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Scotland Autumn Series 2021

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Old Man
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bsando
RiscaGame
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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 08 Aug 2021, 12:22 am

First topic message reminder :

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 jimbopip Tue 05 Oct 2021, 1:33 pm

Old Man, is that they were sent home to see their families BEFORE embarking on the NH tour? Or sent home while the bosses consider what to do next?

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Post by Old Man Tue 05 Oct 2021, 1:42 pm

They sent everyone home I think on Sunday evening for a break with their families, it will be for two weeks.

The negotiations for travelling to Europe sounds as if it has been an ongoing debate, but from what I take from their reaction (SARU) is that they aren't happy with whatever is coming out of these discussions.

And have now publically said if the enforced bubble will be a reality then they will withdraw from the tour.

They seem very concerned about the mental health of the players, Duane Vermeulen has spoken about how tough the isolation has been for them.

Remember the Boks had been in a bubble now since the 7th of May I believe.

So it has been five months without their families.

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Post by jimbopip Tue 05 Oct 2021, 2:34 pm

Five or six months away from my children when they were babies/toddlers would have destroyed me. Six months away from my sons when they were teenagers.... zen

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Post by jimbopip Wed 06 Oct 2021, 9:56 am

Old Man, here's a thought.
The four URC teams are here, not sure if they are bubbled or not, and still have matches to play. Could SARU ask them to make their players available for the AI's?
For me the biggest obstacle to cancelling the tour would be the TV/sponsorship money which SARU would, probably, be loath to repay. If they put out a Boks squad which was made up from the four URC teams would that fulfil their contractual obligations?
Mind, given the results of the URC sides so far; 7 losses out of 8 with the only victory coming against Zebra, I'm not sure I would want to spend a couple of hundred quid schlepping up to Murrayfield to watch Scotland lose to them.

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Post by Old Man Wed 06 Oct 2021, 10:48 am

I don't think sending a South African A team to play three test matches would be a good idea jimbo.

It would at best be seen as a SA barbarian team as the coaches would literally have to go into a bubble themselves, perhaps have a few training sessions.

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Post by RDW Fri 08 Oct 2021, 12:39 pm

Scott Cummings has been ruled out of the autumn tests through injury - opportunity knocks for one of the other locks.

Anyone know about Gray's fitness? I haven't seen him play for Exeter yet.

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Post by Highland Shaun Fri 08 Oct 2021, 6:28 pm

RDW wrote:Scott Cummings has been ruled out of the autumn tests through injury - opportunity knocks for one of the other locks.

Anyone know about Gray's fitness? I haven't seen him play for Exeter yet.

Sad Sad.

Who are the likely replacements that Gregor will consider Smile?

Also, news from the Premiership:

- Sutherland and King Duhan (can you tell my favourite Scotland winger lol) get debuts at Worcester against Exeter, who have Hogg starting and Skinner and Hidalgo-Clyne on the bench
- Hastings retains his place at 10 for Gloucester
- Ewan Ashman dropped by Sale despite scoring last weekend Sad
- Callum Hunter-Hill starts for Sarries who have SQ Andy Christie on the bench.

I've probably missed a lot more but I would say these are the main things I took out of the team lines I saw.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 11 Oct 2021, 6:11 pm

Squad announced on Wednesday according to Rob Robertson of The Mail.

I was thinking it would be next week :o.

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Post by BigGee Mon 11 Oct 2021, 6:58 pm

The first game will be not include any English or French based players, so expect a few newbies to feature in the squad for that game, which may well be different to the one for the other three games, which will also be much harder tests.

I think we could see a team along these liners for Tonga:

1. Schoeman
2. Brown
3. Berghan
4. Gilchrist
5. Sykes
6. Ritchie - Capt
7. Darge
8. Fagerson M
9. Vellacott
10. Thompson
11. McLean
12. Johnson
13. Tuipoltu
14. Graham
15. Forbes

Subs:

Bhatti
Mathews
McCallam
Hodgson
Crosby
Dobie
Kinghorn
Steyn



A mixture of youth and experience!

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 11 Oct 2021, 8:57 pm

Don't think we will see Kinghorn covering 10 (at least I hope we don't). I know he has been playing there but sounds like he is been pretty average. With Thompson, Weir and VDW I would hope we can find more competent play from our pivot.

Not seen any of the current season so can't comment too much. Surprised to see Matthews (where is Turner, Stewart, McInally and Cherry?) and Crosbie (thought he was in poor form and Tom Gordon may be deserving a chance?).

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Post by BigGee Mon 11 Oct 2021, 9:17 pm

I am not sure Weir has much more future in a Scotland shirt.

VDW is an option, but as 4th choice, at best, maybe no harm in rolling the dice with Blairhorn on the bench.

Turner is possibly the number one hooker in Scotland atm, hence sitting him out. Mathews has been playing well for Glasgow, has leap frogged Stewart and seems to be on an upwards curve.

Crosbie is a punt i agree and has not hit his previous heights yet this season. I went with him as he can play accross the back row, which we probably need from a sub. Gordon likely worthy of a squad place as well, but currently Darge seems to be edging him for the start.

This is going to be very much a development team and most arr unlikely to make the team for the next three games.

A chance to take a few punts i think.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 11 Oct 2021, 10:34 pm

Fair enough BG, I agree on the experimentation.

After years of struggling to get decent play at 10, I would like to keep a certain level of experience on the bench to support Thompson and work alongside Dobie. Weir or VDW should at least provide a baseline if things are tight. They also both at least attempt to tackle.

The bench really could do with a 6/8 option but not sure if anyone has taken that mantle early in the season? It feels with the recent reviews on Crosbie that this is not the time to cap him.

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Post by Anglobraveheart Mon 11 Oct 2021, 11:45 pm

I think we need Thomson and VdW as the 10s, not fussed which one starts, but I also think that Toony will potentially stick with club partnerships, so I can see a starting 9/10 of Horne/Thomson and Vellacott/VdW on the bench.
I don't think Matthews will be anywhere near the squad, there are 2 hookers in front of him at Glasgow, and 2 at Edinburgh.
Butterflying a bit, but I think that Darge will start at 7, whilst Hamish gets back in the saddle. Young Rufus on the wing.
I think we need a solid representation of experience to support the young guns, with club combinations giving us cohesion. I would like to see/suspect Toony will pick along the lines of:

Bhatti
Brown
Berghan
Gray R
Gilchrist
Ritchie
Darge
Fagerson M
Horne
Thomson
Graham
Johnson
Bennett
McLean
Kinghorn

Kebble
Cherry
Nel
Bean
Wilson
Vellacot
VdW
Tuipolotu

Then we have rafts of players available to come in the following week from rafts of lions and England/France based:

Sutherland
Turner
Fagerson Z
Hunter Hill
Gray J
Skinner
Hamish
Haining
Price
Russell
D VdM
Scott
Harris
Maitland
Hogg

Shoeman
McInally
McCallam
Craig
Gordon
Steele
Hastings
Forbes

I may well have missed some, haven't included Redpath & H Jones who I think are injured, but would be my dream first choice centre pairing.
Or Cummings, who is also injured.

I'm not for a minute suggesting that the second selection group should be who start against Aus, just illustrating who is available and where to come in.
I'd love us to really do a job on Australia and send Rennie packing with his tail between his legs.

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Post by Highland Shaun Tue 12 Oct 2021, 12:22 am

You won't be happy to read this Hazel but Rob Robertson (have a look on his twitter because I can't find the article online to link in here but tbh, it's big enough to read via his tweet anyway) suggests Kinghorn at 10 too and mentions Josh Bayliss too so I'm wondering if that means he'll get dropped by Bath that weekend hmm?

It's well worth a read, its just annoying that it's not available on The Daily Mail website, just because its Robs column does not mean it can't be available online!

BTW, is it the commentor Rob Robertson or am I completely off the mark lol?

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Post by RDW Tue 12 Oct 2021, 3:43 am

Is it time to move on from Maitland?

He's been a real stalwart for Scotland and adds a lot of class and experience to the back 3, especially if you have more of a strike weapon on the other wing (like VDM). He's 33 now which is pretty geriatric for a winger, and he's not going to make the next WC.

Graham is bang on form again and Rufus McLean looks to be a Rolls Royce of a winger - he glides across the ground like Ben Smith used to do.

We then have a few more youngsters literally waiting in the wings.

Personally I think it's time to move on!

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Post by BigGee Tue 12 Oct 2021, 6:42 am

I agree with RDW and don't think we should be playing anyone who won't be at the next WC now.

That would include Maitland, Nel and Gray R ( who has actually looked half decent again this season)

There are other more marginal calls as well, so lets see who makes the squad.

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Post by Anglobraveheart Tue 12 Oct 2021, 8:45 am

I included Maitland in my list to pad out the players who will become available after the Tomga game to illustrate back up.
For me, the wing choices are Duhan, Darcy, McLean, Kinghorn, Maitland, Steyn, Tuipolotu, Forbes?
We've got some depth there.

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Post by jimbopip Tue 12 Oct 2021, 9:07 am

Flounder is correct Hug Titman looks a very special prospect on the wing. Actually, at club level he no longer looks like a prospect; he looks very comfortable and confident whenever he takes the field. DW was saying he would be amazed if Titman and Darge weren't in the AI squad. DW also said that Darge is the most talented 7 he has EVER worked with. I fully expect both of them to get a start at some point in the AI's.
The bad news for Zebras is that a number of Glasgow players need to get game time before the AI's; Kebble, Berghan, Fagerson, Fagerson, Aldi, to be going on with. By my reckoning the Rugby Club are away to Zebra and home to the Ladyboys before the AI break. You wouldn't want their first match back to be against the Ladyboys, so a fully loaded side in Italy then a real tester at home before decamping to the Scotland camp.

Warriors v Zebra
1.Kebble (Pirate)
2. Chuckles (Turner)
3. Ragnar (Berghan)
4. Bean ( who was impressive v Lions)
5. BigBad (Richie needs a rest, but should start v Ladyboys)
6.Miller (Batman)
7. Mullet
8. Fagerson
9. Aldi Price (Dobie)
10. Meatball (Thompson)
11. Titman
12. Stafford/Horne
13. Squiggsy
14.Seaman
15. Ollie Smith

Of course this is excluding Miotti and Cancilliere who could both bench. I think it should be a 5 points in the bag afternoon.

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Post by RDW Tue 12 Oct 2021, 9:07 am

Is Tuipolotu not a centre?

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Post by RDW Tue 12 Oct 2021, 9:08 am

jimbopip wrote:Flounder is correct Hug

Shocked Shocked Shocked

Is this not a harbinger of the apocalypse??

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Post by jimbopip Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:17 am

RDW wrote: Is Tuipolotu not a centre?
No. Shona is a very good centre who should be capped asap.

Also I do hope Glasgow signvJP Du Preez. Jean and Shona will be good company for each other.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 12 Oct 2021, 11:51 am

I am tempted to keep Nel and Maitland in for one last rodeo. It goes against the ethos of looking for youngsters but we really need to be aiming to get a 6N win under our belt.

No one has taken Nel's mantle as a top back-up (I see McCallum has started showing promise from what is being written though Rae is getting solid game time in Bath as well. Neither is at Nel's level).

Maitland I am more understanding if we want to move on from due to the options available.

R Gray has been moved on from, however him and J Gray in combination work really well. He will have just turned 34 by the RWC and was never much of a speedster. Toner played for Ireland pretty much up to a similar age and R Gray at his peak (when fit) was a superior player.

Our set piece has moved up a level over the last couple of years though the line-out can still prove shaky. R Gray settles that problem and that is why, if he can stay fit and in form, I would keep him in the plans.

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Post by RDW Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:05 pm

https://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/springboks/sharks-star-dylan-richardson-to-play-for-scotland-in-november-internationals-4f5145d0-3fc1-4e5d-ba75-833ffdad3b27

Except a Toonie curve ball

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Post by Old Man Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:15 pm

Hell, does Scotland scrutinise the ancestry of every SA player?

I mean this is a bit blatant.

The article says he wasn't on the Bok radar, yet October last year he played in the Green vs Gold Bok trials.

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Post by BigGee Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:28 pm

Don't know much about him Old Man, is he any good?

I see he is the modern back row hooker hybrid, does he have a best position?

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Post by Old Man Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:30 pm

He is very very promising, highly rated back home, to be honest I am a bit pissed off by this

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Post by BigGee Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:37 pm

It is a little odd, especially if he really is going to stay playing in SA. You would imagine he would be looking for a decent contract if he really is going to commit to Scotland, maybe that will come later though.

I am curious to see how this one will play out and what the protagonists have to say about it.


Scotland are not short of decent back rows at the moment, possibly more so at hooker, where Brown and McInally are not spring chickens any more and no strangers to the physios table.

Tomorrow's squad announcement going to be interesting now!

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Post by Old Man Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:39 pm

He is very versatile, have also played at 8.

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Post by RDW Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:53 pm

The article doesn't say but I'm guessing he has a Scottish parent of grandparent.

I would agree that hooker is probably more the longer term need for Scotland. Looking post-world cup MciNally and Brown will probably be close to gone and Tunrner will be in his 30s.

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Post by BigGee Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:55 pm

https://twitter.com/rugby_ap/status/1448027409555525638

Some twitter thoughts on this.

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Post by Old Man Tue 12 Oct 2021, 10:59 pm

Well for me this is a matter of Scotland saying, lets cap him before SA does. I might sound sour, but this is the lowest form of poaching there is.

The guy hasn't even played a match for any Scottish representative side and goes straight into the national squad.

This ancestry rule should be scrapped, it is BS

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Post by RDW Tue 12 Oct 2021, 11:55 pm

Worth saying it's not Scotland that sets these rules, and it's not just Scotland who uses them! There's no doubt we have a lot of South African representation just now, but probably fair to say other than maybe Schoeman none of them were any way near close to a Sprinboks callup when they moved to Scotland.

And for me if they're eligible to play for a certain nation then that's their decision!

Residency qualification is a completely different debate.

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Post by Highland Shaun Wed 13 Oct 2021, 6:02 am

RDW wrote:https://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/springboks/sharks-star-dylan-richardson-to-play-for-scotland-in-november-internationals-4f5145d0-3fc1-4e5d-ba75-833ffdad3b27

Except a Toonie curve ball

I really hope this isn't instead of Ewan Ashman because it would be annoying if he missed out yet again!!

On the other hand, it probably means Adam McBurney won't be playing for us anytime soon.

Anyway, its squad announcement day so expect a shock, or as its known on social media, a Toonie Tombola curveball etc lol.

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Post by RDW Wed 13 Oct 2021, 6:59 am

From the Twitter conversation Biggee posted it sounds like he's actually a 7 who could fill in at hooker in an emergency

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Post by BigGee Wed 13 Oct 2021, 7:48 am

It does seem that Toonie is looking to the future a bit now and intending to bring younger plsyers into the squad to replace some of the old guard. I guess this may happen either before or after the WC.

This is no bad thing and keeps the competition for places in the squad and team very healthy.

The days when it was harder to get out of the Scotland team than to get in it are gladly behind us with the genuine depth we are building now.

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Post by BigGee Wed 13 Oct 2021, 7:49 am

RDW wrote:From the Twitter conversation Biggee posted it sounds like he's actually a 7 who could fill in at hooker in an emergency

Very useful in a WC squad where we might now not have to take three hookers.

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Post by BigGee Wed 13 Oct 2021, 1:03 pm

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend has today named a 36-man squad for a two day training camp ahead of the first game of the 2021 Autumn Nations Series.

The group brings together predominantly home-based players, 19 of whom featured in the 2021 Scotland summer squad which was unable to play its three intended matches due to Covid-19.

Glasgow Warriors back-row player Rory Darge continues in the squad from the summer after man of the match performances in the opening rounds of the United Rugby Championship campaign. He is joined by fellow Warriors in backs Ross Thompson, Cole Forbes, Rufus McLean, Kyle Steyn, George Horne, Jamie Dobie, Sione Tuipulotu and forwards Jamie Bhatti, Oli Kebble, Matt Fagerson and George Turner.

Edinburgh Rugby also have players retained from the summer in the form of back row pair Jamie Ritchie and Luke Crosbie, alongside lock Jamie Hodgson and backs Blair Kinghorn, Jack Blain, Damien Hoyland and James Lang.

The remaining group of 17 players are called up having returned from either the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa, injury or rest, having not featured in Scotland’s disrupted summer campaign.

Lions Ali Price, Hamish Watson and Zander Fagerson all bring their experience to the group.

In the pack Grant Gilchrist, Stuart McInally, Fraser Brown, Nick Haining and Rob Harley are called up bringing with them a combined tally of 169 caps.

Also returning are backs Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett and Sam Johnson all of whom have made bright starts to the new season.

Townsend has also brought in four new faces with an uncapped quartet of three forwards and a back.

Edinburgh Rugby forwards Pierre Schoeman and Marshall Sykes are joined by midfield back Charlie Savala in the training group.

There is also a call-up for Cell C Sharks loose-forward Dylan Richardson who qualifies for Scotland through his father, who was born in Edinburgh. The 22 year-old flanker has started two URC matches this season having lined up against Munster in the opening round and Glasgow Warriors in round two and was part of the matchday 23 for the South African team’s third-round win against Ospreys.

The training squad will convene on Sunday 17 October and train on Monday 18 October at Oriam High Performance centre outside Edinburgh.

Speaking on the selection Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “It has been great to see both Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors make positive starts to their URC campaigns driven by some standout performances from both young and established players.

“With four tough Test matches ahead of us in this year’s Autumn Nations Series it is important we bring players together early, connect with them as coaches and enable them to grow as a group before the campaign gets underway against Tonga at BT Murrayfield. We’ll then move on to the challenge of facing in-form Australia, World Champions South Africa and a very dangerous Japan team.

“We are pleased with the depth we are able to call upon to make up this training squad and it provides a genuine opportunity for players to put their hand up for selection to the full Autumn Nations Series squad.”

Autumn Nations Training Squad

Forwards:

Matt Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 13 caps

Nick Haining – Edinburgh Rugby – 8 caps

Hamish Watson – Edinburgh Rugby – 41 caps

Rory Darge – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped

Dylan Richardson – Cell C Sharks – uncapped

Jamie Ritchie – Edinburgh Rugby – 27 caps

Luke Crosbie – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped

Grant Gilchrist – Edinburgh Rugby – 45 caps

Jamie Hodgson – Edinburgh Rugby - uncapped

Rob Harley – Glasgow Warriors – 22 caps

Marshall Sykes – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped

Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors – 38 caps

Oli Kebble – Glasgow Warriors – 8 caps

Murray McCallum – Glasgow Warriors – 3 caps

George Turner – Glasgow Warriors – 17 caps

Fraser Brown – Glasgow Warriors – 54 caps

Stuart McInally – Edinburgh Rugby – 40 caps

Pierre Schoeman – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped

Jamie Bhatti – Glasgow Warriors – 18 caps



Backs:

Rufus McLean – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped

Damien Hoyland – Edinburgh Rugby – 4 caps

Darcy Graham – Edinburgh Rugby – 19 caps

Cole Forbes – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped

Sione Tuipulotu – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped

Mark Bennett – Edinburgh Rugby – 22 caps

Matt Currie – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped

Sam Johnson – Glasgow Warriors – 18 caps

James Lang – Edinburgh Rugby – 6 caps

Kyle Steyn – Glasgow Warriors – 1 cap

Jack Blain – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped

Blair Kinghorn – Edinburgh Rugby – 25 caps

Ross Thompson – Glasgow Warriors – uncapped

Charlie Savala – Edinburgh Rugby – uncapped

Ali Price – Glasgow Warriors – 42 caps

George Horne – Glasgow Warriors – 14 caps

Jamie Dobie - Glasgow Warriors - uncapped

Scotland’s match against South Africa is already sold out with the Australia fixture expected to follow very shortly.

A full house at BT Murrayfield is also expected for Japan.

Tonga will be the exciting opponents on Saturday 30 October when Scotland take the field for the first test match at BT Murrayfield with a live crowd since March 2020.

Plans are underway to host a massive Halloween party with fans encouraged to wear fancy dress and with ‘kids for £1’ tickets available it gives a great opportunity for families to see their national team in action.

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Post by BigGee Wed 13 Oct 2021, 1:13 pm

So Toonie goes for a completely URC based squad (all in Scotland other than Richardson, who has a Scottish born father it seems)

A few other interesting calls as well.

Only 2 hookers, so could they see Richardson playing there?

Sykes gets his first call up, probably justified on this seasons form, but no Ritchie Gray, so has he decided to call his international career.

Vellacott is probably the big miss at SH, though with price, Horne and Dobie all playing well, maybe he needs a bit more time to show his value.

Charlie Savala gets the nod at FH ahead of Weir and VDW having not played for Edinburgh this year, presumably they see something in him and he is there for the experience.

Matt Currie the other big call in the backs, he came back from injury in the Super 6 last weekend and was a standout MoM by all accounts. I would not be surprised to see him play for Edinburgh this weekend.

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Post by jimbopip Wed 13 Oct 2021, 2:18 pm

Gee Shocked
Chuckles, Rambo and Fitter & are all in the squad, Which one has been expelled from the Hookers' Union?

And yes, Vellacot while promising is fourth behind Aldi, Hornito and The House Elf.

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Post by tigertattie Wed 13 Oct 2021, 2:44 pm

Maitland still has plenty to give. I’d say he’s a bencher now though covering wing and fullback

He’s always given his all for Scotland and would be a great mentor for the younger guys.

I can’t see him getting to the next World Cup but he still has a year or two of good value in him
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Post by BigGee Wed 13 Oct 2021, 2:46 pm

jimbopip wrote:Gee Shocked
Chuckles, Rambo and Fitter & are all in the squad, Which one has been expelled from the Hookers' Union?

And yes, Vellacot while promising is fourth behind Aldi, Hornito and The House Elf.

As usual Jim you are correct, I managed to miss Turner.

All three of them are pretty injury prone though, so we may well still see him in the No,2 shirt.

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Post by George Carlin Wed 13 Oct 2021, 2:55 pm

I completely understand your position, Old Man.

The problem is always that if you have a bunch of talented youngsters coming through, it's never going to be possible to hold onto all of them. There are also quite a few success stories to base their decision on.

Nobody would ever have said to Sean Maitland now that he should have stayed at the Crusaders because he would have had something like 5 All Black caps to look back on. Instead of 5 caps and then being passed over for the next hot young try scorer (there are a dozen Caleb Clarkes coming through every year), Maitland has more than 50 caps for Scotland and a B&I Lions tour. One is a proper international career, one is not.

More significantly, how well do you rate him as a player? There are dozens of amazing young loosies coming out of South Africa. How good is he, relatively speaking?
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Post by BigGee Wed 13 Oct 2021, 3:12 pm

We certainly don't know the full story of his family connection to Scotland either. His father seems to have been born in Scotland but not clear if that was a fluke of passage or if he genuinely has family connections there.

Someone like Sean Maitland for example though born and bred in NZ has spoken about how he was always aware of his Scottish heritage growing up. The other new lad in the squad Tuipolotu has said the same.

They are qualified and have made an informed decesion. That is really all there is to say. Others have done it before then and more will in the future.

The Scottish diaspora lies far and wide!

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Post by bsando Wed 13 Oct 2021, 3:14 pm

Very exciting squad, the Toonbola has been well greased during the off season.

Several worthy call ups there and Bennet must be chuffed also after a while away from international rugby.

Richardson, I wonder how he’ll go?

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Post by Old Man Wed 13 Oct 2021, 3:30 pm

George Carlin wrote:I completely understand your position, Old Man.

The problem is always that if you have a bunch of talented youngsters coming through, it's never going to be possible to hold onto all of them. There are also quite a few success stories to base their decision on.

Nobody would ever have said to Sean Maitland now that he should have stayed at the Crusaders because he would have had something like 5 All Black caps to look back on. Instead of 5 caps and then being passed over for the next hot young try scorer (there are a dozen Caleb Clarkes coming through every year), Maitland has more than 50 caps for Scotland and a B&I Lions tour. One is a proper international career, one is not.  

More significantly, how well do you rate him as a player? There are dozens of amazing young loosies coming out of South Africa. How good is he, relatively speaking?
Well he is still only22, there are a bunch of youngsters coming through as loose forwards as you say, but considering players like Elrich Louw and Evan Roos who is highly rated and also 22 weren't considered for the Bok Green vs Gold trials lat year November. So it tells you how highly regarded he is.

Perhaps a bit soon to say he will be a star, but he certainly has the potential to be.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 13 Oct 2021, 4:55 pm

Happy enough with most of the squad for Tonga.

Surprised to see Savala included but I would rather see him get the opportunity as a genuine 10 than for Kinghorn to get shoehorned into the role (which is frustrating as we are not exactly short of 10's for the next 3-4 years).

Richardson has work to do to get into the 2023 RWC. At 6', 110kg (wiki), is he more of a 6.5 type like Ritchie was originally thought of? I guess the limitation with putting him at 6, is the lack of a third tall (6'3 plus) option to throw up in the line-out.

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Post by alive555 Wed 13 Oct 2021, 9:27 pm

Dylan Richardsons father is from Edinburgh, hes fully qualified to play for Scotland.

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Post by RDW Wed 13 Oct 2021, 9:28 pm

So turns out Richardson has a Scottish father born in Edinburgh - don't think anyone can really begrudge him choosing Scotland!

Just a note on the squad too - this is just a 2 day training squad, not the official Autumn tests squad.

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Post by RDW Thu 14 Oct 2021, 10:05 am

Vellacot is a strange omission given he's probably the form 9 in the league so far. I'm guessing Toonie has gone for continuity from the summer squad. There's probably a bit of 'ok you've been great in the first 3 games. let's see you do for the next few months'

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Post by BigGee Thu 14 Oct 2021, 11:39 am

RDW wrote:Vellacot is a strange omission given he's probably the form 9 in the league so far. I'm guessing Toonie has gone for continuity from the summer squad. There's probably a bit of 'ok you've been great in the first 3 games. let's see you do for the next few months'

That is probably a fair call as well, as the other three have done nothing wrong and deserve their calls.

If he keeps playing like he is though, he will be putting them all under pressure.

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