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Bryan Redpath on his son.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 12 Feb 2021, 6:00 am

Bryan Redpath is a guest on Kyran Bracken's "Ruck It!" podcast. While many might already know how Cameron elected to play for Scotland, I found his dad's account illuminating.

Bryan was fairly certain his son was going to choose England. We know he was in the 2018 U20s squad, and was selected for the senior South Africa tour before injury kept him out. Townsend approached him for last season's Six Nations, and again for the Autumn series, indicating he would be selected for Wales and Georgia, but he said no.

According to Bryan, Cameron felt he was playing better than any other inside centre in the Premiership, except for Piers O'Connor, but Jones had selected (as listed by Bryan Redpath) Owen Farrell, Piers Francis, Ollie Devoto, Ollie Lawrence, Manu Tuilagi, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, and Fraser Dingwall ahead of him. He didn't think he was on Jones' radar any more, so, when Townsend called again for this Six Nations, he heard him out, and made his choice. Cameron was frustrated because, at 96kg, he was heavier than most of the centres in that list, one of the best jackling records for a back in the Premiership, but felt he was seen as lightweight. Bryan notes that even some journalists talked about his debut as a victory for smaller men, seemingly oblivious to his actual size. Bracken was taken aback to hear Redpath was as heavy as 96kg.

I was interested to hear the account because I assumed Bryan Redpath played a role in getting his son into the Scotland team but it sounds like he was quite happy to see him selected for England, and was just waiting for it to happen. Redpath listed a number of English players who are being overlooked, and others like Ruaridh McConnochie who got picked, and then quickly dropped, and it sounds like the selection uncertainty played a big role when they weighed up the pros and cons. He's happy to see his son in a Scorland shirt, because he sees his rugby career moving forward (albeit injury looks like his immediate progress has been interrupted).

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Post by EST Fri 12 Feb 2021, 8:34 am

There is a great interview with Bryan in the latest BBC Scotland rugby pod - the pride in his sons performance is self evident. He talks about how he cracked open the bottle of Whisky he was presented for his 50th cap to celebrate - must be an amazing feeling seeing your son play so well, especially with Redpath Snr's attachment to the Scotland team and friendship with Townsend.

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Post by BigGee Fri 12 Feb 2021, 8:48 am

Sounds like EJs selection games may have back fired on him this time around.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 12 Feb 2021, 9:02 am

It is different when considering England than the other countries due to the sheer number of players of a similar quality but offering differing strengths and weaknesses. Personally I feel that this tournament is the first where I've felt Redpath would seriously come into consideration, by then the horse had bolted of course!

Reading the list above (Owen Farrell, Piers Francis, Ollie Devoto, Ollie Lawrence, Manu Tuilagi, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, and Fraser Dingwall ) you can really discount Farrell, Francis, Devoto, Tuilagi and Joseph from a direct comparison to where Redpath was. Leaves Marchant, Lawrence and Dingwall. Even then I think Marchant was impressing in a Quins shirt with a lot more experience than Redpath. Lawrence had got the jump on him and Dingwall would have been behind.

There are times I'm left mystified as to why a player is dropped ie Lawrence or how they get so many caps but there will always be a player with their nose out of joint, some are lucky enough to have shared nationality or find a granny with some ties.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 12 Feb 2021, 9:16 am

Yes. There will always be good players that miss out because they don't fit 'the system', more so with the playing numbers (and academies) in England. Sam Simmonds is a perfect example of this. On the flip side I just don't think Farrell should be there at the moment. Great player previously and may well be again but right now from a fan's eye view he's not offering much

This is OK whilst the system is working, but right now it seems faulty.


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Post by BigGee Fri 12 Feb 2021, 10:33 am

Yes is true Englsnd have an embarrassment of riches in centre and in most positions in truth. That will mske it very frustrating for tslented young players like Redpath, who may see there progression being blocked.

He is someone who clearly has a lot of self confidence in his own ability and was not going to wsit his turn, especially with Farrell as the regular 12, who Eddie never intends to drop.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Fri 12 Feb 2021, 11:32 am

Farrell will be the England IC going into the RWC2023 barring injury and would likely be trying to keep his spot until the next Lions tour in 2025.

It is going to be the calculation for others like Dingwall (Scottish parents) on whether to hang around and get 5 - 10 England caps whilst maintaining top form for years waiting for Farrell, Tuilagi, Slade and Joseph to suffer injury or retire. If you don't maintain form, there are several others (e.g. Marchant, Lawrence, Devoto) looking to take your place.

Alternatively, Scotland had/have a relative opening at 12 and are more likely to hand opportunities out to unseat Harris (admittedly Bennett, Steyn, H Jones, D Taylor will all be in the mix). Wales have openings in the centre as after a yet to be settled J Williams - Tompkins the cupboard is fairly empty, particularly after RWC2023. Even Ireland have questions due to the amount of injuries Henshaw - Ringrose pick up and the determination of Ireland not to pick McCloskey.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 12 Feb 2021, 11:40 am

Also worth noting a lot of pundits would have Daly at 13 for England and then there's always the entire back row that could be playing center.

Does put a different gloss on things though, when the Evans brothers jumped ship it wasn't that big a deal but if Redpath does go on to be better than the players Jones has already dropped then itbwull go down as a selection error on his part.

Can't blame the lad and its not like he isn't Scottish. Certainly looks like smart decision so far.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 12 Feb 2021, 11:41 am

Should also say that this really flags up the problem with having ditched the saxons from a purely selfish england POV.

But also its good to see that a player wasn't excluded from test rugby by dint of a second team appearance when young then being seen as surplus.

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Post by Brendan Fri 12 Feb 2021, 12:53 pm

I think if Redpath hadn't got injuries and gone to SA he would either still not get picked but would be capped for England.

All nations do it where they will cap a player as much to tie him to that country.   It's playing the game but it's not great for young players.  I don't mind the soccer model of only compeditive caps count.  If the 6N/RC and WC tied players to a union it might help as they can see different setups and experience what they are actually picking.

Its easy to sell a dream to a kid but when they turn up its only then they find out if it's real.

I think once a person has 3-5 caps then the choice is made

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 12 Feb 2021, 1:48 pm

'Owen Farrell, Piers Francis, Ollie Devoto, Ollie Lawrence, Manu Tuilagi, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, and Fraser Dingwall'
I would argue none of them are as good a 12 as Redpath.
Marchant and Joseph are better 13's
Tuilagi gives you something special but he has the weaknesses
The rest are not even close

This will work as being, by some distance, Jones's biggest blunder of the season

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 12 Feb 2021, 1:55 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:'Owen Farrell, Piers Francis, Ollie Devoto, Ollie Lawrence, Manu Tuilagi, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, and Fraser Dingwall'
I would argue none of them are as good a 12 as Redpath.
Marchant and Joseph are better 13's
Tuilagi gives you something special but he has the weaknesses
The rest are not even close

This will work as being, by some distance, Jones's biggest blunder of the season

I mean as above, the timescales of when the others were around the squad is a completely different judgement than now. Added to that Redpath has a handful of caps at club level and 1 at international. I remember when Huw Jones was the best midfielder in the NH too.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri 12 Feb 2021, 3:58 pm

After what just happened to Ollie Lawrence I suspect there will be a fair few young talented English players asking their parents and Grandparents about their heritage!!

I'm just so pleased that we have two genuinely high quality 12s in Redpath and Hutchinson, who will really push the backline forward and add a new dimension, with two high quality 10s in Russell and Hastings. These have been massive problem areas for us in the past, and we're now well stocked.

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Post by Gooseberry Fri 12 Feb 2021, 4:04 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:'Owen Farrell, Piers Francis, Ollie Devoto, Ollie Lawrence, Manu Tuilagi, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marchant, and Fraser Dingwall'
I would argue none of them are as good a 12 as Redpath.
Marchant and Joseph are better 13's
Tuilagi gives you something special but he has the weaknesses
The rest are not even close

This will work as being, by some distance, Jones's biggest blunder of the season

I mean as above, the timescales of when the others were around the squad is a completely different judgement than now. Added to that Redpath has a handful of caps at club level and 1 at international. I remember when Huw Jones was the best midfielder in the NH too.

Imagine if Scotland had poached Twelvetrees! Time will tell how much of a loss he was. Also have to factor in the aborted Japan tour and loss of opportunities then. But if he does go on to be the first Scottish centre in decades to be of much note and Farrell/Slade keeps being so absurdly rubbish then we certainly can hold it up as A THING.

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