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Scotland 6N 2021 thread

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 21 Dec 2020, 4:00 am

First topic message reminder :

As requested by RDW in the Scotland 2020 thread, I have taken on the job of starting the 2021 6N thread as I want to contribute to the forum as much as I can Smile.

First things first, here are the games and starting times for Scotland 6N 2021 matches :

Game 1: A daunting opener against reigning 6N and ANC champions, England (at a bogey round) on Feb 6th, KO: 1645hrs
Game 2: Our first home game of 6N 2021, against a team in transition or a rebuilding process, Wales on Feb 13th, KO: 1645hrs.
Game 3: Another daunting prospect, this time in the Stade De France, against the very entertaining French team, KO: 1500hrs on Feb 28th.
Game 4: Our second home match, this time against our bogey Celtic cousins Ireland on March 14th, KO: 1500hrs.
Game 5: We end our 2021 campaign at home against Italy, usually seen as a Wooden Spoon decider and one Italy always target as a winnable game, even though its been a few years since they have actually beaten us. This game is on March 20th with a KO time of 1415hrs.

I think most fans would be happy with 3 wins from 5 and Tbh, that is easily achievable if we play to our potential. I know that we have a poor record v Ireland but we know that records are breakable, we are at home so should be aiming for a win in that. I, as most Scotland fans no doubt, would LOVE a win at Twickenham to break the only never ending hoodoo left to beat but I think we all know how tough it will be. It may be good to get them first up but tbh, I don't see it make a difference unless England totally underestimate us or get massively hit by Covid etc.

I also think Gregor Townsend has to deliver positive results etc in order to win over the doubters (I am not one by the way, I am probably the only one on this forum that backs his new contract) once and for all, he will have a tough job picking his squad for the 6N, some players are and will, over the next few weeks, be putting up their hands regarding selection (Rory Hutchinson and Huw Jones fall into this category) and some will be hoping to retain their places on the back of good ANC performances (van der Walt and Duncy Weir for example).

So now comes the bit where you guys can contribute to the thread, who would you pick as the pool of players (is it 26 names?) for the 6N, have you got any left field choices that nobody would expect to see in it, Finlay Christie (as an example because I know a lot would love to see him in the Scotland blue) perhaps?

Hopefully this thread satisfies RDW Wink.

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Post by bsando Sat 23 Jan 2021, 11:52 am

Yeah I saw him make some good clear outs during that game, looked busy all match.

And yeah I think it's a good mix of mobility and physicality plus Watson to Jackal ball. Thomson is handy at lineout time as well.

So we'll probably be seeing this 6.Bradbury, 7.Fagerson 8.Thomson Laugh

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Post by bsando Sat 23 Jan 2021, 4:41 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6F33lcgW34&ab_channel=RugbyInterview

Some nice play by Russell for both of Racings try's today. They lost by 1 point and Russell was subbed at '55 for some reason, not sure why. Looked like they could have won that one but shipped a few soft try's and Beale came agonisingly close to getting a penalty that hit the post.

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Post by RDW Sat 23 Jan 2021, 9:12 pm

bsando wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6F33lcgW34&ab_channel=RugbyInterview

Some nice play by Russell for both of Racings try's today. They lost by 1 point and Russell was subbed at '55 for some reason, not sure why. Looked like they could have won that one but shipped a few soft try's and Beale came agonisingly close to getting a penalty that hit the post.

I love the first try with the pop back inside to the winger. Doesn't look like much but the little step does enough to create the space - most 10s would just ship at back inside as a pre-planned move and the winger gets clobbered. As a former winger who ran that line a lot I'd usually get smashed!

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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:31 am

Mark Palmer interview with Cameron Redpath. He sounds like a young man who knows his own mind and has gone about making his decision in the right manner.


Cameron Redpath looks and sounds pretty unruffled for a bloke who has been at the centre of a tug of war. In the course of a half-hour chat with the new Scotland call-up, it becomes clear that it’s not just on the pitch where the 21-year-old performs with a grace and poise well beyond his years.

This is a complex story, with twists and turns, blood and water, but Redpath skilfully reduces it to a couple of core principles: wanting to feel like he had earned the right to make a choice on where to play his Test rugby, and then going with what felt right.

As recently as last autumn, he knocked back an approach from Gregor Townsend, but since then he has become an ever more important figure in the Bath midfield, earning rave reviews for the volume, variety and quality of his work. When Townsend rang again earlier this month, Redpath felt he had a body of evidence to support his case and could thus make his decision from a position of increased strength.

Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the whole process was not last Monday’s confirmation that he had made the squad, but the subsequent call home to his parents. Bryan, his father, is of course a former Scotland captain with 60 caps to his name, but has made a point of never being seen to push his boy in any one direction.

Much as though junior has appreciated this discretion, he knows the score inside out. He’s heard all the stories, seen all the footage, been there himself at Murrayfield when his father’s eyes were welling up during the anthems. Sometimes a supportive parent can also be a partial one.

“Deep down he wanted the Scotland route, and being able to tell him and my mum that’s what was happening was a great little moment,” admits Redpath. “My family have been unbelievable about the whole thing. They’ve said it’s my career, my decision, and that if I wanted to go down the England route, the France route [Redpath was born there when his dad was playing for Narbonne] or didn’t want to play international rugby, they’d back me.

“My decision was my decision. I spoke to the people I trusted about it: my family, my good friends, my agents. They’re the only opinions I really care about. My family are very proud. They might hide it and say they’re not bothered about whether it’s England or Scotland, but you can tell they’re pretty buzzing. They’ve stuck to their word, supported me, and I think I’ve made them a little extra happy now.

“Gregor is obviously good mates with my dad, so when he’s come round for a family do, he’s always dropped a comment in there! But seriously, he’s a good guy and he’s always respected my thinking.”

Redpath, who played under-16 rugby for Scotland, then under-18s for both and under-20 for England, has not spoken to anyone on the Red Rose side since making his decision, but says that Bath are “totally supportive” despite him now being set to lose that coveted — and financially valuable — England Qualified Player status.

“I spoke to Hoops [Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper] a couple of times and he didn’t care whether I played for France, England or Scotland. He just said he wanted me playing well for Bath because that’s what will get the best out of me. He said it won’t affect anything at the club. They’ll rate me for who I am, not any other consideration. That’s all I needed to hear and it made my decision a little bit easier.

“Bath have been great for me [he signed from Sale Sharks last February]. They’ve shown me that the best way to approach professional rugby is to enjoy it, and they’ve given me a leadership role as well: they’ve said that if I have a point, don’t hold back. They want to hear what I’ve got to say.”

Ollie Lawrence was Redpath’s midfield partner for England under-20s
Ollie Lawrence was Redpath’s midfield partner for England under-20s
MATTHEW CHILDS/REUTERS
The story would write itself should Redpath end up making his Scotland debut at Twickenham on February 6. The night before the Scots’ last visit, in 2019, he and Ollie Lawrence were the England under-20 centres in a 45-7 win over their Caledonian counterparts at Franklin’s Gardens. Redpath scored one of England’s seven tries.

This time the pair could be in direct opposition, but whatever happens next, there was nothing illogical in Redpath gravitating towards a white shirt in his younger years. England, after all, is where he has lived all but a few months of his life, where he went to school, and through whose rugby structures he emerged.

“I played Scotland under-16s when I was 15, but after that England approached. It was good for my development at the time: we had Jonny Wilkinson doing kicking sessions with the under-18s. At the time, I knew it wouldn’t pin me down and I was enjoying it. I didn’t really think about it, I was just enjoying my rugby and being me.

“It was the right thing at the time, but this time it feels like the right thing to go with Scotland, and get on that international stage if I train well. Ollie is one of my best mates and it’s never easy to play against him because he’s such a big lump! If I do play against him, I’ll have to be his enemy for the day then catch him up for a beer and be mates again.”

Redpath is a multifaceted midfielder. He prefers 12 to 13 but has also filled in at stand off for Bath, most notably when Rhys Priestland went off after ten minutes of last month’s win away to Worcester. He brings individual threat, the ability to link and a willingness to get his hands dirty at the less glamorous end of the scale when trying to win turnovers and gainline. There is an exuberance to his game which, you discover, is absolutely intentional and which he feels will find a match in the likes of Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg.

“I like to get involved. I hate games where I’m not really doing much. I feel like I can bring grit and hard work when it’s needed and a bit of flair sometimes too. If I get that chance, hopefully I can bounce off Finn a little bit and we can have some fun and enjoy it. He seems to have fun every game. I’ve played against Hoggy a few times and he seems to enjoy it too. Hopefully we can bounce off each other and make it work together, playing some really good rugby.

“I’m pretty buzzing about the whole thing — I have been all week. I can’t wait to get into camp and get going.”

Redpath has managed to escape involvement in any of the Covid chaos at Bath in the past few days and is due to travel north today. If and when the under-20 Six Nations is rescheduled for the summer, we can expect to see Murray, his younger brother, feature in Sean Lineen’s scrum-half plans, but for now he is focused on himself.

“I want to play Test match rugby and challenge myself at that level. Not many people can say they are internationals, so if I can do that at 21, hopefully I’ve got a long career ahead of me.”

In one sense, Redpath has always known where he wants to go.

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Post by RDW Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:42 am

Tom English isn't buying it:

Looking forward to seeing Cameron Redpath in the Six Nations. He’s a really good prospect. Not sure I’m having these quotes though. He played England U-18s, U-20s, trained with Eddie Jones’s full squad and would have toured South Africa with them had he not got injured. https://t.co/HR73de7uss

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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:02 am

RDW wrote:Tom English isn't buying it:

Looking forward to seeing Cameron Redpath in the Six Nations. He’s a really good prospect. Not sure I’m having these quotes though. He played England U-18s, U-20s, trained with Eddie Jones’s full squad and would have toured South Africa with them had he not got injured. https://t.co/HR73de7uss

I don't blame him for that. What 18 year old would not have taken that opportunity?

Was Jones ever planning to play him though? It would have been crazy if he had and it may well have damaged him, physically and mentally. That injury was a blessing in disguise and not just because it has got him to play for Scotland.

Perhaps he has had time to reflect on that and realise that Steady Eddie was playing games. He has certainly had to grow up a bit in the past few years, with things going wrong for him at Sale and having to establish himself at a new club (very successfully).

Fair to say, he is not the same young man, or player he was when he was 18 years old!

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:04 am

RDW wrote:Tom English isn't buying it:

Looking forward to seeing Cameron Redpath in the Six Nations. He’s a really good prospect. Not sure I’m having these quotes though. He played England U-18s, U-20s, trained with Eddie Jones’s full squad and would have toured South Africa with them had he not got injured. https://t.co/HR73de7uss

He makes a fair point, and we could argue the same about Graham who essentially admitted in interview he wanted to give Scotland the finger but then turned out for us.

However, we're definitely not in a position to complain about such things. The fact he got picked for England, a nation with about 10 times the number of registered players, is testament to his quality. It's like if Finlay picked Scotland after being on the fringes of all black selection. Can't blame them for wanting the opportunity to win trophies.
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Post by RDW Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:16 am

There's no doubting his selection for that SA tour at 18 was absolute madness.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:19 am

RDW wrote:There's no doubting his selection for that SA tour at 18 was absolute madness.

Aye and it probably was a bit of gamesmanship from Jones but he has also been through the English system and definitely hasn't gone unnoticed
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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 7:48 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/cameron-redpath-explains-choosing-scotland-over-england/


and from the horses mouth.


It does strike me that maybe he realises himself that he was not ready at 18. What was Jones thinking of? It could have ruined him going on that tour!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 24 Jan 2021, 8:06 pm

Jones does tend to call up players to have a look and train with the full squad. Doesnt necessarily mean he thinks they're ready for the full squad as such.

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Post by BigGee Sun 24 Jan 2021, 8:14 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Jones does tend to call up players to have a look and train with the full squad. Doesnt necessarily mean he thinks they're ready for the full squad as such.

I can see the value of doing that at home, Toonie does the same, he has three promising youngsters with the squad this time around. There is no pressure on them though, they are just there for the experience.

Going on a tour is different though, a couple of injuries and you will be the next one onto the pitch. He was only 18 at the time and had hardly played a pro game and was in no way ready. It was a blessing in disguise getting injured before he went.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 24 Jan 2021, 9:57 pm

BigGee wrote:https://www.rugbypass.com/news/cameron-redpath-explains-choosing-scotland-over-england/


and from the horses mouth.


It does strike me that maybe he realises himself that he was not ready at 18. What was Jones thinking of? It could have ruined him going on that tour!


Could have possibly pushed his development on as well. Going away, working with the international coaches including the innovation seeking Eddie. I doubt he'd had played. England would have called up injury cover if required rather than throwing an 18 year old to the wolves.

Eddie very much likes his apprentice players. Scotland have got a good un in Redpath Jnr. He really came of age in 2020 and I think there's more to come from him. I'd have preferred to see him wearing the red rose but can understand his choice. The potential of a Russell/Redpath 10/12 combination is pretty exciting I'd just like to see it take a game to bed in before bearing fruit.

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Post by NeilyBroon Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:04 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
BigGee wrote:https://www.rugbypass.com/news/cameron-redpath-explains-choosing-scotland-over-england/


and from the horses mouth.


It does strike me that maybe he realises himself that he was not ready at 18. What was Jones thinking of? It could have ruined him going on that tour!


Could have possibly pushed his development on as well. Going away, working with the international coaches including the innovation seeking Eddie. I doubt he'd had played. England would have called up injury cover if required rather than throwing an 18 year old to the wolves.

Eddie very much likes his apprentice players. Scotland have got a good un in Redpath Jnr. He really came of age in 2020 and I think there's more to come from him. I'd have preferred to see him wearing the red rose but can understand his choice. The potential of a Russell/Redpath 10/12 combination is pretty exciting I'd just like to see it take a game to bed in before bearing fruit.

Toonie's a pretty conservative selector these days. I expect unless DT is injured, Redpath will make an appearance from the bench, although many of us think he'd be worth looking at as a starter potentially as it's a position we really are struggling with!
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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:51 pm

Don't mean to sound harsh as I'm not that type of guy, but imho Tom English should concentrate on Football and let others talk Rugby.

I have no issues with Redpath/Graham choosing us over England and would certainly think the reasons are valid, despite what Mr English thinks. I'd feel the same if Ben Vellacott, Fraser Dingwall or Fraser Strachan followed Cammy in switching back to Scotland.

Anyway, I'm getting excited lol, I can sense history being created by Gregor's lads, look at Australia cricket team, they've just lost at The Gabba for first time since 1984.

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Post by RDW Sun 24 Jan 2021, 11:54 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:Don't mean to sound harsh as I'm not that type of guy, but imho Tom English should concentrate on Football and let others talk Rugby.

I have no issues with Redpath/Graham choosing us over England and would certainly think the reasons are valid, despite what Mr English thinks.  I'd feel the same if Ben Vellacott, Fraser Dingwall or Fraser Strachan followed Cammy in switching back to Scotland.

Anyway, I'm getting excited lol, I can sense history being created by Gregor's lads, look at Australia cricket team, they've just lost at The Gabba for first time since 1984.

Funnily enough the football fans tell him the opposite!

Tom is actually generally a very good writer to be fair, he can just be a bit bombastic and OTT in his comments sometimes. He's written a lot of good rugby articles over the years.

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 25 Jan 2021, 5:16 am

RDW wrote:
Highland Shaun wrote:Don't mean to sound harsh as I'm not that type of guy, but imho Tom English should concentrate on Football and let others talk Rugby.

I have no issues with Redpath/Graham choosing us over England and would certainly think the reasons are valid, despite what Mr English thinks.  I'd feel the same if Ben Vellacott, Fraser Dingwall or Fraser Strachan followed Cammy in switching back to Scotland.

Anyway, I'm getting excited lol, I can sense history being created by Gregor's lads, look at Australia cricket team, they've just lost at The Gabba for first time since 1984.

Funnily enough the football fans tell him the opposite!

Tom is actually generally a very good writer to be fair, he can just be a bit bombastic and OTT in his comments sometimes. He's written a lot of good rugby articles over the years.

Aye I'd second this, of the Scottish rugby journos out there English is definitely one of the better ones and has his finger on the pulse much better than others such as Andy Nicol!
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Post by bsando Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:02 am

I like English a lot but that tweet is just to scrutinise. Do you think a 21 year old Redpath gives a flying Fijian about his opinion? Nup.

https://www.premiershiprugby.com/prtv/

Redpath and Graham named in Flats XV - Season So Far, will they both start for Scotland? On form I would say yes.


Last edited by bsando on Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:55 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by BigGee Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:11 am

NeilyBroon wrote:

Aye I'd second this, of the Scottish rugby journos out there English is definitely one of the better ones and has his finger on the pulse much better than others such as Andy Nicol!


To be honest, calling Andy Nicol a journalist is a bit of a stretch.

A poor commentator, who has a Daily Mail Column (which someone likely ghosts for him in any case), which he only gets as he is a TV commentator and never says anything in the slightest bit controversial.

Mark Palmer is probably the best of the Scottish rugby journos just now and seems to have the confidence of a lot of the players. I used to like the Offside Line lot, but they have gone off the boil recently and only seem to be interested in waging a war against the SRU.

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Post by RDW Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:13 am

Jamie Lyle is probably the current star player, and he seems to get most of the big name interview with RugbyPass and the XV.

Mark Palmer the established head too.

Rob Robertson just writes what Palmer says but with a tabloid spin.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 10:10 am

BigGee wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Jones does tend to call up players to have a look and train with the full squad. Doesnt necessarily mean he thinks they're ready for the full squad as such.

I can see the value of doing that at home, Toonie does the same, he has three promising youngsters with the squad this time around. There is no pressure on them though, they are just there for the experience.

Going on a tour is different though, a couple of injuries and you will be the next one onto the pitch. He was only 18 at the time and had hardly played a pro game and was in no way ready. It was a blessing in disguise getting injured before he went.

Doubt he would have got on the pitch even with injuries. Trying to remember exactly who went but form the looks of the final squad there would have been about 5 players able to cover initially. Then you have the fact its south africa and you can more easily call up a replacement that if you're touring New Zealand. It's only this season redpath has started to excel for me so think it's probably more jones looking at youngsters as he had before. Hes ready now to get a cap like and townsend has done well to get him in.


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Post by tigertattie Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:49 pm

I don’t know what was going through Redpath's mind, neither does Tom English so it may be unfair to cast criticism.

I think the point English is making is that Redpath did in fact snub the call from Scotland when it came. Now there's no evident sniffs from England Redpath has now declared for Scotland. It does look a bit like we're his consolation prize.

I can't blame him if that is the case. Part of the reason Bath took him would be the EQ payment from the RU so he wouldn’t have wanted to hamper his employment credentials back then. Now he is more established he doesn’t need the EQ payment as much on his side as teams will want him due to the quality he'd bring to the side.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 25 Jan 2021, 1:14 pm

To me it sounds like a case where a player has genuine ties to multiple countries and reasons to pick either. In these sort of situations I dont think it's really a case of well I always was an england or scotland fan hence i chose them. More a case of multiple pull factors.

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 25 Jan 2021, 1:25 pm

Summarises it well 7, I think career wise although he won't be winning trophies with Scotland necessarily but he will probably get more caps and therefore his value is likely to increase. That being said I look at players like Huw Jones and wonder whether he'd actually have been better off with England or staying in SA.

he's been let down by multiple parties in the Scottish set up and not got as much gametime as he might have playing outside Scotland. Only now is he having a resurgence, out of position when he's going to leave at the end of his contract, despite us not having many options at outside centre for Glasgow or Scotland over the last three years.

Basically I hope that redpath stays in the premiership despite choosing to play for Scotland. A move north of the border due to the SRU trying to intervene could hamstring his pro career outside of the Scotland team.
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Post by BigGee Mon 25 Jan 2021, 1:38 pm

I can't see Redpath ever coming north.

He will be in decent money soon and the SRU will be happy enough to let someone else pick up thst tab.

You could easily see him in France one dsy though if he feels he needs a chsnge of scenery

Huw Jones was a bit different coming from a SA club, but truth is we can't really afford him now either

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Post by bsando Mon 25 Jan 2021, 2:32 pm

If only he could swap to Gloucester to form a Hastings/Redpath/Harris axis. He's in a great place really, so many talented players in that Bath team, including the son of another former Captain, Tom De Glanville. He looks very impressive too.


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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 25 Jan 2021, 6:40 pm

There is an article and video on The Rugby Pass site (video also available on YouTube) where Jim Hamilton speaks to Cammy for about 20mins about his time at Bath and why he chose us, its well worth listening too Wink. Once you listen to it, I'm fairly confident you peeps won't say that he chose us as "a consultation prize".

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Post by bsando Mon 25 Jan 2021, 7:16 pm

Happy Burns Night everyone!

I see Ashton will be at Worcester Warriors soon. That's great to have a player of his experience and quality to help DVDM improve his all round game as a winger. I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun for Ashton to feed off DVDM breaks as well.

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Post by NeilyBroon Mon 25 Jan 2021, 8:26 pm

Worcester certainly seem to be spending the big bucks on wingers, hope they get good use under a Solly gameplan!
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Post by EST Tue 26 Jan 2021, 11:36 am

Yeah, I think English's tweet is a touch unfair - he fails to mention that Redpath played Scotland U16 for instance.  He was only 18 when he was called up by Jones, regardless of the EJ's motives that must have been a huge draw to a young bloke who has grown up in England.

TBH I'm surprised, and delighted, he has committed to Scotland - he has a genuine connection to both countries and the fact he has played for both at Jnr level or that he considered both at senior level shouldn't count against him.


Last edited by EST on Tue 26 Jan 2021, 11:57 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by NeilyBroon Tue 26 Jan 2021, 11:48 am

Ultimately for these guys it is a career and is much like picking what company you want to work for over the next 10 years. I'm sure redpath would be just as happy had he picked England albeit a different scenario but understandable given how much time he's spent in the English system. It all comes down to how he feels at the end of the day. For example, I think Nel is more Scottish than a lot of our Scottish born players!

To be fair it's all irrelevant now he's picked Scotland and hopefully will relish the opportunity and all the best to him! I hope Finlay Christie decides the ABs aren't for him!
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Post by BigGee Tue 26 Jan 2021, 2:45 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jan/26/hiring-firing-eddie-jones-cost-english-rugby

As I said earlier in the thread, Redpath getting injured and missing that tour may have been no bad thing for him.

A lot of good young players may have been pulled in to early with damaging consequences on their careers.


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Post by bsando Tue 26 Jan 2021, 3:02 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:Ultimately for these guys it is a career and is much like picking what company you want to work for over the next 10 years. I'm sure redpath would be just as happy had he picked England albeit a different scenario but understandable given how much time he's spent in the English system. It all comes down to how he feels at the end of the day. For example, I think Nel is more Scottish than a lot of our Scottish born players!

To be fair it's all irrelevant now he's picked Scotland and hopefully will relish the opportunity and all the best to him! I hope Finlay Christie decides the ABs aren't for him!

Nel is a legend, I love his attitude to Edinburgh and Scotland. If we can nail down more players like him that would be fantastic!

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Post by bsando Tue 26 Jan 2021, 3:27 pm

I read that article earlier Big Gee, valid points regarding his processes of selection. I think he is a little unsympathetic at times but saying that, most agents and players should know his ways by now.

For instance... "..Zach Mercer. The Bath No 8 still has an eye-catching turn of pace but, for whatever reason, has become so disillusioned about the chances of Jones picking him again that he is off to Montpellier in France." That is quite a claim. I think Jones would argue that move is more to do with Mercers own ambitions as a player. If he was serious about playing more for England he wouldn't leave Bath and remain in the frame. In fact a lot of the players listed in the article could still push back into connection for England. Equally many might not have even got a shot if the head coach had been someone else and now have the added bonus of England caps to their CV.

For Scotland, Robinson snubbed plenty of good players back in the day for his favourites. I personally think Jones is just being practical and looking at the best way to find as close to a perfect team as he can. That will constantly be evolving as players grow, decline, improve and get injured. He must know a lot of basic info about a lot of these players from the little snippets he's had from England camps with them.

It's a tough one, no way is perfect I suppose. I am not a huge fan of coaches retaining a consistent team with rare openings to replace an established player but at the same time, a coach with no selection consistency isn't helpful either.

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Post by NeilyBroon Tue 26 Jan 2021, 4:24 pm

I think that's happened with a fair few players in Scotland too, not just England, so we're not exactly clean!

Toonie has become a fairly predictable selector, and has become a bit dogmatic about positions that may need change such as SH or centre. You can hardly say Jones has had a good run of gametime under Toonie, despite doing everything he asked.
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Post by bsando Wed 27 Jan 2021, 10:10 am

Yeah he strikes a good balance I think although I thought Price shouldn't have been starting when Horne was starting every game for Glasgow. And yes I also think Jones got a raw deal pre RWC2019. His one shot was a weakened starting XV away to resurgent France. Harris on the other hand got a much easier run of games.

Monye is clearly a little gutted to see Redpath choose Scotland, thinks he'll be tough to shift once he gets his hands on the 12 jersey. Exciting prospect. Certainly nice to see new faces entering the Scotland camp and filling in some of the gaps left by Seymour, Dunbar, Laidlaw etc.

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Post by bsando Wed 27 Jan 2021, 10:31 am

On another note, Underhill and Launchbury are out for the start of the 6N which opens the door slightly for some Scottish players if the Lions tour goes ahead. Watson and Gray were probably behind both those players, now they could force their way into contention if they have a strong 6N campaign.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Wed 27 Jan 2021, 12:17 pm

Watson's problem is that Underhill drops out and Ben Earl comes in, and they have Jack Willis on the bench. Ridiculous depth. Then there's the fact that Gatland will almost certainly pick Justin Tipuric to tour, and Tom Curry is also highly likely to tour.

I feel for Watson. He's a terrific player and has been very consistent, but there is just so much competition for the specialist 7 slot.

I just wonder of Richie Gray has a shot, assuming Toonie picks him (and I think it helps Turner settle with a familiar lineout combo). I was really impressed with both his shifts against Edinburgh, and he works really well with Cummings. Gatland has picked him before, and he'll suit conditions in South Africa.

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Post by BamBam Wed 27 Jan 2021, 12:32 pm

Curry, Underhill and Watson would be my first 3 picks at flanker for the Lions tour. Willis and Earl have great potential but the first 3 have proven it regularly

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 27 Jan 2021, 1:16 pm

England are missing a few players between Marler, Sinckler, M Vunipola, Launchbury and Underhill though England's depth in the pack is ridiculous. The losses may still hurt them at scrum time. Nel coming on against Obano, particularly with the form Nel is on, should go our way. If it is Berghan instead of Nel, I will be disappointed.

For Scotland to get some Lions tourists, we really need to beat one of England or Ireland. Wales is Gatland's old favourites and he will say it is because he knows them. Ireland and England have been winning for a while. We need to be sending a message we can regularly compete and win against the top teams rather than 3rd/4th being the best we can do.

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Post by bsando Wed 27 Jan 2021, 1:39 pm

Hopefully we'll get some strong performances and well taken chances from Scotland this 6N. Of course it won't all be perfect but Scotland all too often fade when under intense physical pressure. If Scotland can hold out and keep teams honest in defence but also crack the other home nations open in attack that will go a long way to impressing Gatland.

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Post by RDW Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:37 am

Bit of an injury update from Townsend, with Ritchie the only doubt as he recovers from concussion. Hogg is back fit and will play for Exeter this weekend (how are the players able to travel during lockdown btw?).

Thoughts on who to play at 6 of Ritchie is out? Graeme probably the front runner.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 28 Jan 2021, 9:52 am

RDW wrote:Bit of an injury update from Townsend, with Ritchie the only doubt as he recovers from concussion. Hogg is back fit and will play for Exeter this weekend (how are the players able to travel during lockdown btw?).

Thoughts on who to play at 6 of Ritchie is out? Graeme probably the front runner.

I think because it's for work they can travel, one of many ambiguities!

Yeah I'd say Graham definitely, he is the form backrower for us atm so makes sense to slot him in there. Ritchie may have trouble pushing back into the squad if Graham puts in a really physical shift in attack, he may be the foil that Fagerson needs at this level.
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Post by bsando Thu 28 Jan 2021, 10:04 am

I actually think Thomson could play at 6 and Graham at 8 with Watson 7. Makes more sense to me because Graham is getting more time at no.8 than Thomson and is more abrasive in the carry. But those three would be my favourites to start against England with Fagerson on the bench.

Alarm Bells! Optimism is high from the BBC..

"I've just loved the way he's come into camp during the autumn and this Six Nations campaign. He's almost coached the boys around and put us into positions where he wants us.

"It's a totally different mindset that he's got and we're absolutely loving it."

Russell, whose Racing 92 side were beaten by Hogg's Exeter Chiefs in last season's European Champions Cup final, is set to win his 52nd cap in Scotland's Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham on 6 February.

"You can see how well he's been playing for Racing over the past year and hopefully he can bring that form into Scotland," Hogg added.

"We believe he is one of the best 10s in the world, and quite possibly has the best kicking game out of everybody, so we're very fortunate he's part of our squad."

Head coach Gregor Townsend says there is a freshness about his squad as they seek to improve on last year's fourth-place finish.

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Post by RDW Thu 28 Jan 2021, 10:08 am

The thing with Blade Thomson is he's coming up for his 10th cap and I can't remember him standing out in any way whatsoever in the previous 9. He's built for a fast open game and that's not what we're going to get against England.

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Post by bsando Thu 28 Jan 2021, 10:19 am

Ah so you're thinking Fagerson at 8 with Graham at 6? If Ritchie is out for England it seems like it'll be pretty open in who he selects apart from Watson at 7. It would be better if Ritchie was fit and available really. I love the work he does to get the ball out to the backline as well as his defensive work. He has really good hands.

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Post by RDW Thu 28 Jan 2021, 10:21 am

Yeah Graeme at 6 For me that's his best position at international level. A real hard ba5tard grafter who will add to our ball carrying - something we've not really had for a while.

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Post by NeilyBroon Thu 28 Jan 2021, 10:57 am

bsando wrote:I actually think Thomson could play at 6 and Graham at 8 with Watson 7. Makes more sense to me because Graham is getting more time at no.8 than Thomson and is more abrasive in the carry. But those three would be my favourites to start against England with Fagerson on the bench.

Alarm Bells! Optimism is high from the BBC..

"I've just loved the way he's come into camp during the autumn and this Six Nations campaign. He's almost coached the boys around and put us into positions where he wants us.

"It's a totally different mindset that he's got and we're absolutely loving it."

Russell, whose Racing 92 side were beaten by Hogg's Exeter Chiefs in last season's European Champions Cup final, is set to win his 52nd cap in Scotland's Six Nations opener against England at Twickenham on 6 February.

"You can see how well he's been playing for Racing over the past year and hopefully he can bring that form into Scotland," Hogg added.

"We believe he is one of the best 10s in the world, and quite possibly has the best kicking game out of everybody, so we're very fortunate he's part of our squad."

Head coach Gregor Townsend says there is a freshness about his squad as they seek to improve on last year's fourth-place finish.

Hogg is always bullish about our chances. I just hope we don't get schooled by England. If it's within a score that's a win for me. I'm fearful that it may be a bit of a slaughter, especially given our current style of play!

If Finn has a belter then we should at least hopefully score some tries. I'm actually most worried about SH, neither choice really inspires me and arguably could have more of a negative impact than anyone on the pitch. Just look at Edinburgh!
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Post by EST Thu 28 Jan 2021, 1:36 pm

NeilyBroon wrote:
RDW wrote:Bit of an injury update from Townsend, with Ritchie the only doubt as he recovers from concussion. Hogg is back fit and will play for Exeter this weekend (how are the players able to travel during lockdown btw?).

Thoughts on who to play at 6 of Ritchie is out? Graeme probably the front runner.

I think because it's for work they can travel, one of many ambiguities!

Yeah I'd say Graham definitely, he is the form backrower for us atm so makes sense to slot him in there. Ritchie may have trouble pushing back into the squad if Graham puts in a really physical shift in attack, he may be the foil that Fagerson needs at this level.

I like the Graham, Watson & Fagerson combo, as you say having somebody else who can carry ball may give Fagerson a bit more room to operate.


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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu 28 Jan 2021, 5:03 pm

Agree with Graham, Watson and Fagerson, with Ritchie possibly out. All in good form and the Calcutta Cup isn't the fixture to be taking risks with fitness.

I'm now immune to optimism in Scottish Rugby. 30 years of dedicated support has generated a vaccine with 100% success....

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