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Scotland 2020 Internationals

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

First topic message reminder :

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 Mon 05 Oct 2020, 6:07 am

Yeah I think he’s a good communicator as well, gets what he wants from the pack and has a good kicking game (this weekend gone by excluded). I hadn’t considered him for 12 but that could be a good one to try.

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Post by Highland Shaun on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 9:43 am

Wales announce their squad either today or tomorrow so surely we must be close to Gregor announcing our squad?

I see Vellacot scored a double yesterday, am I right in thinking he's eligible for us, we have so many p!ayers eligible, its hard to keep up hahaha :O.

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Post by bsando on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:02 am

Yes he is but I think he is more set on playing for England. It could be quite an interesting squad selection with a few surprise names, although the core squad will probably be unchanged, so we'll have to wait and see.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:07 am

Vellacot is eligible and played for us at youth grade rugby.

He was on the cusp of a Scotland call up before Horne the better came along but he was playing his cards close to his chest as he was also on the verge of an England call up (or so he thought). At the time he was looking for a new club contract and if he was still EQ then he's more desirable as the English clubs get money from the RFU for taking in EQ players.

Now that he's got his contract (though he may need a new one soon) and he's down on the England pecking order, he may opt to commit to Scotland. We're not struggling for SHs though. With Horne the competent, Aldi Price and I'd also say SHC all ahead of him!

What we need is an 8. A proper barnstormer of an 8. We also need a Tighthead replacement for when old man Nel retires to back up Ragnar. We really need to sort out our midfield too. A consistent 12 and someone to take hold of that 13 shirt.

The with the other players we have, we actually have a decent team that if coached correctly could do something. Though how often have we said that?


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Post by RDW on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:19 am

Fraser Dingwall has been named in the extended England training squad.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:21 am

What happened to Adam Nicol? He looked promising for a while then went off the boil/disappeared.

As for 8s Thomson played at 6 for Scarlets so has at least had some gametime and made it through injury-free. Fagerson Jr I think flatters to deceive a bit although could be a good option with a bruiser at 6. Haining looked meh and Bradbury is infuriatingly Bradbury. The less said about Wilson the better!

I think the key to our back row is getting the right combination, hence why I think we need an enforcer at 6. Ritchie is great over the ball but doesn't tie in defenders as much as Watson. I still think having Skinner in the back row to tie in more forwards may allow Fagerson to have more one on one collisions so we get a bit more ground. Alternatively bradbury at 6 could offer the same but needs to show the workrate he did at the WC. Ritchie off the bench would be a great impact.

12 is tricky. I'd actually say if you want a consistent 12 Matt Scott is the one to go for. Hutchinson maybe but I'm getting flashbacks to Huw Jones at 12, something tells me that would be a similar situation. I know people on here aren't huge fans but I do think Lang is worth a punt. If it doesn't work fine but he's got the right physical attributes and is a skillful player.
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:35 am

We already have the consistent 12 in Johnson. Townsend has always rated him and he does not really have many stinkers or barnstormers. OC has proven to be real problem position even though we have had H Jones, Harris, Hutchinson, Bennett, D Taylor, Grigg and Scott all play there. Not really for a lack of talent have we struggled for centres.

With Vellacott, I don't mind capping him even if he did turn up his nose the first time. He is an established club player and would find an English or French club who would have him. The problem, as mentioned, is he would be fourth choice (fifth if Christie picks Scotland) and is as likely to drop behind Dobie, Shiel or Frostwick as he is to overtake SHC. Worth a call to ask if he feels Scots yet and if he umm or ahhs, hang up.

TH, Berghan is about to turn 30 and should be able to make the next RWC. After that though, need one of Rae, McCallum or Nicol to step up. The generation after (Gamble at Edinburgh, Wilson at Quins) will likely not be ready until after the RWC.

No. 8 has been the bane of Scotland for a while. Aldritt chose France (it would have taken a miracle for him not to) and we blew our chance with Mercer. Bradbury probably needs to leave his Edinburgh cocoon to achieve his potential though I doubt he will after his Mum's health issues. Fagerson Jr could do with an extra two inches of height and another 10kg for international level if he is going to play with Richie and Watson. Thomson and Haining are stopgaps. Hopefully Muncaster and Mann are pushed to play 8 in the academies.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:45 am

Isn't Johnson injured atm?
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Post by RDW on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:52 am

Adam Nichol just doesn't look like he's been able to get his body into any consistent shape for professional rugby. He's still young for a prop, but was clearly way to heavy when he started out and I don't know what his fitness is like these days.

It does seem like he's been around a while now though - of he doesn't make it soon he potentially never will.

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Post by bsando on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:57 am

NeilyBroon wrote:What happened to Adam Nicol? He looked promising for a while then went off the boil/disappeared.

As for 8s Thomson played at 6 for Scarlets so has at least had some gametime and made it through injury-free. Fagerson Jr I think flatters to deceive a bit although could be a good option with a bruiser at 6. Haining looked meh and Bradbury is infuriatingly Bradbury. The less said about Wilson the better!

I think the key to our back row is getting the right combination, hence why I think we need an enforcer at 6. Ritchie is great over the ball but doesn't tie in defenders as much as Watson. I still think having Skinner in the back row to tie in more forwards may allow Fagerson to have more one on one collisions so we get a bit more ground. Alternatively bradbury at 6 could offer the same but needs to show the workrate he did at the WC. Ritchie off the bench would be a great impact.

12 is tricky. I'd actually say if you want a consistent 12 Matt Scott is the one to go for. Hutchinson maybe but I'm getting flashbacks to Huw Jones at 12, something tells me that would be a similar situation. I know people on here aren't huge fans but I do think Lang is worth a punt. If it doesn't work fine but he's got the right physical attributes and is a skillful player.

I think Lang could be a good shout, he's only 25. I hope he gets called up, he is still keen to do more for Scotland from interviews I've seen with him. He actually got a try starting at 13 for Quins at the weekend against Leicester. Scott had a try in that game too.

Thompson gave away the penalty that lost Scarlets their game against Munster on the weekend and he was getting treatment when Munster scored one of their trys so not the best game for him. I think he needs more games before getting him back for Scotland, we saw how looked in the RWC and although his loose game was excellent he looked a bit under powered at rucks and in defence. Scotland could do with a Denton v2 at the moment and I think Skinner ticks that box. With Grays, GG, Cummings, Toolis all fit he may be a useful back row option to help Scotland's defensive game continue strongly.

Ritchie, Watson, Skinner would probably be my starting backrow at the moment with Bradbury or Fagerson benching.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:15 am

Johnson has the 12 shirt but he's not nailed on for me. He had a great breakout season but little since (WC for example). He needs to kick on to be able to say its his jersy for the forseeable.

We also need Jones or Bennett or some other talented footballer to graps that 13 jersey. Harris isnt doing much wrong, but he's not exactly a box office draw is he.

For the backrow I still see our current option being Ritchie at 6, Watson at 7 and Bradbury at 8. Bradbury rellly needs to get his head out of his backside though. Fagerson Jnr just doesnt have the physical attributes to play international backrow. If we could stick his work ethic into Bradbury then we'd be in a better position.

I still think our biggest issue is our mentality. We see it far too often where Ritchie and Darcy G are fired up in a game but thats the game where Bradbury doenst show up mentally and GG decides to play "pick a penalty" - We need the whole team working the same way and all swtiched on.

Bloody frustrating being a scotland fan!
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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:23 am

Hit the nail on the head at the end there, for me that seems to be the point of difference between Toonie and cotter. The players seemed to come to the games a lot more pumped up under cotter more frequently than under Toonie. It only maybe backfired against England in that Twickenham disaster but there definitely was more of a positive go forward attitude. If you look at the losses under Toonie there have been more where the opponents have just suffocated our game and we've looked dejected within the first 10 minutes rather than competing until the death. Tandy seems to have brought back some of that belligerence and I'm hoping Dalziel will bring the positivity to our play. If we can beat Wales that would be a good start to finally turning off the roundabout Scotland seem to be stuck on.
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Post by EST on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:38 am

NeilyBroon wrote:Hit the nail on the head at the end there, for me that seems to be the point of difference between Toonie and cotter. The players seemed to come to the games a lot more pumped up under cotter more frequently than under Toonie. It only maybe backfired against England in that Twickenham disaster but there definitely was more of a positive go forward attitude. If you look at the losses under Toonie there have been more where the opponents have just suffocated our game and we've looked dejected within the first 10 minutes rather than competing until the death. Tandy seems to have brought back some of that belligerence and I'm hoping Dalziel will bring the positivity to our play. If we can beat Wales that would be a good start to finally turning off the roundabout Scotland seem to be stuck on.

If only we could somehow get out forwards to have the same attitude as Darcy.

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Post by bsando on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:56 am

Haining has that bite and aggression, as does Ritchie. The Ritchie, Watson, Haining backrow was quite a good one earlier this year so that may well be what Toonie plans to stick to. I like Haining so I wouldn't be upset to see him starting again. He's got a few years left in him so until someone makes a solid case for no.8 I think himself, Bradbury and Fagerson will be swapping jerseys a fair bit.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:05 pm

Thompson actually played pretty well in the Scarlets game other than that last penalty. He is finally getting a run of games and will surely be bsck in the mix given we are not exactly overflowing with back row options.

Vellacott again who missed pretty much the whole of last season with an ACL is also begining to look sharp again. I would not rule him out either, he has a scary turn of pace as well and it might come down to who Toonie thinks can manage a game better.

Dingwall made the England squad but Redpath did not. Have we totally given up on him?

There is certainly a bit of competition for places, which can only be a good thing

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:10 pm

BigGee wrote:Thompson actually played pretty well in the Scarlets game  other than that last penalty. He is finally getting a run of games and will surely be bsck in the mix given we are not exactly overflowing with back row options.

Vellacott  again who missed pretty much the whole of last season with an ACL is also begining to look sharp again. I would not rule him out either, he has a scary turn of pace as well and it might come down to who Toonie thinks can manage a game better.

Dingwall made the England squad  but Redpath did not. Have we totally given up on him?

There is certainly a bit of competition for places, which can only be a good thing

To be honest he's not making the Bath squad very frequently. His hype seems to have waned somewhat. Could go to Edinburgh as a replacement for Scott I guess, although Taylor's already doing a good job there. He needs to up his game if he's interested in any international rugby or make a move.
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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:16 pm

In retrospect, a bit harsh - I only just realised he's only 20! I thought he was mid twenties!

So plenty of time to develop. I doubt he's in a huge rush and has done England age grade.
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Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:23 pm

Falling out with Sale and the move to Bath not worked so well this far but he is a very good player in a position we are not overflowing with.

I guess i will always struggle with the son of a Scotland legend wanting to play for England, though i do respect his right to choose

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:29 pm

Heads up that hes not available for selection in the squad due to prem fixtures. Has been in all the Bath match day squads though.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:30 pm

Him and Hastings took similar paths except for Hastings it was always Scotland through the age grades. I guess maybe Cameron feels loyalty to England for playing with them through the age grades. That and I can imagine your ex-Pat dad telling you to play for Scotland would probably drive you the other way at that age.

I must admit it does make me roll my eyes when my old man gets all misty-eyed about Scotland. It's like when Billy Connolly talks about Scottish singers who sing about bonnie Scotland when they're not there.
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Post by EST on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 1:57 pm

Think Redpath Jnr was born in England and done all his schooling there, not to mention the age grade system stuff that he has been a constant part off. I would love to see him in a Scotland shirt, but can well understand if he continues with England.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 2:14 pm

I would rather we kept Dingwall over Redpath as Dingwall was in the Scotland age grades until England made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Will have to wait and see what happens with both. If their hearts are set on England, then so be it.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 2:18 pm

Redpath actually born in France, when his old man was playing for Narbonne

They could pinch him frim both of us!

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Post by EST on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 4:26 pm

So he was, that would be a turn up for the books if he appeared in the French squad.

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 4:40 pm

He moved to England in his early years though.

I'm not saying he's not Scottish but most of his pals will be "English" and the players he came through the game with are "English" so thats where he's most likely going to go.

There's also the same boat that Vellacot found himself in where English Prem clubs (where these lads are playing) look favourably on taking in English Qualified players. Youngsters have a finite playing career and they need to maximise the money they can make. It's not thier fault that the RFU pay clubs to take EQ players in!
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Post by EST on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 5:04 pm

tigertattie wrote:He moved to England in his early years though.

I'm not saying he's not Scottish but most of his pals will be "English" and the players he came through the game with are "English" so thats where he's most likely going to go.

There's also the same boat that Vellacot found himself in where English Prem clubs (where these lads are playing) look favourably on taking in English Qualified players. Youngsters have a finite playing career and they need to maximise the money they can make. It's not thier fault that the RFU pay clubs to take EQ players in!

Aye, I can totally see why he would come to that decision. We have done pretty well out of English qualified centers coming to play for us too - Jones, Hutchison, Taylor and Harris from the current crop - we can't grumble when one goes the other way.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 5:06 pm

I have no issues with any player making the best decision for their career, it is what they should do. There is a particular poignancy about the son of a Scotland captain making that choice though!

Having said that Michael Lynaghs son played England age grade and made his quins debut at the weekend! Zinzan Brookes son is also going that way.

We win a few, we lose a few

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Post by Highland Shaun on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 5:37 pm

With the likelihood of a squad of over 30-40 players, I have decided to ask the following question Wink.

Who are the likely surprise inclusions Gregor will name in his squad and how many do you expect, bear in mind EJ named 12 in his England squad?

This could lead to interesting debate :P.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 5:56 pm

Well they wouldn't be much of a surprise if we knew about them!

My bet is a Scot qualified player who no-one has heard of based in Llandiloes with English parents, Welsh grandparents and a Scottish second cousin. I also hear that Josh Bassett is Scots qualified 😉

In all seriousness the only big surprise may be if Toonie has convinced Christie that playing for the all blacks is second only to enjoying an irn bru and katsu curry with Gordie Reid. Otherwise I guess he may invite Connor Boyle and Darge to the squad to give them some experience to bring back to Edinburgh. I guess a big surprise would be if he called Strauss from the bulls. I have no idea how he's getting on there but he could provide squad cover for the back row so it may make some sort of obscure sense.

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Post by Highland Shaun on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 6:02 pm

Who does he play for and in what position, or is this a wind up that has bamboozled me lol?

Oh and we may not know but the press may lol, their good at guessing football transfers lol.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 7:21 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:Who does he play for and in what position, or is this a wind up that has bamboozled me lol?

Oh and we may not know but the press may lol, their good at guessing football transfers lol.

Ah it's just a recurring thing, for a long while we all believed this Wasps winger, Josh Bassett, was Scottish qualified until he literally had to say in the press that he has absolutely no links to Scotland whatsoever because all the journos obviously picked up on the rumours Laugh
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Post by BigGee on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 7:36 pm

Never beleive anything you read in Wikipedia!

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Post by Highland Shaun on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:16 pm

In the words of characters from Chewing the fat, "gonnae no dae that", I'm confused as it is regarding SQ players lol.

In regards to Findlay Christie, what's the gut feeling on here regarding who he will choose Smile?

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Post by RDW on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 10:36 pm

I can't see him coming over for this international series TBH - he's on the fringes of an ABs callup, and they've got a lot of games to play.

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Post by Highland Shaun on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 11:27 pm

I should have added Ben Vellacott and Cammy Redpath to my question.

I get the impression from this thread that most of you guys expect Cameron to declare his allegiance to England (just to piss his dad off which is ridiculous imho, he's doing it for Rugby reasons) but are unknown on what Ben will do.

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Post by RDW on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 4:16 am

Highland Shaun wrote:I should have added Ben Vellacott and Cammy Redpath to my question.

I get the impression from this thread that most of you guys expect Cameron to declare his allegiance to England (just to piss his dad off which is ridiculous imho, he's doing it for Rugby reasons) but are unknown on what Ben will do.

Has anyone really said that?

I'm not sold on Vellacot - we've been talking about him for years but he's never given much of a reason to call him up. I know he's had his injuries and all but he looks to just be a steady club player. We're also not desperate for a new 9 to solve all our woes - Price and Horne will keep us commpetitive for the foresseable future with Dobie and Shiel potentially breaking through in the next few years. If we're struggling for injuries in the short term, SHC and Pyrgos would do a job if needed (and SHC may even be pushing for a place).

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 7:20 am

RDW wrote:
Highland Shaun wrote:I should have added Ben Vellacott and Cammy Redpath to my question.

I get the impression from this thread that most of you guys expect Cameron to declare his allegiance to England (just to piss his dad off which is ridiculous imho, he's doing it for Rugby reasons) but are unknown on what Ben will do.

Has anyone really said that?

I'm not sold on Vellacot - we've been talking about him for years but he's never given much of a reason to call him up. I know he's had his injuries and all but he looks to just be a steady club player. We're also not desperate for a new 9 to solve all our woes - Price and Horne will keep us commpetitive for the foresseable future with Dobie and Shiel potentially breaking through in the next few years. If we're struggling for injuries in the short term, SHC and Pyrgos would do a job if needed (and SHC may even be pushing for a place).

Aye SHC would be good to see in the squad. He may even displace Horne on the bench, although I'd rather see him in the match day squad in place of price.

Agree that Finlay probably won't come over. It's hard to see him saying no to the ABs. Also agree Velacott isn't above any of our current options. Couple of seasons ago, maybe, but I think that opportunity has passed. Who knows though, maybe Toonie wants more rotation.

The Cammy redpath thing may be my fault I was making dry comments about how his dad trying to persuade him to play for Scotland probably was making him more interested in England. To be honest I think he's just got more loyalty to England (which is fair enough having been brought up there).
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Post by BigGee on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 12:32 pm

England, wales and Italy all got their squads out now, surely ours must be coming soon.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 1:12 pm

BigGee wrote:England, wales and Italy all got their squads out now, surely ours must be coming soon.

David Barnes of the herald seems to think it'll be early next week.

Would be quite late though!
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 1:37 pm

Don't mind delaying a bit as we have had so few games to base the squad off.

This weekend Edinburgh go to Munster and Glasgow have a home contest against Scarlets, plenty of motivation for the fringe guys like Bhatti, Stewart (if fit), Rae, Davidson, R Gray, Crosbie, Gordon, M Fagerson, Shiel, JDVW, McDowall and G Taylor to put their hands up. Think the back three is fairly set

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Post by Highland Shaun on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 5:58 pm

https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/18772323.david-barnes-toony-tombola-missing-balls-autumn-spin/.

Here is an interesting article on what our squad may look like and it refers to something a lot seem to do so on here so I wonder if the journalist looks on this forum lol, "The Townsend tombola".

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Post by RDW on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 9:49 pm

I'm consulting our lawyers as we speak (well, GC pro bono but he doesn't know yet) about the outrageous plagiarism!

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Post by RDW on Wed 07 Oct 2020, 11:27 am

https://www.thexv.rugby/2020/10/06/mind-games/

Finn Russell's attack coach on the determined and commited side of Finn Russell that the armchair observers don't see. Also interesting to hear him talk about Racing having an attacking framework that they all buy into, and while a lot of their wonder tries look off the cuff they're often a lot more thought out and planned as would appear. Sounds like Finn spends a lot of time doing analysis of opposition defences.

Also interesting to hear him talk about all the unseen dirty work that allows the flair players to work their magic - if people aren't hitting rucks and getting over the gainline these tries won't happen.

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Post by bsando on Thu 08 Oct 2020, 9:37 am

Scotland’s pack were not getting over the gainline enough during the RWC in their two big pool matches. It’s the same old story really, you’ve got to have periods of the game where your pack are dominating and getting over the gain line to allow the backline to perform to their ability.

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Post by NeilyBroon on Thu 08 Oct 2020, 9:51 am

bsando wrote:Scotland’s pack were not getting over the gainline enough during the RWC in their two big pool matches. It’s the same old story really, you’ve got to have periods of the game where your pack are dominating and getting over the gain line to allow the backline to perform to their ability.

This is the main thing I miss about VC and subsequently McFarland. They gave our forwards a bit of b*stard which saw us being more competitive on a more frequent basis. The only time now I ever see a decent forwards performance is when we play England. Otherwise just getting parity is considered "good" at the moment, which isn't how it should be.

We should be looking to absolutely dominate with some of our players. We see it a bit with Zander, who really seems to have honed his aggression recently, and with Ritchie and Watson and when Brown is on one. The rest of the pack is often left wanting though. Cummings has gone a bit quiet, Gray has always been quiet and whilst graft will get you so far, you need to push it beyond in competition. Cockers made a fair point about Scottish rugby being too nice again recently.

I hope that Dalziel can bring a bit more belligerance back, it's not as if our pack is any smaller than most packs, we're just too nice. I do worry that Dalziel, though I think highly of him as a coach, won't bring any more edge than Danny Wilson did. I'd be happy to be proved wrong though.
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Thu 08 Oct 2020, 12:08 pm

The Scottish pack has got the size and it does seem we are finally seeing that in the scrum. For example (Wikipedia weights)

Sutherland (118kg) - McInally (110kg) - Z Fagerson (126kg)
Cummings (116kg) - J Gray (120kg)
Ritchie (99kg) - Bradbury (115kg) - Watson (102kg)

Total - 906kg

I think realistically, Haining and Gary Graham (underused) are both guys who play with a serious edge. Neither are as talented as Bradbury or Skinner but they are the type of guys who will get in the faces of the opposition like Ritchie and Z Fagerson. There is certainly an element of having that around the squad even if they don't make the 23.

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Post by bsando on Thu 08 Oct 2020, 12:30 pm

Yeah good points from both of you. The pack were great in the six nations and Sutherland and Fagerson made a big difference at scrum time. Great to see Sutherland out performing Schoeman at the moment too. The new gameplan definitely suits the forwards better too as they’re not wasting as much energy chasing after backs all the time. So more chances to win turnovers and compete at rucks and lineouts.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 08 Oct 2020, 12:39 pm

I'm hoping Gray will get a bit of edge playing in the Premiership. A lot of his opponents in the Pro14 were probably technically better players than those in the English leagues having recently come through academies. The English ones will be harder and tougher. There's also more 'no-hiding' games for Exeter than at Glasgow. Our professional players barely play knockout games at club level, at international level the maximum any of our current lot have played is the 2015 quarter-final. As a rule of thumb, Scotland, Edinbugh and Glasgow are basically awful in must win games.
I think our pack is in a good place. At loosehead we'll have four options going into 2022 with Schoeman, Kebble, Sutherland and Dell. Hooker we are well stocked with McInally, Brown and Turner. McInally could do with toughening up. Zander Fagerson seems to be fulfilling his potential. Second-row and back-row we have a lot of quite soft players that could really be good if they toughened up a bit. We know our backs are quality if fit, picked and in the mood.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Thu 08 Oct 2020, 3:25 pm

It is a problem with the system as it is. Two clubs limits the pool of players to choose from so if you are in, there is less choice to replace you. The budget is not high enough to guarantee we keep all the top players (Russell, Hogg, Gray x 2, Denton, Scott, Laidlaw) and supplement them with a guy like Fardy or Snyman. It is hard to build that consistency against top opposition when your place is not threatened by three other guys (including the starters at other clubs) and the team is not consistently playing knockouts.

I still reckon the best place for Bradbury and Kinghorn is having to go to a Leicester or Bristol and have to earn a big contract though it harms the chance of Edinburgh progressing. Seen Hogg and Russell find the next level by moving abroad, J Gray hopefully will. It is not a guarantee of success but some players just seem too comfortable in the Scottish rugby bubble.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 08 Oct 2020, 7:02 pm

It's the Catch 22 of Scottish rugby. We only have two teams so we cannot have a selection policy that favours domestic talent. We do not have enough money to keep our stars when up against the English and French clubs. That means our teams are weaker and the remaining players do not have a chance to compete in the latter stages of European competition or against Leinster. I am starting to think that the Glasgow team of 2014-2017 was an aberration; a rare period when quality young players come through at the same time a number of overseas signing worked out. Edinburgh are on the cusp of that now. Bradbury, Graham, Ritchie, Kinghorn etc. are all very good young prospects. There's some very good older Scottish players there and some quality foreign additions on top. Ideally we need to have Glasgow constantly churning out players the quality of the Grays, Russell and Hogg and Edinburgh producing the kind of talent they have now.

Until Scottish rugby has enough money and talent to produce four competitive professional sides we will be up against it. I suspect Covid19 means that is as far away as ever. Unless there is a massive deflation in players wages as a consequence. We would still need to find the talent and interest to fill them. As of yet we have not been able to have two professional sides both at the requisite standards at once. With Glasgow literally not having a full-back you could hardly say our existing teams are bursting at the seams.

In short for Scotland to get a lot better at rugby we need to get more money, more fans and better players - all easily done in an enormous pandemic induced recession. Either that or we need to get all of our players on form for the whole of a tournament. I actually think we have a very good chance in this autumn series coming up. I am confident we can beat Fiji, Italy and France. We could beat any of the other 4 in a one off game too.

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