V South game.

We also don't desperately need him right now so there's no rush from either side (if indeed it is even an option for him) - Price, Horne and one of SHC, Pyrgos (meh) or one of the young lads will do just fine for the upcoming internationals.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:24 am

There was an interview with him, not in the regular press, but in one of the online publications.

He was playing his cards quite close to his chest, being as it was prior to the Super Rugby season, but he did say he was aware of his joint qualification and he would like to experience the NH at some stage. Clearly he did not want to burn his boats back in NZ.

I would be amazed if Toonie has not sounded him out. He has come on as a player leaps and bounds this season and was starting for the Blues more often than not.

On current form, he would likely be in the Scotland match day squad. Ali Price seems to have nailed down our starting spot and George Horne still needs to prove he can be anything other than an effective impact sub. I am not sure where SHC fits into the jigsaw yet, he still has a lot of ground to make up and hard to know how Toonie rates him.

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Post by bsando on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:27 am

We don't desperately need him that's for sure, but looking ahead to the RWC in 2023 I think it would be worth getting him over to play and letting him resume his club rugby in NZ.

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Post by BigGee on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:31 am

bsando wrote:We don't desperately need him that's for sure, but looking ahead to the RWC in 2023 I think it would be worth getting him over to play and letting him resume his club rugby in NZ.

We don't desperately need him, but I think he offers us more than our current options. As a Glasgow fan, I love George Horne, but I am also aware that he has not cut it at international level yet.

I think Dobie may well be in the frame prior to the next WC as well. He needs a solid year building up his game time and then could be pushing on for international honours the following season, when he will only be 20!

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Post by RDW on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:41 am

Charlie Shiel's performance when starting for Glasgow showed how much development he has to do too (similar to Horne in the early days). It's all fair and well coming on with 20 minutes to go and run defences ragged, it's a big difference doing it from the beginning in a high intensity game. He's also still very young with plenty time to learn.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:46 am

Christie would definitely be a decent capture but I'm with RDW that there's no desperate rush. If NZ is on the cards and foster has had words then it's hard to see beyond him picking them (let's be honest, what aspiring pro player wouldn't).

He may be twilight-zone-level ginger but that doesn't mean he'll want to play for Scotland given the chance to play for NZ. We'll see in the autumn I guess whether Toonie has convinced him he wants to play for Scotland. If he's interested in money the NH is probably a tempting prospect.
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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:50 am

Interestingly he's not been named in the ABs squad though, I'd have thought he'd be a cert on form.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.rugbypass.com/news/9-potential-test-debutants-named-in-first-all-blacks-squad-of-ian-fosters-reign/
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Post by RDW on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 8:52 am

The other 3 are very much ahead of him just now, but he will potentially be the next called up if they get injured.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 9:01 am

Hm I'll watch with interest for sure.

I think currently our SHs are good enough cover. Price, Horne, SHC (he's surely overtaken pyrgos, and is younger), Shiel and Dobie. I would not have qualms about any of the first 3 starting and wouldn't be worried to see either of the last two make an appearance against Georgia.
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Post by BigGee on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 9:12 am

There was an article in the telegraph this morning (for the record, I don't read the telegraph, just saw it referred to on twitter) saying that Georgia are confirmed to take the place of Japan in the autumn tournament.

They are also going to shuffle the pools a bit as well to balance them up. Georgia will play in England/Wales/Ireland pool and we will get Fiji/France/Italy

That balances things up a bit, though we are still definitely in the weaker pool. It should give us some decent and winnable games though.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 08 Sep 2020, 2:10 pm

If they were interested in matching up the pools, it would be Ireland or Wales coming over to pool B. As it is, we have Wales on Halloween and Georgia the week before.

Christie is a tough one to place. He was born in Scotland and has strong roots in the country. On the other hand, all his memories will be of a life in NZ. He would be a nice addition as we really have not established a second international class SH (G Horne is a very good club player who has not made the leap and SHC is probably on the cusp of being recalled).

If he does wait two years, I would hope that we have three proven international SH's from Price (29 in 2022), G Horne (27), SHC (29), Dobie (21) and Sheil (24). That ignores the chances of someone coming through such as the youth player at Sale and Frostwick at Edinburgh (is there a young player at Gloucester as well?).

It may be worth waiting two years for him, but why? The Lions tour is coming up, there is at least 10 internationals before then to potentially steal a march and if he waits to the last, the chances to play for Scotland may become more difficult to come by in 2023 as we ramp up to a RWC.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 12:36 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/54066496

Groups for the AIs confirmed, for now!

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Post by bsando on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 10:31 am

Good we have Fiji now. Will be good to see where Scotland's attack is going to be at this Autumn.

Form wise we're looking good. Back three of 11. DVDM 14. Graham 15 Hogg 23. Maitland

Centres 12. Hutchinson 13. Harris

9. Price 10. Russell 22. Hastings

Possibly the strongest Scottish backline for a while. We could do with an abrasive inside centre though but Hutchinson, Johnson and Dean are all great options.

Russell had two assists and try vs Lyon last weekend, he is looking very sharp and exuding his usual confidence. He really seems to be loving life in Paris playing with Beale, Vakatawa, Thomas, Zebo, Imhoff et al.

Kebble looked great for Glasgow despite them losing their first game. Good to have some depth in the front row rather than just Sutherland.

Will we see the Gray bros lineup together once more? Cummings coming on as a solid impact sub?

Backrow I'm sure we'll see Ritchie get some game time alongside Watson and hopefully Haining at 8. I think Bradbury is not going to develop much more than where he is at now. CDP seems to be getting plenty of game time with Worcester. However, maybe Thomson will get the nod. No.8 is a bit of a conundrum at the moment. All the home nations have obvious candidates where as Scotland still seem to have someone who can do a job but won't add that destructive ball carrying you'd hope to see. I had high hopes for Thomson but injury seems to be causing him a lot of setbacks. Haining to me has been the best by far but just lacks a bit of fitness.

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Post by BigGee on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 11:42 am

I think CDPs time as an international is done unfortunately. He is a solid carrier in the attricious Premiership but unfortunately for him, never regained his pre injury dynamism. A real shame as he could have been a really good international No.8

On last seasons form, I would have picked Haining over Bradbury and Cockers possibly missed a trick by not having him in the squad against Ulster. Not sure either of them is the real answer at no.8 though, but maybe the best we have got.

Thompson showed promise, but injuries looking like they might do him as well. He is over his concussion now, but still not playing regularly for other reasons.

Matt Fagerson certainly has the dynamism, but maybe not the size. Still got time on his side though.

No.8 potentially a problem position for us though.

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Post by bsando on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 1:15 pm

I totally forgot about Fagerson. Yeah I'm sort of looking to future now as well, would be fantastic to see some developing players like Darge break through.

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