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Scotland Autumn Series 2021

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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 08 Aug 2021, 12:22 am

I know it's probably too early for this but seeing as my Summer Tour thread was well received, I thought I'd start another one for the Autumn Series with my thoughts on the teams etc, I've got to stay on the right side of the members hahaha.

It's certainly far too early to even predict a squad as no club matches have taken place yet, both Scottish sides are in the rebuild phase (I'll be watching closely) but that's for a later date.

I would like to echo what I said on Facebook a few weeks ago which is that I hope we get to see Ashman, Auterac, Sebastian, Henderson, Tuipolotu in the autumn, in other words, hopefully they ain't poached from us haha.

Anyway, here goes with our opposition:

First up is Tonga on October 30th, KO tbc: I do not really know much about them but I would imagine we would see a youngish team in this test, seeing as a lot of them missed out on the summer tour and, supposedly this is outside the test window which means clubs aren't forced to release players if they wish. I did notice that Tonga got hammered by New Zealand who humiliated them by over 100pts, however, I see them put up a better fight against us but do fully expect us to win this one.

Then we move on to November, when clubs are obliged to release players.

7th November: Australia, KO: 1415hrs: This will be a tough test because Australia are a very good team that recently managed a test series win over France. They have very good wingers that will be tough to stop so I'm predicting a very close test which we will lose narrowly.

13th November: South Africa, KO 1300hrs: This will be our toughest test of the series imho. I've watched a lot of them over the past month and tbh they are an excellent team with quality all over the park. Even in the first test, they were creating numerous chances, Lions just got lucky with some of the ref or tmo decisions imho. What I took out of the first test was that, if you keep Kolbe quiet then you have a chance no pressure there then DVDM, Darcy etc. I'm predicting a loss here too, probably by about 15pts,though I hope I'm wrong.

20th November: Japan, KO 1300hrs: This test has the makings of being entertaining and high scoring if previous affairs are anything to go by. Against the Lions and Ireland, they put up brave fights but ultimately lost due to errors and individual brilliance of their opponents but they will believe that they can win because they have done so before. I think this will be very high scoring with us getting the win by a margin of 5.

October and November can't come quickly enough imho lol, I just can't get excited by Edinburgh and Glasgow, both will struggle in the upcoming pro 14, especially as they are rebuilding.

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Post by RDW Mon 09 Aug 2021, 12:49 am

There's a huge amount to digest from that tour from a Scottish perspective. Ultimately I don't think any of the players let anyone down, and several players have come back with their reputation enhanced - particularly Price and Russell. Hamish will be gutted he didn't play more of a part in the test series but his battle with Curry was probably the closest out of any selection debate, and in hindsight he potentially could have come in for the 3rd test. Fagerson I suspect will think he could have offered more but he didn't really take his chance when he had it, then when test week came it was too late. Harris did all that was asked of him. Hogg will be gutted to have been dropped for the 3rd test, but again with hindsight Russell playing would have meant Hogg would have been a better choice at 15 (and let's face it Williams had a shocker).

I'm hoping the tour will have been a revelation for VDM, who is now a 3 test Lion and is now in his prime years leading to the next tour. I suspect he will have developed a huge amount as a player and realised there needs to be far more to his game that running into/around people. I can't wait to see him perform for us in the Autumn.

I also think Townsend will have taken a huge amount from the tour. He's a self confessed rugby nause and spends a lot of time looking at how other coaches operate. He's now seen first hand over 8 weeks how one of the most successful coaches of the modern era works and will have take a lot of learning from that. Mainly, I hope he's learnt how best to play South Africa - it's going to be fascinating to see how we get on against them in the Autumn. I hope we have a full squad to be able to give them a real go.

Say it quietly but I think Scottish rugby is in good shape and has a chance to be really competitive over the next 2 years to the world cup. We still have our problem positions but we've built a real experienced core now who hopefully have seen that they can mix it with the best.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 09 Aug 2021, 8:39 am

Im curious what you are thinking of Auterac?

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Post by RDW Mon 09 Aug 2021, 8:42 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Im curious what you are thinking of Auterac?

He's a huge unknown really -it's a shame all our summer games were cancelled as that would have been the chance to have a look at him.

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Post by Heuer27 Mon 09 Aug 2021, 8:44 am

I have a slightly different and unfortunately pessimistic viewpoint.
Ryan Grant,Tommy Seymour and Stuart Hogg came back from the last three Lions tours broken men and have never reached the heights that got them there in the first place.
Hogg admitted such in a recent interview
I hope I'm wrong but I think form this tour only Price ,VDM and possibly Harris will come home in the right mindset.
Fagerson, Sutherland looked like broken men on this tour and the Mish didn't get a chance to show what he was about. Not sure if that will drive him on or crush him.
Hogg I'm pretty sure will return a spent force a la Seymour in 2017.
Russell has an impenetrable psyche, he will be fine.
Sounds typically Scottish pessimism and I hope I'm wrong but we've seen this before and it normally ends up with the players fading away.

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Post by BigGee Mon 09 Aug 2021, 9:12 am

Heuer27 wrote:I have a slightly different and unfortunately pessimistic viewpoint.
Ryan Grant,Tommy Seymour and Stuart Hogg came back from the last three Lions tours broken men and have never reached the heights that got them there in the first place.
Hogg admitted such in a recent interview
I hope I'm wrong but I think form this tour only Price ,VDM and possibly Harris will come home in the right mindset.
Fagerson, Sutherland looked like broken men on this tour and the Mish didn't get a chance to show what he was about. Not sure if that will drive him on or crush him.
Hogg I'm pretty sure will return a spent force a la Seymour in 2017.
Russell has an impenetrable psyche, he will be fine.
Sounds typically Scottish pessimism and I hope I'm wrong but we've seen this before and it normally ends up with the players fading away.


I think that is possible a little to pessimistic.


Of those players you mentioned, it was only ever Ryan Grant who was never the same player again and his circumstances were very different. Being left on the bench when the starting prop could barely run to the next scrum was an indictment of what the coaches thought of him and was in fact quite shameful towards him, why did they even take him on the tour?

Seymour actually had a good tour, was leading try scorer but was never going to get a look in at the test side, despite being very able to have done so. His Scottishness probably did count against him on that front, but in fairness there was extremely strong competition as well.

It was not the tour that set Hoggy back, but just his feeling of bad luck, knowing he would have been the test starter on that tour. He has played well for Scotland since then, probably never better than last season as captain. How being dropped for the last game will effect him, who knows? It is not as if LW came in and had a stormer, so maybe he will feel vindicated. The Lions tour and his need to be a part of it weighed heavily on him at the end of last season, hopefully it is a monkey off his back now as he is unlikely to go on another tour and he can just relax and play well for Exeter and Scotland. His focus should be on his last WC with Scotland now and not the Lions anymore.


Sutherland has probably been the biggest let down as far as the Scots went on this tour, but even in his case we don't really know how fit he was, having missed a big chunk of the season leading up to the tour. Even if he was fit, he certainly had not played himself back into form. A shame, as on his best form, he really could have been a scrum option that would have benefitted the team. He is still a Lions test player at the end of the day and not many can say that.

Zander did not do a lot wrong either and maybe his injury at the beginning cost him his chance as well as he did not play great in his first and only real chance. He was better on subsequent outings but his chance had gone by then. Hopefully he can be philosophical and he will have every chance of going better next time.



They all need a good break from rugby now and i am hopefully that most, if not all of them will come back better for the experience.



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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 09 Aug 2021, 9:15 am

RDW wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Im curious what you are thinking of Auterac?

He's a huge unknown really -it's a shame all our summer games were cancelled as that would have been the chance to have a look at him.
He's a very odd selection. When he first broke through he looked a real prospect...but he's moved around and just not even on the radar in the Prem anymore...so there were genuine English eyebrows raised when he was selected by Scotland.

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Post by RDW Mon 09 Aug 2021, 9:17 am

A fair point Heuer, and every nation has a post-Lions slump of some kind. The instances you mention do have a lot of nuance to them though.

Hogg's mental slump came because he had a significant injury early in the tour when he was gunning for a test spot, which was taken away from him. This time he's got his test caps and even a test win so hopefully he takes a mature view on not playing all 3.

Ryan Grant fell apart after his very public humiliation of being left on the bench even though Vunipola literally could barely walk, plus the change in scrum rules which negated his strength.

Seymour had a bad run of injuries after the tour and never really looked himself after.

Fagerson and Sutherland are a worry but Fagerson will hopefully have the mindset to prove people wrong that he wasn't involved, plus he's still young. Sutherland played a huge part in the tour, which was a huge boost for him given he only just made it through injury.

So I'm hopeful we'll not see significant slumps in form!

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Post by RDW Mon 09 Aug 2021, 9:19 am

Me and Biggee saying similar things again!

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Post by Heuer27 Mon 09 Aug 2021, 9:40 am

Guys , I was on the periphery of the Warriors setup around this time 2013-2018 and trust me these players confidence was shattered when they came home.
Grant and Seymour never recovered and Hogg moved away for a fresh perspective and new start to reignite him.
These tours take a lot out of the players physically and mentally. At least Townsend was there this time to hopefully help.

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Post by BigGee Mon 09 Aug 2021, 9:51 am

All the Scotland based players will get a good break now. I expect we will only see them coming back in to their respective squad just prior to the AIs.

The English players are all going to get 10 weeks off as well, though I am not sure if the same applies to Scottish players based in England like Hogg and Harris. Hopefully even if they are not contractually allowed a decent break, their clubs will take a pragmatic view on it, if they want them playing well at the money end of the season!

I am not quite sure how it will work for Finn in France either, but due to his injury, he has had the least physically demanding of tours and his mindset seems to allow him to take things as they come. Hopefully with a few weeks off, he will be ready to go again.

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Post by Heuer27 Mon 09 Aug 2021, 9:59 am

Yep fingers crossed. Does that mean that they will just be coming back in time for the autumn series then. Really looking forward to. The Australian game, Big Dave will be gunning for us.
The Springbok game will also be a real fascinating encounter. Let’s see what Townsend and Tandy do differently to the Lions. Pretty sure we’ll see a dose of Finnsanity and some fast play. Desperate to see Mish taking on the breakdown battle. He’ll be in full Tasmanian devil mode.

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Post by jimbopip Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:07 am

Heuer27 wrote:Guys , I was on the periphery of the Warriors setup around this time 2013-2018 and trust me these players confidence was shattered when they came home.
Grant and Seymour never recovered and Hogg moved away for a fresh perspective and new start to reignite him.  
These tours take a lot out of the players physically and mentally. At least Townsend was there this time to hopefully help.

For that tour, and let's never forgive Gats for the Geopolitical 7, there was the first team squad and some random blokes taken along to make up the numbers. No matter what Seymour or Grant did in training or the midweek matches they were never going to play in the tests. Grant made the bench for the third test because there were only two looseheads fit. Even then a puffing wheezing Mako was preferred to him for the last twenty minutes. That would have shattered all but the most solipsistic megalomaniac. Same with Tommy Seymour; top try scorer on the tour but the awful realisation that whatever he did wasn't ever going to make any difference must have been hard to accept. Bear in mind that these are top quality rugby players who are probably meeting this kind of unfairness and rejection for the first time in their lives. If evr anyone tries to say that Gats is fair and empathetic in his handling of players just mention Finn's ten minutes as a HIA replacement the match before the Tests began. He came on for Biggar (?) late in the game and was superb; as soon as the 10 minutes were up he was hooked and Biggar was back on. Cue all of us wondering why Gats chose to risk Biggar by putting him back on and wondering if it was because he didn't want Finn to show him up by looking too good. The sight of Finn walking straight up the tunnel and ignoring the bench said it all.

In Gats' favour, it does seem that selection was a lot more of a meritocracy this year so there's less chance that people will suffer the same loss of self worth as you saw.

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Post by RDW Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:12 am

Grant was 2013 Jimbo!

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Post by jimbopip Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:17 am

RDW wrote:Grant was 2013 Jimbo!

(A) the post I was quoting referred to 2013-2018 boxing

(B) whoo gives a tuppenny fecc? gats is the anti-christ. Finn is the only way.

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Post by Heuer27 Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:19 am

You starting a Finsanity cult Jimbo ?

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Post by jimbopip Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:30 am

Tag Heuer, wie gehts? Hug  I couldn't resist that, sorry.

Finnsanity is the only way forward. The true believers pay reverence at the home of the Once And Future Champions. Where else can you not only watch Finn explode into being like a supernova, Ross Thompson go from "Ross who?" to Player Of The Year in less time than it takes FES to cut his under butler's wages but also see the video of the players' response to the great "links or square?" debate which includes the Meatball staring down the viewer and solemnly intoning "Square" without a trace of irony?

Oh and the Luvvies spent 27 years wondering when an ex-International 10 would instil his proteges with enough confidence to attempt a mis-pass during a game.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 09 Aug 2021, 7:48 pm

I'm also glass half full on the returning Scottish Lions, I think they'll all have benefitted from the experience this time around. It certainly seemed to me that with Toonie on the coaching team and there being more Scots involved in the series, that it was somewhat different to the Scots on the earlier tours (which felt more like making up numbers). Perhaps Hamish aside, I'd argue all the Scots got a fair crack at the whip, and you could argue Duhan was a tad fortunate to play all the Tests (albeit I don't think he let us down at all).

The key now is for them to get a decent break. These tours take a lot out of players and we need to manage them back carefully. Having lost the summer tests, we shouldn't be scared of experimenting a bit in the Autumn.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Mon 09 Aug 2021, 8:02 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:
RDW wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Im curious what you are thinking of Auterac?

He's a huge unknown really -it's a shame all our summer games were cancelled as that would have been the chance to have a look at him.
He's a very odd selection. When he first broke through he looked a real prospect...but he's moved around and just not even on the radar in the Prem anymore...so there were genuine English eyebrows raised when he was selected by Scotland.

I think it’s fair to say we were very much scraping the bottom of the barrel for this series. I’d be extremely surprised and slightly embarrassed tbh if Auterac is picked in future squads when we have more players available

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:32 pm

Auterac, Hislop and Sebastian are near the bottom of the pile and will need to do something impressive to get into the squad without injuries.

LH: Sutherland, Kebble, Schoeman, Bhatti, Dell/Auterac/Hislop/Lambert
TH: Fagerson, Nel, Berghan, Rae/Sebastian/Millar-Mills

Bit worrying the long term depth chart and Sebastian may find himself called upon sooner rather than later unless a Walker, Gamble or Wilson can really kick on.

The Lions boys will need to be given a proper break and appointments with the psychologists to remind them that there is more to life than kick chasing.

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Post by BigGee Mon 09 Aug 2021, 11:43 pm

I have to say, i watched the Heriots v Southern Knights game on Freesports on sunday. Wilson has been loan to the SK from Quins for the summer and he looks like a TH prop, he has clearly do some physical conditioning down there. He demolished his opposing LH a couple of times in that game.

He was a good scrumager at U20s level and looks like one to keep an eye on. If he does not break through at Quins it is likely he will be signing on up here i would imsgine.

I would say as well that Sebastian won't be to far away from the swuad. I sm not sure we can depend on Nelly to much longer and am pretty sure he won't make the next WC.

I still wonder if we won't see Keeble playing on the TH a bit more. It might make sense from a Scotland perspective, we are not short of LHs.

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Post by RDW Tue 10 Aug 2021, 2:11 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:Auterac, Hislop and Sebastian are near the bottom of the pile and will need to do something impressive to get into the squad without injuries.

LH: Sutherland, Kebble, Schoeman, Bhatti, Dell/Auterac/Hislop/Lambert
TH: Fagerson, Nel, Berghan, Rae/Sebastian/Millar-Mills

Bit worrying the long term depth chart and Sebastian may find himself called upon sooner rather than later unless a Walker, Gamble or Wilson can really kick on.

The Lions boys will need to be given a proper break and appointments with the psychologists to remind them that there is more to life than kick chasing.

I got blasted on here for making the same suggestion!

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 10 Aug 2021, 12:28 pm

RDW wrote:
Hazel Sapling wrote:Auterac, Hislop and Sebastian are near the bottom of the pile and will need to do something impressive to get into the squad without injuries.

LH: Sutherland, Kebble, Schoeman, Bhatti, Dell/Auterac/Hislop/Lambert
TH: Fagerson, Nel, Berghan, Rae/Sebastian/Millar-Mills

Bit worrying the long term depth chart and Sebastian may find himself called upon sooner rather than later unless a Walker, Gamble or Wilson can really kick on.

The Lions boys will need to be given a proper break and appointments with the psychologists to remind them that there is more to life than kick chasing.

I got blasted on here for making the same suggestion!

The key is saying it in a deep male voice Whistle

I back what you said RDW (I must have missed it). Watson is a prime example. Throws himself around and we need to keep him fit for the 6 Nations. No point crocking him in October and having a wasted season for the sake of a few weeks and helping Edinburgh finish 8th.

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Post by RDW Tue 10 Aug 2021, 12:35 pm

Sorry Hazel I've done a Jimbo - somehow managed to quote your post and not Biggee.

That was meant to be in response to the suggestion to move Kebble to TH!

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 10 Aug 2021, 1:43 pm

Ah that is alright RDW.

Into which case, I would like to stick my foot in. Kebble is an international LH. If he transitions to TH, he might make it to being a decent TH and 3rd choice behind Fagerson and Berghan (that is best case). Worst case, he is in the same league as Rae and Sebastian.

On the other hand, we would be 1 injury away from having to consider Auterac or Hislop as a 3rd choice for the 2023 RWC assuming Lambert and Grahamslaw are not ready and Rodd sticks with England.

Really, we need to be coaching up the young TH's in Scotland and hope Wilson and Nicol get plenty of development time at Quins and the Jersey Reds respectively. Rae, Millar-Mills and Owlsly (or whatever the name is of the now Worcester TH) can compete with Sebastian as established club TH's who might be able to do a job.

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Post by BigGee Tue 10 Aug 2021, 3:24 pm

He may well have a higher ceiling than Berghan, who to be fair, has never really convinced as an international TH and is also around 30 as well.

The thing about Keeble is he does look like a TH, he is huge and we do no he can play there.

Taking Nelly out of the equation, which we probably have to now, leaves us really exposed once we move past Zander. It is probably our weakest area for depth now in the whole squad, which is why they were keen to see Sebastian in the summer.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 10 Aug 2021, 5:30 pm

Kebble may well have a higher ceiling than Berghan. Will he reach it in time for RWC 2023? He is unlikely to make RWC 2027 at 35 so it would only be useful as a stop gap from 2022 - 2024 (by which time Wilson, Gamble and Walker will all be hitting 25/26, Rae and Sebastian will be 30).

I guess size becomes an interesting point. He is a big LH but pretty average for an international TH (Berghan is about the same size). What I am worried about is by chasing a short term solution to one problem, we end up with two

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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 15 Aug 2021, 11:38 pm

I know it's not easy at the moment due to there being no club rugby to judge players form etc but does anyone want to have a stab at a squad for the AIs :P? I have already seen a potential starting 15 via the YouTuber Rugby Analyst so feel free to have a look at that one (he's a very good analyst).

I forgot to add Callum Hunter-Hill and Rory Hutchinson to the guys I'd like to see get a shot during the tests.

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Post by RDW Mon 16 Aug 2021, 12:01 am

I don't see there being a huge number of changes from the 6N, with the most notable exception being Schoeman will be SQ by then and I'm sure Townsend will want to get him involved.

Stab at the team:

1 Sutherland
2 McInally/Brown/Turner - whoever is on form!
3 Fagerson
4 Gray
5 Cummings
6 Ritchie
7 Watson
8 Fagerson

9 Price
10 Russell
11 VDM
12 Redpath
13 Harris
14 - not sure but I'd like to see some young blood staking a claim by this point
15 Hogg

On the bench, I'd love to see some new players stake a claim - particularly at lock, back row and back 3. I suspect Schoeman will be on the bench at least one of the games.

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Post by BigGee Mon 16 Aug 2021, 7:32 am

Am ptetty sure Redpath won't be fit. Still recovering from an ACL injury at tail end of season. Hopefully will be back for 6N. Mimimum recovery is usually 6 months and often longer.

Maybe Hutchinson or McDowell in at 12?

Johnson also rehabbing an injury but more likely to be fit by then as well.

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Post by RDW Mon 16 Aug 2021, 7:58 am

Is McDowell really an option?

He burst onto the scene but stagnatic a lot, mainly through injury.

Hutchinson seems to have fallen out with Toonie but I'd like to see him involved.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 16 Aug 2021, 8:21 am

Isn't Sione Tuipolotu a centre? I think GT is a fan of him, if he has a good start to the season at Glasgow then he could be in contention, maybe not for starting, but for a benc h slot certainly.

I may sound stupid ahaha (remember I've only started watching club rugby) but, what other centre options do qe have, experienced/tested at International level or untried youngsters or uncapped players capable of playing Internationally?

Imho, Club Rugby can't come quickly enough,I've missed seeing top class and exciting high scoring matches Smile.

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Post by George Carlin Mon 16 Aug 2021, 8:53 am

Hello all. Back from safari on the Serengeti. That's not a euphemism for anything, Jim.

I didn't watch the third Lions test as I don't do well with tension or jingoism at that level. Am absolutely delighted that Finn did his thing. Some of the cartoonish comments about him have been disgraceful and so hopefully there should be a short window when the morons shut the feic up and just recognise him as a mature, test class 10. His performance alone moved the debate on to where it should be - which is whether Gatland got the gameplan wrong. My suspicion is that Russell could have played in the second test but wasn't selected.

I am looking forward to these AIs. I think that the glass is half full for our Scottish Lions this time around, actually. Most of them will return buoyant from good performances (Harris, Price, Russell, Duhan) or be looking to get another chance on a big stage to show they should not have been overlooked (Hogg, Watson). Hogg always shows up well in the AIs and I expect Toonie to make him captain. As has been said above, I hope to hell that all of our players get 4-6 weeks off at least.
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Post by BigGee Mon 16 Aug 2021, 8:57 am

Russell was on the Scottish rugby podcast ladt week and from his own comments it sounded like he probably was not fit for the second test, which was a little bit at odds with the info the Lions were putting out at the time!

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Post by BigGee Mon 16 Aug 2021, 9:01 am

RDW wrote:Is McDowell really an option?

He burst onto the scene but stagnatic a lot, mainly through injury.

Hutchinson seems to have fallen out with Toonie but I'd like to see him involved.

Hutch and McDowell were both in the summer test squad, so are not a million miles away.

McDowell was injured for the greater part of last season but came into the Glasgow side at the end when we started to put together a decent run. Lets see how he goes this season, with Johnson probsbly missing the start of the season, he is likely to get some game time.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 16 Aug 2021, 10:19 am

I would like to think we will get some debuts over the 4 games (all dependent on form and fitness).

Debuts for Schoeman, Ashman, Sebastian, Darge/Gordon, Dobie, Vellacott, Tuipolotu and McLean or Blain (won't be space for both). Tonga may be outside the international window so would think Schoeman, Dobie, Darge, Tuipolotu and Mclean or Blain will get a look in then. Ashman and Sebastian to get mixed in against Aus and Japan.

I think the 23 for South Africa will be a fairly established side. The spots up for grabs are at hooker and the bench spots at 9 and the 2nd and back rows. S Johnson works well with Russell and is respected by Toonie so has the incumbency for the 12 shirt.

Sutherland - McInally - Zander (Kebble - Turner - Berghan/Nel)
Cummings - J Gray (Toolis, R Gray or McDonald (think he will want a lineout force to support Turner against Etzebeth, De Jager, Snyman, Mostert))
Ritchie - M Fagerson - Watson (Crosbie? Bradbury? G Graham? Skinner?)

Price - Russell (Dobie - Hastings)
S Johnson - Harris (H Jones)
DVDM - Hogg - Maitland/D Graham

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Post by jimbopip Mon 16 Aug 2021, 10:58 am

Morning peeps, you all seem to be forgetting Seaman at 13/wing. Possibly him at 13 and Tuipoluta at 14.
Seaman inside Shona as it were. drumroll

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 16 Aug 2021, 6:00 pm

Hazel Sapling wrote:I would like to think we will get some debuts over the 4 games (all dependent on form and fitness).

Debuts for Schoeman, Ashman, Sebastian, Darge/Gordon, Dobie, Vellacott, Tuipolotu and McLean or Blain (won't be space for both). Tonga may be outside the international window so would think Schoeman, Dobie, Darge, Tuipolotu and Mclean or Blain will get a look in then. Ashman and Sebastian to get mixed in against Aus and Japan.

I think the 23 for South Africa will be a fairly established side. The spots up for grabs are at hooker and the bench spots at 9 and the 2nd and back rows. S Johnson works well with Russell and is respected by Toonie so has the incumbency for the 12 shirt.

Sutherland - McInally - Zander (Kebble - Turner - Berghan/Nel)
Cummings - J Gray (Toolis, R Gray or McDonald (think he will want a lineout force to support Turner against Etzebeth, De Jager, Snyman, Mostert))
Ritchie - M Fagerson - Watson (Crosbie? Bradbury? G Graham? Skinner?)

Price - Russell (Dobie - Hastings)
S Johnson - Harris (H Jones)
DVDM - Hogg - Maitland/D Graham

You forgot to add Cammy Henderson to your debut list, surely he will get his debut at some point, especially if it means he will be officially ours :P.

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Post by hugehandoff Mon 16 Aug 2021, 6:56 pm

Re Tonga there is the shocking news that their head coach, Toutai Kefu, and his family were all seriously injured in a burglary in Brisbane. Best wishes to Toutai and his family and hoping that Tonga's best players are made available for their Autumn tour.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-58227126

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Post by jimbopip Mon 16 Aug 2021, 7:02 pm

There is a rumour going round, and I haven't started it, that Green Rockets Tatsuko in Japan are offering Dancer very silly money to join them. I mean David Cameron Nothing Dodgy Here amounts.

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Post by George Carlin Tue 17 Aug 2021, 8:28 am

jimbopip wrote:There is a rumour going round, and I haven't started it, that Green Rockets Tatsuko in Japan are offering Dancer very silly money to join them. I mean David Cameron Nothing Dodgy Here amounts.
Yes, was in the rugby paper that they're offering him a million squid plus. It has credibility as Cheika is the coach and he's a Russell fan. I can't see Finn taking it though as it potentially would rule him out of the next World Cup. Laidlaw is out there already with NTT so at least he has someone to ask what the sushi and geisha action is like. Allegedly.
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Post by jimbopip Tue 17 Aug 2021, 9:20 am

Sushi and geishas Shocked Sounds fishy to me.

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Post by RDW Tue 17 Aug 2021, 9:23 am

I really hope it's not true, as it would mean money really does win over everything else.

It would effectively take him out of Scotland contention in a period leading up to the WC. Even if he just went a season he'd miss the 6N
.

Hopefully he's happy with his 800k plus Scotland earnings and not chase the money...

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Post by BigGee Tue 17 Aug 2021, 9:30 am

That would mean Japanese rugby really does have some silly money to burn.

He has recently signed a new contract with Racing, so to buy him out of that plus pay him what is being talked about would be a ridiculous amount! I sm sure you could pick up an All Black or 2 for half that much!

It all sounds a bit far fetched to me!

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Post by George Carlin Tue 17 Aug 2021, 10:15 am

It's only an extra 200k a year.

FES has lost that much down the back of his Natuzzi recliner.
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Post by Mcsweens Thu 19 Aug 2021, 4:34 pm

jimbopip wrote:Sushi and geishas Shocked Sounds fishy to me.

Jimbo! Naughty boy Hug

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Post by Mcsweens Thu 19 Aug 2021, 4:36 pm

jimbopip wrote:Morning peeps, you all seem to be forgetting Seaman at 13/wing. Possibly him at 13 and Tuipoluta at 14.
Seaman inside Shona as it were. drumroll

I'm here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress. oh yeah

Targeting the inside shona is just good practice for open play.

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Post by Highland Shaun Thu 19 Aug 2021, 6:15 pm

These matches to be shown on Amazon Prime. I saw that on SRU Facebook, there are lots of angry responses to it which, imho is harsh but I can understand their frustrations.

Fortunately I already have Prime as I subscribed just at the end of 2019 when they were announced as the new broadcaster of Tennis, replacing sky sports.


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Post by Tramptastic Fri 20 Aug 2021, 4:00 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:These matches to be shown on Amazon Prime. I saw that on SRU Facebook, there are lots of angry responses to it which, imho is harsh but I can understand their frustrations.

Fortunately I already have Prime as I subscribed just at the end of 2019 when they were announced as the new broadcaster of Tennis, replacing sky sports.


Is the anger generated from it no longer being on freeview or from amazon's coverage being shoite?

I think from recall, watching last years autumn internationals/cup/thing, the amazon coverage was ok but the england-centric focus was turned up to over 9000% i.e. "Scotland just beat Wales, what does this say about England's form next week?"

Didn't help that the rugby was just awful

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 20 Aug 2021, 4:08 pm

Highland Shaun wrote:These matches to be shown on Amazon Prime. I saw that on SRU Facebook, there are lots of angry responses to it which, imho is harsh but I can understand their frustrations.

Fortunately I already have Prime as I subscribed just at the end of 2019 when they were announced as the new broadcaster of Tennis, replacing sky sports.


You’d be surprised how many people kicking off about Prime, don’t realise they already have it. That’s how it was reported, when the “Rugby Mad Welsh Public” reacted to it last year. Then again, they weren’t happy that S4C could only show Welsh games in Welsh either, so you’ve probably not got it as bad.

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