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The Glasgow and Edinburgh General Chat. Discussions are limited to 6 people before 10pm to prevent the spread of Jimboish.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 24 Sep 2020, 12:16 pm

First topic message reminder :

Another chat thread dedicated to speculation, rumination, and general perambulation through the trials and tribulations of the club from the west with no forwards and the club from the east without a backs coach.

One day we'll have more rugby to talk about!
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Post by Dollar Bill Sat 23 Jan 2021, 4:30 pm

BigGee wrote:The chainsaw does his stuff, great tackle from Sau

What was Brendan Laney doing on the pitch?

Think you meant “The Sledgehammer” 😂😂

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Post by BigGee Sat 23 Jan 2021, 5:33 pm

Dollar Bill wrote:
BigGee wrote:The chainsaw does his stuff, great tackle from Sau

What was Brendan Laney doing on the pitch?

Think you meant “The Sledgehammer” 😂😂


Opps, my use of nicknames seems to be about as good as Jimbo's use of the quote function Doh

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Post by RDW Sat 23 Jan 2021, 9:04 pm

BigGee wrote:
Dollar Bill wrote:
BigGee wrote:The chainsaw does his stuff, great tackle from Sau

What was Brendan Laney doing on the pitch?

Think you meant “The Sledgehammer” 😂😂

Opps, my use of nicknames seems to be about as good as Jimbo's use of the quote function Doh

laughing

Good win Edinburgh!

Looks like quite a few cards dished out - we're they justified?

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Post by RDW Sat 23 Jan 2021, 10:05 pm

Found the game on YouTube so watching it now. Edinburgh's basic skills are shocking - 15 minutes in and we've already had 4 dropped passes, due to poor execution.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sat 23 Jan 2021, 10:49 pm

RDW wrote:Found the game on YouTube so watching it now. Edinburgh's basic skills are shocking - 15 minutes in and we've already had 4 dropped passes, due to poor execution.

I'd like to say it gets better but it doesn't.

Highlights were:
Both wingers - especially farndale
Bennett before HIA
Scrum

Not much else!
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Post by BigGee Sat 23 Jan 2021, 11:01 pm

I thought Blain did ok

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Post by TJ Sat 23 Jan 2021, 11:06 pm

Looks like quite a few cards dished out - we're they justified?

The yellow was harsh - for cumulative pens in the 22 - yellow on the second pen and the first was IMO a poor decision

Red - Yes by the letter of the law.  shoulder to head in a tackle.  Not a shoulder charge tho as there was a wrap the ref could have seen mitigation but didn't

However the ref was strict throughout the game

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Post by funnyExiledScot Sat 23 Jan 2021, 11:30 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:Found the game on YouTube so watching it now. Edinburgh's basic skills are shocking - 15 minutes in and we've already had 4 dropped passes, due to poor execution.

I'd like to say it gets better but it doesn't.

Highlights were:
Both wingers - especially farndale
Bennett before HIA
Scrum

Not much else!

Couldn't summarise better myself.

Big game from Farndale given the late call-up, in fact the Edinburgh back three were all sounds. Bennett played well but the 10/12 axis didn't function. VDW and Dean both had poor games in open play.

Schoe was strong, and I thought it was Bill Mata's best game since putting on the flab. He's playing himself back to form.

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Post by RDW Sun 24 Jan 2021, 12:07 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:Found the game on YouTube so watching it now. Edinburgh's basic skills are shocking - 15 minutes in and we've already had 4 dropped passes, due to poor execution.

I'd like to say it gets better but it doesn't.

Highlights were:
Both wingers - especially farndale
Bennett before HIA
Scrum

Not much else!

Couldn't summarise better myself.

Big game from Farndale given the late call-up, in fact the Edinburgh back three were all sounds. Bennett played well but the 10/12 axis didn't function. VDW and Dean both had poor games in open play.

Schoe was strong, and I thought it was Bill Mata's best game since putting on the flab. He's playing himself back to form.

Just watched the game - agree with all this. Back 3 we're good given its entirely 2nd string! Hopefully we offer Sau a new deal - he's so physical. Farndale is a weapon in attack but not great in defence - something to work on.

If we can keep them all I think the impact of VDM will be not as significant as first feared.

Agree that Mata is slowly getting back to.his old self - his fitness is improving each week.

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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:42 am

Scottish Thistle podcast saying they are hearing a rumour of George Horne to Bristol!

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Post by RDW Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:44 am

BigGee wrote:Scottish Thistle podcast saying they are hearing a rumour of George Horne to Bristol!

On one hand they're probably the team most suited to his style of play, but he's desperately needing regular gametime and he'll likely be 2nd choice behind Randell.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:51 am

I can imagine g Horne pushing his way to first choice there though. I think it's preferable to being stuck behind price in a faltering Glasgow side, plus gives Dobie development opportunity. A good move all round I reckon if true.
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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:51 am

RDW wrote:
BigGee wrote:Scottish Thistle podcast saying they are hearing a rumour of George Horne to Bristol!

On one hand they're probably the team most suited to his style of play, but he's desperately needing regular gametime and he'll likely be 2nd choice behind Randell.

My thoughts as well, good for the wallet but not his development.

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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:54 am

It does make sense in many ways for Horne to move on. His hand may be forced as well, as Glasgow probably won't be able to afford to pay him what he is worth.

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Post by jimbopip Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:55 am

BigGee wrote:Scottish Thistle podcast saying they are hearing a rumour of George Horne to Bristol!

Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
On the other hand.... Hornito is 26, he has yet to establish himself as Glasgow's first choice 9. That seems a totally surreal situation to me. He needs to be starting matches and bossing his pack around, not just playing the last 20 minutes on a semi regular basis. A move might be the best thing for him and for Scotland.

Currently Glasgow have: Aldi Price, Hornito, Kennedy, The House Elf and Caleb Kortweg at 9. In terms of player development young Dobbie needs to play as much as possible, in a managed way- not chucked in and left to sink or swim, he is potentially the best in that list. Kennedy seems to be relishing playing at a rugby club and being allowed to go more than three phases without box kicking possession away. Five scrum halves; two who have genuine international careers, one who is touted as a future Scotland captain, one who is seizing the chance of resurrecting his career and one who scores 19 points in Scrabble. Something has to give.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:59 am

jimbopip wrote:
BigGee wrote:Scottish Thistle podcast saying they are hearing a rumour of George Horne to Bristol!

Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
On the other hand.... Hornito is 26, he has yet to establish himself as Glasgow's first choice 9. That seems a totally surreal situation to me. He needs to be starting matches and bossing his pack around, not just playing the last 20 minutes on a semi regular basis. A move might be the best thing for him and for Scotland.

Currently Glasgow have: Aldi Price, Hornito, Kennedy, The House Elf and Caleb Kortweg at 9. In terms of player development young Dobbie needs to play as much as possible, in a managed way- not chucked in and left to sink or swim, he is potentially the best in that list. Kennedy seems to be relishing playing at a rugby club and being allowed to go more than three phases without box kicking possession away. Five scrum halves; two who have genuine international careers, one who is touted as a future Scotland captain, one who is seizing the chance of resurrecting his career and one who scores 19 points in Scrabble. Something has to give.

Explained it with far more eloquence than I ever could as always Jimbo! Agree completely.
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Post by RDW Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:01 am

Horne is 26?? I feel so old. He's always just seemed to be the up and coming youngster.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:05 am

RDW wrote:Horne is 26?? I feel so old. He's always just seemed to be the up and coming youngster.

I kept thinking he's 22! Then I remembered he was mainly playing sevens at that point!
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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:21 am

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:Horne is 26?? I feel so old. He's always just seemed to be the up and coming youngster.

I kept thinking he's 22! Then I remembered he was mainly playing sevens at that point!


Hornito has had a meandering journry to where he is now. Remember he was not even a SH when he played age grade and was then lumped into the 'not big enough for Pro Rugby' wastebag.

A move to London Scottish and then becoming a sevens star, was the beginning of the road to becoming a Scotland international and possibly Glasgow's most exciting player over the past three years and yet his lack of starting game time and perhaps of core SH skills in the eyes of his coaches is still holding him back.

He is likely quite aware of the situation and what might be required to remedy it. You would imagine that after what he has done so far, a move would not faze him as much as it might do to others.

Just as long as he does not end up at the Giltinis! Laugh Laugh

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Post by tigertattie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:57 pm

no one else asking the real question?

Why didn’t Exeter want him?

Seriously though, best for him to move. He's a great player and he's simply being held back at Glasgow. He's Aldi Price's equal even when Price is on form which he rarely is these days. Beggars belief why Horne isn’t getting game time over Price.

Hopefully young dobie doesn’t stutter at Glasgow in the same way
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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:20 pm

Better idea. He goes to Edinburgh as part of a transfer for Pyrgos. Seeing Pyrgos and Weir together again for Glasgow is frankly something all Edinburgh fans want to see, and Shiel and Horne can fight it out for the role of ignoring Duncan Hodge and trying to play some rugby.

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Post by BigGee Tue 26 Jan 2021, 12:18 pm

Big Bill signs on again for Edinburgh

Not quite been the same force of nature this season, but a very good signing all the same. It looks like he might finish his career there now.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Tue 26 Jan 2021, 12:28 pm

Wow I was not expecting that! I imagine timings worked out in our favour given the uncertainty in the world right now and fewer clubs in a position to throw a lot of money around, particularly with Mata not having been able to show himself at his best for a while now. I'm fairly confident that once he can get back into a good run of games he'll be able to get himself back to where he has been for us in the past. He's certainly been on the right trajectory in recent games. Great news, very happy with that!

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Post by Gooseberry Tue 26 Jan 2021, 1:02 pm

tigertattie wrote:

Why didn’t Exeter want him?



Reduced salary cap is going to be a problem for them, especially as they have more players being called up for England and the youngsters gradually moving onto contract expectations that go with the silverware they've been winning. Difficult decisions to make, but a player likely to miss big chunks of the season for tests that they don't get RFU funding bonus for employing isnt going to be top of their retention list.

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Post by bsando Tue 26 Jan 2021, 1:09 pm

Amazing news! What a boost for the club. He looked great against Glasgow but we all know he’s got more. His offload to Graham in 2019 was probably the best piece of skill I’ve watched at Murrayfield apart from when the all blacks visited in 2017.

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Post by BigGee Tue 26 Jan 2021, 1:18 pm

Well that leaves Edinburgh with 8 front line back row players. Mata, Watson, Ritchie, Crosbie, Haining and Bradbury, plus the other Fijian Kunevola and Miller (part time sevens)

They also have the highly rated Boyle, Darge and Munchester on the way up.

A few of the locks van also do a turn in the back row.


The one thing you would have to say is that is to many, the kids are unlikely to get thegame time they need and probably to much budget is being spent in that department, where other parts of the team and squad need it.

Surely there has to be some re-balancing?

Any of them likely to head west, where there is not so much back row talent available.

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Post by EST Tue 26 Jan 2021, 2:25 pm

BigGee wrote:Well that leaves Edinburgh with 8 front line back row players. Mata, Watson, Ritchie, Crosbie, Haining and Bradbury, plus the other Fijian Kunevola and Miller (part time sevens)

They also have the highly rated Boyle, Darge and Munchester on the way up.

A few of the locks van also do a turn in the back row.


The one thing you would have to say is that is to many, the kids are unlikely to get thegame time they need and probably to much budget is being spent in that department, where other parts of the team and squad need it.

Surely there has to be some re-balancing?

Any of them likely to head west, where there is not so much back row talent available.

It's been a bugbear of mine for a while, makes zero sense and is made more annoying by the fact that the central management of academy players by the SRU should prevent exactly this situation from happening.

Certainly one of the three young academy BR's listed should be moved across and there is a very good argument for one of Crosbie, Haining or Bradbury to join them, although that is much more up to the individual players and Glasgow stumping up a decent offer.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Tue 26 Jan 2021, 5:17 pm

I'm surprised that we've been able to keep Mata. I fully expected him to leave for big bucks. You'd think that Haining to Glasgow would be an obvious trade now, given their paucity of back row options.

Judging the the press release this was largely driven by his young family being so settled in Edinburgh. Good for him.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 26 Jan 2021, 8:58 pm

Got to think the offers did not come in. Would have suited Worcester considering their big purchases of wings. Mata's poor form has come at the wrong time for a godfather offer.

Agree with everyone else on the back rows. Haining seems to be the best fit as Bradbury won't be moved due to his Mum and Crosbie is a local Edinburgh boy.

Muncaster came up from Leicester so assume there is a tie to Cockerill. Darge or Boyle to Glasgow would be a natural replacement Fusaro to compete with Gordon.

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Post by RDW Tue 26 Jan 2021, 9:23 pm

Good news on Mata. I suspect the big money wasn't there in the current climate, plus I'm sure players are re-evaluating their priorities just now. He's only 29 so should have time for a big money deal if he's able to get one.

Agree on the backrow balance - there's too many!

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Post by BigGee Tue 26 Jan 2021, 9:24 pm

Munchester is actually fron North Berwick, so has an Edinburgh connection. I don't think it would stop him moving though if it was better for his development.

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Post by EST Wed 27 Jan 2021, 10:58 am

I think Darge would probably be the most obvious one to move, he is likely in direct competition with Boyle, who seems to be above him in the pecking order, and I think he is from the borders, so less of an emotional connection to the Capital.

Just remembered that Edinburgh also have Jack Mann on the books, there has to be some re-balancing in the BR - the difference in numbers/quality is ridiculous.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 27 Jan 2021, 12:47 pm

Is it a question of talent or opportunity? I know nothing of the academy players other than that what is on wiki/SRU so if anyone knows better, please correct.

Glasgow have Rory Jackson and Gregor Brown in their academy for the back row according to wiki but the former is listed as a hooker on the SRU and the latter is a skinny 19 year old 6'4, 101kg lock who will have to move to the back row (I would think unless it is another Tim Swinson).

If they are both back rows, Jackson is 20 and listed at 1.8m, 110kg on the SRU site so got to think he has the size for pro rugby. He is born in Edinburgh and plays for Watsonians so he may have been the one shifted instead of Darge or Boyle. Gregor Brown will need to bulk up and learn the BS/no. 8 positions if he was a lock coming up, may not be ready for pro rugby next season.

Judging by that, Haining, Mann and Darge may be the three we could use. Alternatively, we make an offer to Guy Graham at Newcastle as Newcastle have quite a few back rows and opportunities may prove hard to find instead of getting one of of Darge or Mann.

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Post by EST Wed 27 Jan 2021, 1:16 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Is it a question of talent or opportunity? I know nothing of the academy players other than that what is on wiki/SRU so if anyone knows better, please correct.

Glasgow have Rory Jackson and Gregor Brown in their academy for the back row according to wiki but the former is listed as a hooker on the SRU and the latter is a skinny 19 year old 6'4, 101kg lock who will have to move to the back row (I would think unless it is another Tim Swinson).

If they are both back rows, Jackson is 20 and listed at 1.8m, 110kg on the SRU site so got to think he has the size for pro rugby. He is born in Edinburgh and plays for Watsonians so he may have been the one shifted instead of Darge or Boyle. Gregor Brown will need to bulk up and learn the BS/no. 8 positions if he was a lock coming up, may not be ready for pro rugby next season.

Judging by that, Haining, Mann and Darge may be the three we could use. Alternatively, we make an offer to Guy Graham at Newcastle as Newcastle have quite a few back rows and opportunities may prove hard to find instead of getting one of of Darge or Mann.

I'm guessing, but i think that the allocation of talent to the academies is probably a muddled picture - with the pro, national and age-grade coaches each having a say in, perhaps on top of preferences from the players themselves.  Hopefully this is something that Jim Mallinder should be able to sort out.

Edinburgh

Mata, Ritchie, Watson, Bradbury, Crosbie, Haining, Kunavalu, Boyle, Darge, Mann & Muncaster

v

Glasgow

Fagerson, Wilson, Gordon, Harley, Fusaro, Lokotui, Ioane, Brown, Jackson

Both by age profile and quality, Glasgow have a lot of work to do to bring the standard up.

On the current academy players, like you Hazel I don't know much about the young lads coming through - there are usually a few names I know to look out for by now, but that doesn't seem to be the case with this group - probably a function of the U20 WC being cancelled and a lack of S6 games.

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Post by jimbopip Wed 27 Jan 2021, 4:40 pm

Apparently Uncle Naknaks is feccin off to Ulster on a one year deal. I genuinely thought he'd have shown a little bit more loyalty.
Not a happy bunny.

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Post by EST Wed 27 Jan 2021, 4:53 pm

jimbopip wrote:Apparently Uncle Naknaks is feccin off to Ulster on a one year deal. I genuinely thought he'd have shown a little bit more loyalty.
Not a happy bunny.

Ouch, thought he would be moving on but didn't expect it to be to another Pro 14 club.

Glasgow have been very patient with him since his return giving him much more leeway than other clubs would - they certainly haven't got value for money.
Maybe they didn't think he warranted a new contract and can't say I blame them.

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Post by BigGee Wed 27 Jan 2021, 5:10 pm

I tend to agree with that.

We have had the best of Naks and he is not good value for money now. I can't imagine we would be offerring him a decent contract this time around.

Good luck to him at Ulster though i guess we will see over the rest of this season whether he can get himself back in shape or not. There has to be some doubt about that.

We need to concentrate on the next generation.

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Post by bsando Wed 27 Jan 2021, 5:27 pm

Ouch that stings! France or England you understand but Ulster and playing against Glasgow next season, that's a bit sore.

I suspect his pay will be pretty good though and like others said above perhaps Glasgow can't really afford Cummings, Gray and him on the same payroll.

Great signing for Ulster though, they'll surely get some good results from him in their squad. I'll be interested to see how the move goes.

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Post by RDW Thu 28 Jan 2021, 1:48 am

Bit of a sore one for Glasgow to take - there's a good chance they weren't wanting to extend his contract anyway, but they've basically invested a lot of money and time to get him fit for Ulster's benefit now for no real return of their own.

Nakarawa's market value had basically collapsed at the time that they brought him back over from Fiji.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 28 Jan 2021, 6:46 am

Does seem to be, for lack of a better phrase, a bit of a d**k move if it's nakarawa who initiated it seeing as Glasgow put a lot of time and money into him.

Either that or if was a silly move by Glasgow to reinvest, alarm bells should have been ringing given the way he left racing. He may be a nice enough guy looking out for his family but he's not exactly repaid the faith in him.
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Post by RDW Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:05 am

Our favourite reporter Tom English saying that Glasgow weren't happy with Nakarawa's application in trying to get back fit. Part of the reason he's been our for a year is he didn't put much effort into rehab on his knee injury when he was out in Fiji over the summer.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:36 am

I do wish Nakarawa well and hope he can get his motivation and fitness back. He is 33 in April and needs to be handled carefully to get the best out of him. For a mid-table rebuilding side needing 20 games a season from the star players to pull us up, he is no longer young enough to do it.

Hasting, Nakarawa...will assume H Jones and G Horne are the next ones leaving. Some of that money will have gone to give Cummings a better contract but got to imagine we have 2/3 back rowers to come in along with Weir and Bhatti if we lose all four.

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Post by EST Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:56 am

Yeah, it's been almost non-stop bad news coming out of Glasgow recently but all these departures have to mean we have a bit of headroom when it comes to new signings.

Wilson is going to have to be smart about the players he brings in, Glasgow certainly won't be able to offer top dollar and so, as ever, he is going to have to try and unearth a few hidden gems and some solid pro's with room to improve.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 28 Jan 2021, 4:59 pm

I dont think the Naka move is necessarily bad for Glasgow, but you just know he's going to play well for Ulster in their next fixture. Sods law.

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Post by EST Fri 29 Jan 2021, 2:34 pm

Dom Mckay joins Celtic as Chief Exec - did not see that one coming.

Difficult to know what to make of that really, I have no idea how he is viewed by the SRU workforce or the other wider rugby stakeholders he must work closely with. It's an unusual move insofar as he is jumping across to football and he's going to be under way more scrutiny, could perhaps be viewed by Celtic fans as their club taking a bit of a risk.


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Post by RDW Fri 29 Jan 2021, 9:21 pm

COO of the SRU to CEO of Celtic is a big career jump, no doubt about that. He's also a Celtic season ticket holder.

Will certainly be a very different working life for him dealing with the mental goings on at an old Firm football club!

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Post by BigGee Sun 31 Jan 2021, 10:59 am

Mark Palmer Interview with Zander Fargerson this week.

This kind of suggests that he will be off at the end of his contract next season, with France looking the likely destination.


We know Zander Fagerson as the cornerstone of the Scotland scrum. Robust, resilient, unyielding. The tight-head prop has ballast of his own — a support structure that has proved invaluable amid the swirling uncertainty of a global pandemic and the happy chaos of life with two children under two.

“My faith is an anchor for me to go back to and it’s what I base my life on,” the 25-year-old says. “When the going gets tough, I turn to my faith. With everything going on in the world right now, it reassures me to know that God is in control. I know he has a plan and I just have to put my faith in him.

“Over lockdown, I’ve been lucky to be involved in a rugby players’ Bible study through Christians in Sport. We catch up once a fortnight on Zoom and hear how we’re all getting on. It helps me think about how I play, train and conduct myself and how I can give God as much glory as possible.”

Fagerson’s grandfather, James Buchan, was a preacher and he and his younger brother, Matt, both sport the initials JSB on their wrists on match day. But unlike Euan Murray, a previous Scotland No 3, he has no qualms about Sunday rugby.

“It’s a personal choice, and in Euan’s eyes that was his way of standing up for Christ,” Fagerson says. “I feel the way I do it, whether it’s Monday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, I’m always playing for Jesus and giving him the glory. I also know I wouldn’t have got where I am today in rugby if I didn’t play on a Sunday — that’s when all the Scotland age-grade stuff tends to happen.”

On Saturday, it’s Twickenham and the Calcutta Cup. It will be five years to the day since Fagerson made his Test debut as a second-half substitute in the same fixture at Murrayfield — the day Eddie Jones took charge of England for the first time.

Fagerson had only turned 20 three weeks previously, which made him Scotland’s youngest prop in 68 years. “I was thrown in at the deep end, but I tend to live my life at 100mph anyway,” he says with a smile. “A lot has happened on and off the pitch in those five years. Back then we trained with real intensity and physicality — and even more so now — so I’ve always felt ready for the games, even that first one.”

Due to an unfortunate tendency to pick up injuries around Six Nations time, Fagerson has played England only twice since then, in 2017 and 2020. He was 24th man for the spectacular home win in 2018, and then again when the teams produced that outrageous draw at Twickenham.

“Going in at half-time [31-7 down] was pretty dark,” the Glasgow man recalls. “But we went back to what we’re good at, and with a bit of Finn [Russell] magic we turned it around. I just wish we’d done a full 80-minute performance, but that’s what’s so exciting about this team. We still haven’t seen an 80-minute, 100 per cent performance with everything we have.”

Fagerson has a fair idea of what’s coming this weekend, even though England are without such prominent pack characters as Kyle Sinckler, Mako Vunipola, Joe Launchbury, Sam Underhill and Joe Marler. His set-piece head-to-head will likely be against Ellis Genge.

“He’s a very aggressive carrier, given space and time, quite an abrasive player,” Fagerson says. “His scrummaging has got a lot better, and for the England pack as a whole, [the forwards coach] Matt Proudfoot coming in has been great.

“In the close engagements, the pick and go where he [Genge] doesn’t get a big run-up, he’s a bit susceptible. Every time I’ve played against him it’s been a physical encounter, but that’s the stuff I really enjoy.

“They’re always a tough team, England. There’s a reason they got to the final of the World Cup, and I’d actually like to play the likes of the Sincklers the Makos, the Launchburys, so they’ve got no excuse [if Scotland win]. I want to play their best and have a good crack at it. I’m pretty optimistic.”

The Scottish scrum has improved significantly in the past 12 months under the care of Pieter de Villiers, the former France prop. Fagerson has welcomed the renewed focus on an area that previously did not appear to sit uppermost on Gregor Townsend’s list of priorities.

“Going into the World Cup, we probably didn’t do enough scrum work, technical as well as mindset-wise and endurance,” Fagerson says. “The World Cup final showed that having a solid set piece, especially a solid scrum, can win you Test matches and it’s been awesome to have Pieter’s attention to detail.

“He’s brought things back to basics, making our whole process and structure something that everyone can buy into — this is what we stand for, this is how we do it. We all bought in and you can see the outcomes — the scrum by no means is the finished article, but it’s just got better and better. We’re really lucky to have Pieter, because I know he was being hunted down by a lot of people.”

With Petrus du Plessis having followed Dave Rennie to Australia, Glasgow are without a specialist scrum coach and so Fagerson and the injured Fraser Brown have been helping out. “I get involved in previewing and reviewing,” says the prop. “I’m a bit of a scrum nerd, and every week I’ll watch all the games across the leagues to update my scrumbook. It’s got notes on what all the looseheads are doing, and I utilise them to prepare for whoever I’m coming up against that weekend.”

If Scotland supporters get their wish, the Springbok front row will be in his sights before too long as, when and where the British & Irish Lions tour to take on South Africa goes ahead. Come the summer of 2022, meanwhile, the priority will be trying to ensure he doesn’t go anywhere.

Fagerson, his wife, Yasmine, and their children, Iona and Hamish, have put down roots in Glasgow, but he is unrepentant about wanting to experience rugby life beyond the club where has spent the last seven years.

“I’m definitely not going to be a one-club man. I love Glasgow, and have a strong emotional attachment to the club. They gave me my first crack in pro rugby, and it’s a real privilege to play for the club I watched growing up. But I’m out of contract next year and I want to experience some different things. I’d love to play in the [France’s] Top 14 if possible.

“What will be will be. I’m fully focused on playing for Glasgow and we’ll see what happens. For me as a prop especially, experiencing different competitions would be massive for my development.

“In terms of the Lions, with the stop-start season it’s been, consistency will be massive. I’m hitting my straps again now.

“My main focus is playing well for Glasgow, being selected and playing well for Scotland. If it was to happen, it would be the highlight of my career, a massive achievement and credit to all the coaches who have coached me all the way through. But I’ll do my tick box sheet: play well for Glasgow and Scotland and if selected we’ll go from there.”

Wherever the journey takes him, he’ll always have his anchor.

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Post by EST Sun 31 Jan 2021, 12:19 pm

I'd say more than kind of BigGee, seems an almost cast iron guarantee! Goes without saying that Glasgow will miss him, he's grown into a top quality operator and will command a massive wage in the Top 14. I still have hopes that Nicol can become an adequate replacement, but that's looking less and less likely every time he doesn't even make the 23.

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Post by jimbopip Sun 31 Jan 2021, 1:34 pm

So really that leaves Pieretto, Nicol, McQuillin and The Fugitive at tighthead the season after next.

Pieretto hasn't really impressed since joining.
Nicol and McQuillin seldom feature in the 23.
The Fugitive is another who suffered from being outside of Cowboy Dave's inner circle. In the run up to the Pro14 final he was playing as well as I've ever seen but was left out of the 23.

Two of those four really need to step up and start demanding to be the first choice. As the Pro14 is pretty much over, in terms of being a meaningful competition, this season then perhaps DW might consider giving as much game time as possible to the three tightheads who (a) are SQ and (b) not called Ragnar.

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Post by bsando Sun 31 Jan 2021, 2:57 pm

I hope he does have a big Six Nations and gets selected for the Lions. Both him and Sutherland have the ability but it'll come down to the results. Anything less than 3/5 wins this 6N will probably reduce the chances of the less obvious Scottish picks touring.

That's good news he wants to play elsewhere as he hits his prime, that'll leave a gap for a future talent to fill. Maybe he can get in to Bayonne with Huw Jones? That would be a considerable bolstering of talent for them.

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