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Another tug of war?

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Post by Highland Shaun Tue 06 Apr 2021, 11:50 pm

https://twitter.com/thistlerugbypod/status/1379496750352842755?s=19

I see England are trying to snatch another player from under our noses :/

Cameron Redpath and Josh Bayliss have been snapped up by us which is pleasing. But we look to have lost out on Fraser Dingwall to England and, at the moment Ben Vellacott isn't committing either way.

I personally would cap him on our summer tour and really hope that the SRU are working on getting him to commit to us as, from Twitter reviews on the above article, he's been excellent for Sale.

How do you peeps see this panning out, am I going to be disappointed and he picks England over us, or will he look at the Cam Redpath situation and decide we are probably the preferred option?

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Post by BigGee Wed 07 Apr 2021, 12:04 am

I think by coming to Scotland Vellacott is committing to the Blue shirt. Unfortunately for him, with the SHs we have around at the moment, he may have left it to late. A good player though and injury has held him back the past years, he may still come good.

Dingwall is not capped yet and a way down the English pecking order as well i would say. Probably has a bit of work to do to be capped by either side atm.

This other lad, Bevan Rodd, might do well to hold his decision, a bit like Redpath did, as he is probably not ready yet in any case. I would hope we are having the conversation with him in any case.

I hope England don't. as the article in the Telegraph suggests, adopt a policy of capping players to tie them in. That does not do these young players any good in the long term. Let them make an informed decision when they are ready.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 07 Apr 2021, 12:28 am

BigGee wrote:I think by coming to Scotland Vellacott is committing to the Blue shirt. Unfortunately for him, with the SHs we have around at the moment, he may have left it to late. A good player though and injury has held him back the past years, he may still come good.

Dingwall is not capped yet and a way down the English pecking order as well i would say. Probably has a bit of work to do to be capped by either side atm.

This other lad, Bevan Rodd, might do well to hold his decision, a bit like Redpath did, as he is probably not ready yet in any case. I would hope we are having the conversation with him in any case.

I hope England don't. as the article in the Telegraph suggests, adopt a policy of capping players to tie them in. That does not do these young players any good in the long term. Let them make an informed decision when they are ready.
Agree. As a Saints supporter, I like Dinger but he is not international level right now. Hopefully, he does develop further and gets his shot. Somewhere. Good lad by all accounts.

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:47 am

BigGee wrote:I think by coming to Scotland Vellacott is committing to the Blue shirt. Unfortunately for him, with the SHs we have around at the moment, he may have left it to late. A good player though and injury has held him back the past years, he may still come good.

Dingwall is not capped yet and a way down the English pecking order as well i would say. Probably has a bit of work to do to be capped by either side atm.

This other lad, Bevan Rodd, might do well to hold his decision, a bit like Redpath did, as he is probably not ready yet in any case. I would hope we are having the conversation with him in any case.

I hope England don't. as the article in the Telegraph suggests, adopt a policy of capping players to tie them in. That does not do these young players any good in the long term. Let them make an informed decision when they are ready.

I reckon that is exactly what he will do (the bit I've bolded), he will have seen what happened with Redpath and probably think it's better to wait a while. Besides, even if he is capped in summer, he isn't exactly tied down, unlike Redpath who is after his debut in 6Ns.

I'm actually torn on the other 2 though, I'd like Vellacott capped but he's got tough competition, and young ones too (I'd prefer we capped Chapman instead of BV) and Dingwall is also up against tough competition for his position too, however, he plays with Hutchinson so that may sway him :-P.

I am all for strengthening our player pool but not by just capping players left, right and centre; if their good enough then fair enough, hence my desire to see Chapman capped soon.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 07 Apr 2021, 12:42 pm

Up to them where to choose. If they want to play for Scotland, great. If they want to play for England, EJ can cap them twice on a summer tour and not look their way again ( kiss ). I am not for capping players for the sake of it for Scotland either.

Bevan Rodd has shown promise at LH and, with Ashman, could become a long term fixture for Scotland one day. Problematically for us, we have Schoeman, Kebble and Sutherland all around 26-odd so he may feel opportunities are limited for RWC2027. England have M Vunipola and Marler at 30 and Genge has not really delivered on his early promise. There may be a spot after 2023 where England move on from MV and Marler for Obano and AN Other.

As for Vellacott, Chapman and Dingwall, none are demanding inclusion based on form. They are decent, young (except BV) players with the potential to add depth to the squad. Can't see any of them threatening the England 23 outside a summer tour.


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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:25 pm

England are in a position where many of the kids coming through are dual qualified...

Rodd, Capon, Heyes, Odogwu, Randall, Piers O'Conor, Raf de Quirke, Dingwall etc etc etc

The only ones im really bothered about are...

Odogwu, Hayes and Randall.
O'Connor possibly....

The rest...im not fussed over whatsoever.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:27 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:Up to them where to choose. If they want to play for Scotland, great. If they want to play for England, EJ can cap them twice on a summer tour and not look their way again ( kiss ). I am not for capping players for the sake of it for Scotland either.

Bevan Rodd has shown promise at LH and, with Ashman, could become a long term fixture for Scotland one day. Problematically for us, we have Schoeman, Kebble and Sutherland all around 26-odd so he may feel opportunities are limited for RWC2027. England have M Vunipola and Marler at 30 and Genge has not really delivered on his early promise. There may be a spot after 2023 where England move on from MV and Marler for Obano and AN Other.

As for Vellacott, Chapman and Dingwall, none are demanding inclusion based on form. They are decent, young (except BV) players with the potential to add depth to the squad. Can't see any of them threatening the England 23 outside a summer tour.


Hazel, young Falcon Phil Brantingham will take his place in the England LH spot by the World Cup Wink

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:29 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:England are in a position where many of the kids coming through are dual qualified...

Rodd, Capon, Heyes, Odogwu, Randall, Piers O'Conor, Raf de Quirke, Dingwall etc etc etc

The only ones im really bothered about are...

Odogwu, Hayes and Randall.
O'Connor possibly....

The rest...im not fussed over whatsoever.

You never know who will prosper over those who fail. England need to cap as many as possible as early as possible.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:32 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:England are in a position where many of the kids coming through are dual qualified...

Rodd, Capon, Heyes, Odogwu, Randall, Piers O'Conor, Raf de Quirke, Dingwall etc etc etc

The only ones im really bothered about are...

Odogwu, Hayes and Randall.
O'Connor possibly....

The rest...im not fussed over whatsoever.

You never know who will prosper over those who fail. England need to cap as many as possible as early as possible.

See, im not in to that strategy of just capping lads to STOP them going elsewhere.

Pick the ones with real potential and IF they want to play for us then cap them. If they choose elsewhere thats fine with me.

We will always have talent coming through.

Id rather see other 6n team prospering aswell...rather than just stifling them.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:37 pm

The problem is that with the amount of talent coming through you will lose ones that will be great because the guys in front are simply better. It takes longer to earn a place for England than many other countries because of sheer depth. Heyes is a case in point, tighthead a relative lack of depth but he's probably behind Sinckler, Stuart, Williams, Hill and Painter. Wales could come and turn his head in the summer, why take the risk?

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Post by BamBam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:40 pm

Capon was not far off being as highly touted as Barbeary in the age groups. Risk with these young front rowers is that they are later developing but another nation takes the chance. I'm seeing good reports about Paul Hill recently, with how strongly he was rated in the age groups would you want to see another nation sniffing around him now he's picked up a bit of form if he hadn't already been capped

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:47 pm

That article suggests that Bevan Rodd is an unknown. He's an England under 20 international that's worked his way into the starting line up for a team in the top 4 at the age of 20. To call him unknown and suggest giving him a cap is purely to keep him out of the hands of Scotland is insulting to his efforts this season. He's come on really well and looks solid in both scrum and loose, could have a big future ahead of him. If England select a 34 man squad then they will likely take three props for each side of the scrum because of Covid bubbles and the fact they are touring USA and Canada. There's little point in selecting Genge, Marler or Vunipola so the next three off the rank are probably Obano, West and Rodd. He'd be there on merit.

Dingwall, jury is out. Looked good when he came onto the scene but needs to kick on again. Not unusual for a young player.

Vellacott if he stays fit could be a good option for Scotland. There's no real chance he'll get an England call up. Particularly whilst Eddie is in charge because he plays like a 7s player as opposed to the tactical approach Eddie likes.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:52 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:The problem is that with the amount of talent coming through you will lose ones that will be great because the guys in front are simply better. It takes longer to earn a place for England than many other countries because of sheer depth. Heyes is a case in point, tighthead a relative lack of depth but he's probably behind Sinckler, Stuart, Williams, Hill and Painter. Wales could come and turn his head in the summer, why take the risk?

Heyes was selected for England's shadow squad which would suggest he's currently 4th choice in Eddie's mind. I'd certainly rank him well ahead of Painter and probably ahead of Hill, though Hill is refinding his form. The new coaching approach at Tigers has meant he's really getting about in the loose as well as being good in the scrum. Double figure tackles Vs Connacht at the weekend in 47 minutes.

His link to Wales is a bit tenuous. His dad was born there because his grandfather was a footballer from Leicester playing for Cardiff. His dad actually opted to play football for England rather than Wales. Heyes and his dad were both brought up in Nottingham so it's not like there's a family link like there was with Johnny Williams (though he played for the Saxons before declaring his love for Wales).

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 07 Apr 2021, 1:58 pm

I like him alot Sam, just trying to guess the order as we know being in and around the squad doesn't necessarily denote Jones next in line. It doesn't matter if Heyes is tenuous in anyones eyes, a chance at international rugby is hard to turn down if it appears.

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Post by Cumbrian Wed 07 Apr 2021, 2:52 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:England are in a position where many of the kids coming through are dual qualified...

Rodd, Capon, Heyes, Odogwu, Randall, Piers O'Conor, Raf de Quirke, Dingwall etc etc etc

The only ones im really bothered about are...

Odogwu, Hayes and Randall.
O'Connor possibly....

The rest...im not fussed over whatsoever.

I'm with you on those four players, but I really like what I have seen of Quirke. I just keep hearing Capon' s name mentioned, I don't know how whether the hype us justified though, but he does play in a relatively weak position for England (in the next three or four years anyway).

I would say the same with Rodd, LH is a position we could be exposed in soon. Then again, I don't want to get in the business of convincing players to be English. If he makes the commitment, I'll cheer him to the hilt, but if he isn't feeling it then, that is also fine.

Dingwall is an interesting one. He is clearly a talented player, but in my (English framed) mind he doesn't have the cattle for international rugby, you just don't see many guys under 15/16st playing in the centres these days (More's the pity).
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 3:36 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I like him alot Sam, just trying to guess the order as we know being in and around the squad doesn't necessarily denote Jones next in line. It doesn't matter if Heyes is tenuous in anyones eyes, a chance at international rugby is hard to turn down if it appears.

I think the shadow squad was a good indicator. We saw George Martin get called up from the shadow squad despite many saying that was a gimmick move he made his debut. Eddie could only call up players that were doing the additional testing which was the point of the shadow squad. Heyes is 21 with 60 Tigers caps under his belt and recently re-signed, Wales were allegedly interested but Heyes was not. I suppose if he hit 25 and hadn't got any caps he might think again, by 25 he'll probably be over 150 games for Tigers so will be in a good position to negotiate a favourable contract.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 07 Apr 2021, 4:12 pm

Of those players, the key concerns for England will be ones who could be 40-50 cap players leading up to RWC2027.

SH's in particular are a problem as Aviva teams first choices are largely foreigners or EQ players who will be 34+ by 2027. One of Randall and De Quirke will likely have a fair few caps if they keep going in the direction they are in.

England do need to be careful though with trying to cap guys like Dingwall and Odogwu. If the Aviva is littered with guys who got 1 cap when they were not ready, it will put off the next generation. On the other hand, Wales could be telling Heyes you will be backing up Francis at the RWC if you play well for us in the 2023 6N vs being third choice behind Sinckler and Stuart all the way to 2027.


Last edited by Hazel Sapling on Wed 07 Apr 2021, 6:09 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : For clarity, changed "AND players who will be 34+" to "OR EQ players who will be 34+")

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 4:34 pm

Sinckler is 28. He's probably got the next RWC before the chasing pack overtake him. Well unless he changes his game play style. Will Stuart is developing nicely but doesn't get many minutes from Eddie. Be interesting to see how that one goes. Heyes will be 23 at the next world cup I think he'll see it through to the next cycle particularly as by then he'll be first choice at his boyhood club. The WRU will remain a threat though (particularly as a Tigers fan) even if Heyes doesn't consider himself Welsh.

Scrum half is a tough one for England. There's Ben Youngs and then a vast gap in age terms to the next viable international options, unless Ben Spencer comes out the cold. Randall, Mitchell and Maunder are all early 20s and first choice at their clubs. Quirke and JVP are coming through nicely as well though are probably a post world cup consideration. Randall is dial qualified but apparently turned Wales down, unsure why they were interested as scrum half is a position of strength for them.

As an aside most of the Prem teams first choice are English;

Falcons - Young
Sale - de Klerk - SA
Tigers - Youngs (Tigers 4 scrum halfs are all EQ)
Saints - Mitchell
Worcester - Hougaard - SA
Wasps - Robson
Gloucester - Heinz
Bath - Spencer
Bristol - Randall (he does rotate with Uren who is also EQ)
Chiefs - Maunder
Quins - Care
LI - Phipps - Australian

So only three, it's just that Heinz, Care and Young are too old to be worth considering and then Spencer isn't favoured by Eddie and Robson isn't international standard. That cuts the numbers down.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 07 Apr 2021, 4:44 pm

Its always the danger you may end up with fewer caps with England. Loads more choice.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 07 Apr 2021, 5:58 pm

Randall, Mitchell and Maunder. Sounds like a folk band from the 1960s or a law firm. They are all good players, but to me at least for now, none screams international level. Just gotta let 'em play and see what happens, I suppose.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 07 Apr 2021, 6:08 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:

As an aside most of the Prem teams first choice are English;

Falcons - Young
Sale - de Klerk - SA
Tigers - Youngs (Tigers 4 scrum halfs are all EQ)
Saints - Mitchell
Worcester - Hougaard - SA
Wasps - Robson
Gloucester - Heinz
Bath - Spencer
Bristol - Randall (he does rotate with Uren who is also EQ)
Chiefs - Maunder
Quins - Care
LI - Phipps - Australian

So only three, it's just that Heinz, Care and Young are too old to be worth considering and then Spencer isn't favoured by Eddie and Robson isn't international standard. That cuts the numbers down.

Unclear in my post, meant OR 34+ by 2027.

I know there will be young guns coming through but realistically the England squad will need to be rotated in 2024 (Spencer will be 31, Heinz, Chudley (who will take over from Hougaard), Young, Youngs, Robson and Care are all too old). It leaves Mitchell, Randall and Maunder out of those currently playing who will be entering their primes by 2024. De Quirke could maybe become a fourth competitor. Losing 2 of those would be problematic.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 07 Apr 2021, 6:31 pm

Stupid question de Quirke? We talking about rafi quirke at sale or is there someone else I've missed.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 7:44 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:

As an aside most of the Prem teams first choice are English;

Falcons - Young
Sale - de Klerk - SA
Tigers - Youngs (Tigers 4 scrum halfs are all EQ)
Saints - Mitchell
Worcester - Hougaard - SA
Wasps - Robson
Gloucester - Heinz
Bath - Spencer
Bristol - Randall (he does rotate with Uren who is also EQ)
Chiefs - Maunder
Quins - Care
LI - Phipps - Australian

So only three, it's just that Heinz, Care and Young are too old to be worth considering and then Spencer isn't favoured by Eddie and Robson isn't international standard. That cuts the numbers down.

Unclear in my post, meant OR 34+ by 2027.

I know there will be young guns coming through but realistically the England squad will need to be rotated in 2024 (Spencer will be 31, Heinz, Chudley (who will take over from Hougaard), Young, Youngs, Robson and Care are all too old). It leaves Mitchell, Randall and Maunder out of those currently playing who will be entering their primes by 2024. De Quirke could maybe become a fourth competitor. Losing 2 of those would be problematic.

Ben Youngs will be succeeded at Tigers by Jack van Portvliet who despite the name comes from Norfolk.

https://mobile.twitter.com/LeicesterTigers/status/1361288533227565056

https://www.bt.com/sport/watch/video/clips/2021/march/what-a-move-murimurivalu-scores-for-leicester

Kid is only 19 and needs a little refinement but he looks a huge prospect. Already jumped ahead of former England under 20s captain Ben White in the pecking order and White is not a bad young player. Give it two years and his name will be mentioned quite a bit.

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Post by Cumbrian Wed 07 Apr 2021, 7:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Stupid question de Quirke? We talking about rafi quirke at sale or is there someone else I've missed.

I was wondering that too. Also, who else is he qualified for? Done a Google search, but can't find anything.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 8:25 pm

Irish grandmother apparently.

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 07 Apr 2021, 10:01 pm

https://twitter.com/thistlerugbypod/status/1379881682665345026?s=19

FFS, just piss off Eddie!!

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 10:12 pm

Why is he interested in a 21 year old Canadian Scot who is sat as third choice for his club? The guy in second choice and who is actually pushing the first choice former Bok international for the starting berth is a 23 year old Englishman.

Or conversely teach Alfie Barbeary to scrum and throw in at international level and then watch him cause havoc.

Sounds like Eddie is having fun again. He was rumoured to be trying to poach Timmy Reffell the other year which was blatantly untrue but sold a day or two worth of papers.

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Post by BamBam Wed 07 Apr 2021, 10:15 pm

Would be nice to be on the right side of it for once. Is he good?

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Post by BigGee Wed 07 Apr 2021, 10:46 pm

Ashman is a prospect. He has been in and around the Scotland squad for most of this 6N and would likely have been capped had any of Cherry or Turner been injured.

If Toonie had wanted to play silly games, he could have capped him off the bench against Italy, but that would not have been the right thing to do and disrespectful to the two incumbants, who are clearly still better than him.

I would be amazed if he was to switch over though and as Sam say, this is likely just Eddie up to his old tricks and trying to detract from some of his own recent shortcomings.

With Mcinally, Brown and Cherry(who has been a find this year) all around the 30 mark and two of them fairly injury prone, there is a glaring gap opening up for a hooker in the Scotland team and he is being groomed for it. Assuming that there is a tour, he will get capped this summer and I would be very surprised if he is not in the WC squad next time around. I don't see him getting that opportunity if he changes allegiance to England. He has been pretty committed to Scotland as well, having done U20s and been training with the full squad in the autumn and as a full member this 6N. That would be a lot to walk away from.

The other guy Rudd, I am less worried about. I hope we have a chat with him as well and see if he is interested and then he can make up his own mind, he is dual qualified at the end of the day, so let him make an informed choice. I just hope they don't cap him once over the summer though and then leave him high and dry as that would not be fair on the player.

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Post by Mr Bounce Wed 07 Apr 2021, 10:55 pm

BamBam wrote:Capon was not far off being as highly touted as Barbeary in the age groups. Risk with these young front rowers is that they are later developing but another nation takes the chance. I'm seeing good reports about Paul Hill recently, with how strongly he was rated in the age groups would you want to see another nation sniffing around him now he's picked up a bit of form if he hadn't already been capped

Paul Hill has 5 England caps, all in 2016 as a replacement.

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 07 Apr 2021, 10:57 pm

Yeah, same here Gee (I'm not going to call you Big Gee as that is an insult to someone I have not met and I am ain't racist or whatever else it will be called lol).

I'm more interested in us capping Chapman, Bayliss and youngsters like Ashman (and not to pry him away from EJ), McLean and Dobie.

With this going public now, it's almost a certainty that Townsend, or as is likely, Mike Blair will cap Ashman in the summer now.

Sooner games get officially announced the better imho, we know who we could face, it would be nice to know for certain.

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Post by BamBam Thu 08 Apr 2021, 8:26 am

Mr Bounce wrote:
BamBam wrote:Capon was not far off being as highly touted as Barbeary in the age groups. Risk with these young front rowers is that they are later developing but another nation takes the chance. I'm seeing good reports about Paul Hill recently, with how strongly he was rated in the age groups would you want to see another nation sniffing around him now he's picked up a bit of form if he hadn't already been capped

Paul Hill has 5 England caps, all in 2016 as a replacement.

I know, I was using him as an example of someone we’ve already got tied in, but if we hadn’t maybe someone else would be digging through his granny’s holiday pictures

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 08 Apr 2021, 8:40 am

BamBam wrote:
Mr Bounce wrote:
BamBam wrote:Capon was not far off being as highly touted as Barbeary in the age groups. Risk with these young front rowers is that they are later developing but another nation takes the chance. I'm seeing good reports about Paul Hill recently, with how strongly he was rated in the age groups would you want to see another nation sniffing around him now he's picked up a bit of form if he hadn't already been capped

Paul Hill has 5 England caps, all in 2016 as a replacement.

I know, I was using him as an example of someone we’ve already got tied in, but if we hadn’t maybe someone else would be digging through his granny’s holiday pictures

It's not always about tying people in, get the best young talent on tour and see who's personality fits with what you want in camp. Which ones are pushing their development, which ones look to have the most potential for future growth. Until you get up close and have a good look you don't know.

Find the ones that tick the most boxes and get them capped and in contact with the England coaches regularly to guide their development. Don't need to get them all capped just to ensure there's no family tree analysis later down the line.

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Post by BamBam Thu 08 Apr 2021, 8:53 am

I somewhat agree but was mainly talking about Capon and other front rowers, who will inevitably develop later unless they are freaks. Hill isn’t the best example as he didn’t (still hasn’t?) developed to the expected standard, but he was unreal at u20 level, why risk him being picked up by another country

Get the Saxons back I say, I’m sure SA would be willing to put on a game solely for tying in the most talented bunch Wink

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 08 Apr 2021, 9:05 am

I suppose Hill was probably a good example really. He was someone they brought into camp who'd shown a lot of promise and who obviously had the right character to be rewarded with game time. Now he hasn't kicked on yet but at only 26 there's still time and if he does then coaches know about him and what he will be like when he joins the squad. That helps future selection.

This summer tour for England should be the perfect time to do this on a wholesale basis.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 11 Apr 2021, 1:39 pm

I find it amusing that a nation that probably has more foreign born players in their squad than home bred is aghast that EJ may look at a player eligible for them  and England.

Especially in the light of their very talented player of the 6N being a Manc. Another tug of war?  1f600
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Post by nlpnlp Sun 11 Apr 2021, 2:40 pm

Only 23 of Scotland's 2021 6 Nations squad were born outside of Scotland.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 11 Apr 2021, 2:56 pm

nlpnlp wrote:Only 23 of Scotland's 2021 6 Nations squad were born outside of Scotland.

Not as many as I thought then.
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Post by BigGee Sun 11 Apr 2021, 3:01 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I find it amusing that a nation that probably has more foreign born players in their squad than home bred is aghast that EJ may look at a player eligible for them  and England.

Especially in the light of their very talented player of the 6N being a Manc. Another tug of war?  1f600

I am certainly not aghast at it.

Dual qualified players can make their own choices and I never resent anyone doing that.

What I do take exception to is capping players before they have earned it or are ready for international rugby in order to tie them in. That devalues the shirt and can stop players getting the chance to become internationals when they are truly ready.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 11 Apr 2021, 3:08 pm

Can't disagree "very large" Gee, i see that calling you big is considered an insult.
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Post by BigGee Sun 11 Apr 2021, 3:24 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:Can't disagree "very large" Gee, i see that calling you big is considered an insult.

No offence taken with Big!

The joke is I am about 20kg heavier now than when I picked up that nickname

Even Bigger Gee might be more appropriate!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 11 Apr 2021, 3:36 pm

BigGee wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I find it amusing that a nation that probably has more foreign born players in their squad than home bred is aghast that EJ may look at a player eligible for them  and England.

Especially in the light of their very talented player of the 6N being a Manc. Another tug of war?  1f600

I am certainly not aghast at it.

Dual qualified players can make their own choices and I never resent anyone doing that.

What I do take exception to is capping players before they have earned it or are ready for international rugby in order to tie them in. That devalues the shirt and can stop players getting the chance to become internationals when they are truly ready.

Well I'm all for England being much better at tying players in. What constitutes capping a player before they are ready though? Its not ever simple.

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Post by BigGee Sun 11 Apr 2021, 4:21 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
BigGee wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I find it amusing that a nation that probably has more foreign born players in their squad than home bred is aghast that EJ may look at a player eligible for them  and England.

Especially in the light of their very talented player of the 6N being a Manc. Another tug of war?  1f600

I am certainly not aghast at it.

Dual qualified players can make their own choices and I never resent anyone doing that.

What I do take exception to is capping players before they have earned it or are ready for international rugby in order to tie them in. That devalues the shirt and can stop players getting the chance to become internationals when they are truly ready.

Well I'm all for England being much better at tying players in. What constitutes capping a player before they are ready though? Its not ever simple.

No, it is never simple agreed, but some of it is mischief making as well.

As someone pointed out earlier in the thread, there is a young English qualified hooker at Sale, who is ahead of Ashman in the club pecking order and has by all accounts been playing regularly and very well. Ashman has had to make do with a few scraps off the bench. In two years time, the situation may be reversed and Ashman may turn out to be the better prospect but atm that is not the case. Toonie could have capped him this 6N against Italy, he actually had a bit of an excuse to do that, as Turner had a mare against Wales, but to his credit he did not as in truth he is still not ready and it would have been very disrespectful towards the other hookers and the squad in general, who would have seen right through the motives.

I don't know enough about the current state of EQ LHs to make a judgement about Rodd being the next cab of the rank or not. He has certainly come through and won a starting place at Sale this season, which is to his credit, so he must be a decent player. Is he an international quality LH? Time will tell on that one as he is clearly still very inexperienced at this level. If the English coaches think he is the next best available, or that he has the greater potential and pick him for the summer tour then good luck to him but I hope for his sake that he does not go on the tour and then never get another look in. To be honest, with Sutherland, Keeble and Schoeman qualifying this autumn. he is going to be a long way off the Scotland team as well at the moment.

I would imagine that the Scottish coaches would also have had a word with him, to gauge his feelings, but if he is set on playing for England that would be fine and everyone would accept that. It is a very different situation to that of Redpath, who despite being a Manc, also has an incredibly strong connection to Scotland through his family and I have no doubt would have been incredibly conflicted by his decision.

It may be though that any player in that situation just wants a bit longer to make up his mind. Redpath himself said that he turned down earlier invitations into the Scotland squad as he did not feel he was ready.

When he finally made his debut, he certainly looked like he was!

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 11 Apr 2021, 4:34 pm

Being a bit more serious on the subject, I hate the "Granny" rule as much as 3 years residency. I would go so far as to say that anyone from outside the UK should have had to come here under the age of 21 and to take up a job or studies outside of rugby. If they then played over here alongside a "proper" job and then went on to professional rugby and qualified , not an issue. A classic example being Mouritz Botha;  emigrated, started playing in lower leagues and worked his way into an England shirt. I qualify for Ireland through a grandfather, but would never think of playing for them, born and bred Englishman. Direct parents I can understand, after that no sir, play for the country that has raised, educated and looked after you.

What is it about Manchester and "Scottish" rugby players, both Redpath and Watson. Watson only qualifies through one set of grandparents, what is it about the other UK countries that extends the "nationality" for that long. Born and raised in England, English parents, one set of Scottish grandparents and one English, why does he feel he is Scottish. I certainly don't feel that I am in any way Irish. Are the Scots and Welsh fed propaganda from the day they were born, recordings playing in their ears all night saying "you are Scottish/Welsh". I just don't get it.
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Post by BigGee Sun 11 Apr 2021, 5:26 pm

At the risk of stirring up a hornets nest, I would say that is a very English way of looking at things. Why would anyone not want to be English if they live here?

Nationality and heritage is indeed a far more complicated concept than just where you or your parents were born. I would say personally, where you were born is the least important facet of the whole equation, that can be a mere quirk, whereas your upbringing and influences are in fact far more important.

I came to live in England at 5 years old and have been here for the past 52 years, but have never felt, or described myself as English. If you meet me, you would not know that I consider myself Scottish, my accent has long gone and my kids speak fluent estuary English.

My kids though had a gallous Glaswegian grandfather, who I would say was a great influence on them, they could be in no doubt that they had Scottish heritage. Their view of their nationality is a bit more diluted (and complicated than mine, with an Italian mother thrown into the mix) but Scottish remains a part of it and i don't think any of them would classify themselves as English alone. Grandparents are a massive influence on children in particular.

So my family is in many ways a good example of modern UK, with many people having mixed backgrounds and heritage and is something that we should celebrate. I appreciate that i come from the diverse melting pot of London and not everyone thinks this way, but i am very comfortable with it.

The story I have told before on this, is back in my playing days (many moons ago) at a rugby club in East London, we had an annual England v Ireland interclub game, always one of the best nights of the year. Some years and this was many years ago, before we had freedom of movement within the EU, The English would struggle to get out a team as everyone with Welsh, Irish, Scottish or antipodean heritage, did not want to play for England.

English is the dominant culture within the UK, always has been and anyone who is not invested in that will know they have a point of difference and likely their family will as well. I have nothing against England, it is where I live at the end of the day and that is unlikely to change but I will never feel English and i don't think my kids will either, though that is not something I have put upon them consciously. If they had been good enough to be chosen to play for England or Italy, I would have been 100% behind them.


It is easy for any of us to be critical about sportsman making legitimate decisions about who they might represent. easy for me (or anyone to say I would never play for England/Scotland/Ireland/Wales etc but we are not professional sportspeople and it is an entirely hypothetical question. Who amongst us has not  compromised themselves at work in some shape or form. A young rugby player who gets the offer of an international opportunity will be all to aware that such an opportunity may never come again and it may also effect their employment opportunities. That is not a dilemma we have to face when passing judgement, nor do we have to face the consequences.

At the end of the day, as well, why does it matter so much what country players choose to play for? They make a commitment and they then have to stick to it. Smaller countries and i very much include Scotland in that, do benefit from it, but so does international rugby. Do you honestly want a game when it is all about English, French, SA and NZ superpowers playing each other every year whilst trampling over the minnows. It is not even as if these bigger countries are not using the same tactics as well.

Hamish Watson (perhaps the name gives away a little bit of Scottish heritage) may have been born in England but he was very much made as a player in Edinburgh and Scotland. He may or may not have gotten the opportunities and become the same player had he stayed in England but it is not as if England have lacked quality backrows since he settled in Edinburgh.

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Post by lostinwales Sun 11 Apr 2021, 6:47 pm

I had an uncle who I believed played for a Scottish representative team because he was doing national service with a Scottish regiment. His side of the family do talk up a Scottish link but it is from a Scottish family that moved to Cornwall, and there are enough generations in between that I consider that my grandmother was much more Cornish than Scottish.

My own children are mostly English but also about 25% Polish (give or take some Russian influence) and 12.5% Maltese.

Nationality is complicated!

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Sun 11 Apr 2021, 7:37 pm

Big Gee, I suppose it is a very English way of thinking, I am English and have no idea how other nationals think about their nationality. My grandparents died either before I was born in three cases and the last when I was 4, so I have no influence from that quarter. My family all live up in the North East anyway, only my parents risked the evil of the South and London, although they moved down into Sussex in the very early 50s (that dates me) so there would have been little influence, no social media in those days and it took all day to drive that far in a Ford Prefect.

I suppose I can get it a little, I still consider myself to be at least part Northern and I am quite proud of my families mining heritage, both my grandfathers have exhibits of their work in respective museums rail and mining. Both were engineers.

All my sporting influence came from of all places Wales and Ireland as they were the nationalities of my P.E. teachers in junior and senior school. Probably the only good thing in my final school report was a note from the Games Master "Steve MUST continue to play rugby when he leaves school" the Must being emphasised and in bright red.

As I said, I can understand the draw of parental influence when a parent or two are of a different nationality, it always seems to go the way of the minor country when the parents nationalities are split, why is that?

I still do not like the idea that players can come here already professional to play rugby, get paid a lot of money and then after 3 years play for the country of residence which increases their income again, makes them celebrities which they trade on when they disappear back to their home country in their thirties. To me they are simply mercenaries.
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Post by BigGee Sun 11 Apr 2021, 8:51 pm

Well the three year qualification period is gone now. That seemed to be a general consensus and it has come to pass.

5 years is a long time as a professional rugby player, where every game game could be your last.

If any player is willing to put that commitment into Scotland and their teams, I have no problem with them playing for us.

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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 11 Apr 2021, 11:27 pm

I didn't think this would be as well discussed as it's becoming, when I first started it so that's a plus.

Regarding Rodd and Ashman, I really don't care about Rodd but do with Ashman because he's our next best Hooker option so we can't really let him go Sad.


Anyway, there may be another potential tug of war in the future after Melville and Gourlay were named in the Scotland under 20s team.

Hop these matches are televised so I can watch a bit of the Under 20s 6N if they don't clash with Scotland games at Euro 2020.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 12 Apr 2021, 7:35 am

BigGee wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
BigGee wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I find it amusing that a nation that probably has more foreign born players in their squad than home bred is aghast that EJ may look at a player eligible for them  and England.

Especially in the light of their very talented player of the 6N being a Manc. Another tug of war?  1f600

I am certainly not aghast at it.

Dual qualified players can make their own choices and I never resent anyone doing that.

What I do take exception to is capping players before they have earned it or are ready for international rugby in order to tie them in. That devalues the shirt and can stop players getting the chance to become internationals when they are truly ready.

Well I'm all for England being much better at tying players in. What constitutes capping a player before they are ready though? Its not ever simple.

No, it is never simple agreed, but some of it is mischief making as well.

As someone pointed out earlier in the thread, there is a young English qualified hooker at Sale, who is ahead of Ashman in the club pecking order and has by all accounts been playing regularly and very well. Ashman has had to make do with a few scraps off the bench. In two years time, the situation may be reversed and Ashman may turn out to be the better prospect but atm that is not the case. Toonie could have capped him this 6N against Italy, he actually had a bit of an excuse to do that, as Turner had a mare against Wales, but to his credit he did not as in truth he is still not ready and it would have been very disrespectful towards the other hookers and the squad in general, who would have seen right through the motives.

I don't know enough about the current state of EQ LHs to make a judgement about Rodd being the next cab of the rank or not. He has certainly come through and won a starting place at Sale this season, which is to his credit, so he must be a decent player. Is he an international quality LH? Time will tell on that one as he is clearly still very inexperienced at this level. If the English coaches think he is the next best available, or that he has the greater potential and pick him for the summer tour then good luck to him but I hope for his sake that he does not go on the tour and then never get another look in. To be honest, with Sutherland, Keeble and Schoeman qualifying this autumn. he is going to be a long way off the Scotland team as well at the moment.

I would imagine that the Scottish coaches would also have had a word with him, to gauge his feelings, but if he is set on playing for England that would be fine and everyone would accept that. It is a very different situation to that of Redpath, who despite being a Manc, also has an incredibly strong connection to Scotland through his family and I have no doubt would have been incredibly conflicted by his decision.

It may be though that any player in that situation just wants a bit longer to make up his mind. Redpath himself said that he turned down earlier invitations into the Scotland squad as he did not feel he was ready.

When he finally made his debut, he certainly looked like he was!

He looked good in a dominant display certainly. He'd obviously been in England squads before and but for injury may well have been capped. Would it have been too early? Well to me it doesn't overly matter as England would be capping him so they actually got the chance to see. The example now is Heyes for me. As I've said he'd probably not be worrying the England squad for perhaps another 12 months. Wales could cap him this summer. So is it too early to identify hes going to be good and tie him down?

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