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Scotland 2022 summer tour

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:41 am

Scotland 2022 Six Nations Lookahead

A place to discuss the rollercoaster of dark horse conversation and sheer despair. Somewhere in-between, someone will go off on a mild tangent.

Schedule
5th Feb - England (H)
12th Feb - Wales (A)
26th Feb - France (H)
12th March - Italy (A)
19th March - Ireland (A)

Scotland's recent performances
2021: 4th (3 wins, same as 2nd)
2020: 4th (3 wins, same points as 3rd)
2019: 5th (1 win, 1 draw)
2018: 3rd (3 wins, same as 2nd)
2017: 4th (3 wins, same points as 2nd)


Last edited by Hazel Sapling on Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by jimbopip Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:48 am

I really approve of your use of parenthesis to highlight the moral victories that have marked the last five years.
So we're averaging 3 wins a tournament and are "really" finishing second.
Not too shabby, all things considered.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sun 21 Nov 2021, 12:19 pm

On reflection of the AI campaign, it was quite lacklustre. The performance against Japan was unacceptably poor for a side talking about top 5. If you offered me 3 from 4 at the start, I would have been happy but the manner of results and the performance is where I am left dissatisfied.

The lineout we had a roundabout of locks and HKs so feel that should be fixed with a bit of consistency. Some of it though has to be the calls and more needs doing on having a stable of moves everyone can do perfectly. The defensive lineout from memory was not too bad and the maul defense was generally okay.

At scrum time, we were found out by our reliance on Z Fagerson in the SA game. We are going to need to work on the depth at that position as the back-ups all only really seem to have the potential to become average international TH's (Kebble to be the new Jon Welsh?). We need an alternative if we are being put under the pump by England or Ireland at Six Nations time.

Restarts are less of an issues than they were which is good. We lacked patience in attack against Japan and some of it I think is Hogg trying too hard as he tries to rebuild his confidence. His franticness seemed to infect Russell who kept going for a wonderball. We need to reinforce the we can hold the ball 12 phases in the opposition 22 without going backward and force penalties.

In terms of players, Schoeman took like a duck to water. Gilchrist was solid against everyone bar Japan and is my clear 4th option behind Skinner. McClean was found to be green and Steyn is ready so we will see if we go for the player who is better now or later.

Outside of those guys, it is hard to think of anyone who stands out as a bolter. Ashman was green and outside of the try, seemed a bit off the pace. Kebble is learning his trade. Hodgson did fine but not going to displace any incumbents. Bayliss is underpowered for an 8 and is really a flanker. Tuipulotu and Scott didn't do much with their opportunities to suggest they are going to push out the starting centres.

All in all, we are a side that is still waiting to take that next step. As mentioned by Jimbo, I noted the positions in relation to others and we are there or thereabouts as an also-ran for 4 of the last 5 years. We need to find that bit of luck or magic that puts us over the top.


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Post by jimbopip Sun 21 Nov 2021, 2:24 pm

Hazel, a decent summary. OK
Here's my tuppence worth.

Front row: Schoeman apart no-one really put their hands up. Lots of "solid" displays, Bhatti and Ashman are obvious examples, but no-one really said "This is my jersey, try and take. I dare you."
Second row Hodgson and Gilchrist did well. BigBad didn't really. Skinner  Headscratch I can see why he isn't commanding a starting place at Exeter...I just can't say exactly what he isn't doing well enough. He's almost there...but not quite. As Mrs Pip remarked after our honeymoon.
Back row I think we finished with Bayliss-Fagerson-Richardson yesterday. which looks like it should have a lot of potential, or it could turn out rather Skinnerish. We have no shortage of excellent sevens ( Tom Gordon and Richardson battling for third/fourth spot) but we didn't see a clear alternative to Mbawza at 6.
9 Toonie seems to see hornito as the back up. I think Dobbie has a quicker and smoother pass and manages the players around him better. Hornito also seems to have stopped making those optimistic support runs that Cowboy Dave raved about.
10 WTF Shocked Blarehorn. WT absolute Fecc. I shall say no more. Blarehorn will most likely be in the WC squad as a back up for 15/11/14/10 but not in the squad as a starter in any of those positions.
centres Shona looked good against Tonga. He's seen as a 13 and has pushed Seaman onto the wing at Scotstoun. we really need a 12 after MattScott12 ended his international career against the Criminals. Both Shona and Seaman are better 13's with ball in hand than Harris but he is crucial to our defence.
Back three Duhan-Hogg-ADHD Kid, Toonie obviously sees Blarehorn as covering all three. Seaman and Titman are putting pressure on the wing spots. Although realistically Duhan is under no pressure whatsoever; 5 tries in his last 5 Tests! I'd rather see Hastings cover 15 than Blarehorn. Father or son to be honest.

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Post by Anglobraveheart Sun 21 Nov 2021, 4:37 pm

I think we need some grunt and belligerent dog up front. Some creativity in the centre, and some sort of aversion therapy to stop the stupid penalties.
I also think it may be time for a new captain.
There you go, I've gone and said it.
I think we need someone up front, in the thick of things, and I think that Scott Cummings would be a great candidate.
This would also take some of the pressure off of Hogg to focus on his own game. Ritchie as back up.
Hsmish Watdon also seems a bit quiet, but maybe that is the Lions effect? I recall Tommy Seymour not quite being the same again after being on the Lions tour.

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Post by tigertattie Sun 21 Nov 2021, 7:42 pm

If you want a new captain then Ritchie is your man

However

On Saturday hogg showed great captaincy by telling Russell to naff off and take the three points. It was three very easy points to put you more than a converted score ahead with only a minute to play.

Can you imagine the outcry had we kicked to the corner, fluffed the lineout and conceded a try under our own posts? It could have happened given out lineout wobbles. It was lunacy for Russell to even think of going to the corner. 3 times Hogg said “posts”. I don’t think Cummings could have openly stood his ground against Russell in the same way.

Hogg isn’t on top form right now but he was one of the few players who you could see were genuinely trying over the series. To take the captaincy off him now would be a bit daft.
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Post by RDW Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:39 pm

As always my natural tendencies for the 6N is to be pessimistic. Not because we're a bad team like the dark old days - far form it - but because it is so horrendously competitive. It must be one of the most hotly competed competitions in world sport just now. Feasibly, 4of the 6 teams teams could win it and although it would be a remarkable achievement, it wouldn't be a freak if we did.

Italy these days are as near guaranteed a win as you can get, but there's always the chance of a shock particularly from an early red etc.

Other than Italy, our next best chance of a win is probably Wales away and that's hardly been a happy hunting ground for us! Our record against England in the last 5 years is pretty good (2 wins, 2 losses and a draw) but given what happened last year England will be absolutely desperate to not slip up again. Ditto with France, who are surely going to be favourites this year.

So who feckin knows where we'll end up - I'd like to think we could at least get 2 wins which would be pretty good intself given it would mean either winning in Wales or Ireland, or beating England or France at home. 3 wins would be dreamland. Anything more than that and I'll change my name to William Wallace.

As for the squad for England, it sort of picks itself just now

1 Sutherland/Schoe
2 McInally/Tuner
3 Fagerson/Welsh
4/5 Gray/Cummings/Gilchrist
6 Ritchie
7 Watson
8 Fagerson (Haining/Bayliss/Richardson)

9 Price (Horne)
10 Russell (Hastings?)
11 VDM
12 Johnson
13 Harris
14 Graham (Kinghorne? Steyn?)
15 Hogg

I'd rather Hasting and Steyn on the bench than Kinghorn involved, but the latter seems to be highly regarded by Toony.

Surely we can find a destructive rampaging 8 between now and then....?


Last edited by RDW on Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BigGee Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:43 pm

RDW wrote:As always my natural tendencies for the 6N is to be pessimistic. Not because we're a bad team like the dark old days - far form it - but because it is so horrendously competitive. It must be one of the most hotly competed competitions in world sport just now. Feasibly, 4 teams could win it and although it would be a remarkable achievement, it wouldn't be a freak if we did.

Italy these days are as near guaranteed a win as you can get, but there's always the chance of a shock particularly from an early red etc.

Other than Italy, our next best chance of a win is probably Wales away and that's hardly been a happy hunting ground for us! Our record against England in the last 5 years is pretty good (2 wins, 2 losses and a draw) but given what happened last year England will be absolutely desperate to not slip up again. Ditto with France, who are surely going to be favourites this year.

So who feckin knows where we'll end up - I'd like to think we could at least get 2 wins which would be pretty good intself given it would mean either winning in Wales or Ireland, or beating England or France at home. 3 wins would be dreamland. Anything more than that and I'll change my name to William Wallace.

As for the squad for England, it sort of picks itself just now

1 Sutherland/Schoe
2 McInally/Tuner
3 Fagerson/Welsh
4/5 Gray/Cummings/Gilchrist
6 Ritchie
7 Watson
8 Fagerson (Haining/Bayliss/Richardson)

9 Price (Horne)
10 Russell (Hastings?)
11 VDM
12 Johnson
13 Harris
14 Graham (Kinghorne? Steyn?)
15 Hogg

I'd rather Hasting and Steyn on the bench than Kinghorn involved, but the latter seems to be highly regarded by Toony.

Surely we can find a destructive rampaging 8 between now and then....?

Are you sure about Jon Welsh - most of us though he had retired!

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Post by BigGee Sun 21 Nov 2021, 10:45 pm

https://www.theoffsideline.com/scotlands-positive-autumn-provides-grounds-for-optimism-but-progress-is-relative/

Some thoughts from Toonie

Expect Gray, Redpath and Brown back and Maitland and Nel could be back in the mix.


Ashman could be as well, but needs some serious game time, there has been talk of a loan to Edinburgh.

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Post by RDW Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:10 pm

BigGee wrote:
RDW wrote:As always my natural tendencies for the 6N is to be pessimistic. Not because we're a bad team like the dark old days - far form it - but because it is so horrendously competitive. It must be one of the most hotly competed competitions in world sport just now. Feasibly, 4 teams could win it and although it would be a remarkable achievement, it wouldn't be a freak if we did.

Italy these days are as near guaranteed a win as you can get, but there's always the chance of a shock particularly from an early red etc.

Other than Italy, our next best chance of a win is probably Wales away and that's hardly been a happy hunting ground for us! Our record against England in the last 5 years is pretty good (2 wins, 2 losses and a draw) but given what happened last year England will be absolutely desperate to not slip up again. Ditto with France, who are surely going to be favourites this year.

So who feckin knows where we'll end up - I'd like to think we could at least get 2 wins which would be pretty good intself given it would mean either winning in Wales or Ireland, or beating England or France at home. 3 wins would be dreamland. Anything more than that and I'll change my name to William Wallace.

As for the squad for England, it sort of picks itself just now

1 Sutherland/Schoe
2 McInally/Tuner
3 Fagerson/Welsh
4/5 Gray/Cummings/Gilchrist
6 Ritchie
7 Watson
8 Fagerson (Haining/Bayliss/Richardson)

9 Price (Horne)
10 Russell (Hastings?)
11 VDM
12 Johnson
13 Harris
14 Graham (Kinghorne? Steyn?)
15 Hogg

I'd rather Hasting and Steyn on the bench than Kinghorn involved, but the latter seems to be highly regarded by Toony.

Surely we can find a destructive rampaging 8 between now and then....?

Are you sure about Jon Welsh - most of us though he had retired!

Shocked

I have no idea where I got Welsh from! Kebble of course...

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Post by RDW Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:17 pm

BigGee wrote:https://www.theoffsideline.com/scotlands-positive-autumn-provides-grounds-for-optimism-but-progress-is-relative/

Some thoughts from Toonie

Expect Gray, Redpath and Brown back and Maitland and Nel could be back in the mix.


Ashman could be as well, but needs some serious game time, there has been talk of a loan to Edinburgh.

We're not exactly short of hookers at Edinburgh though! (no jokes)

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Post by tigertattie Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:32 pm

Hmm. Not sure if this adds to my private Fraser mode or makes me feel more confident

Look, Sean maitland is still a very good player. He’s been tremendous for Scotland but right now is he the answer going forward? Probably not. Is he an answer right now? Possibly.

Maitland is an absolute pro. Solid strike runner and and absolute defensive rock in the back three. In his last campaign he saved us more tries being conceded that Darcy scored. When you weight that into it then he’s possibly worth keeping him in there. I’d deffo say he’s worthy of a back 3 cover spot on the bench over blairhorn.

Darcy is a great wee player but he is wee. The number of times I’ve seen him run over this AI was frightening. Now he absolutely deserves his place and there is no lack of commitment but sometimes he simply gets over powered. Maitland wouldn’t.

But then there’s Steyn or rufus. Would maitland take a spot away from them? Should he if we are eyeing up the future?

Nel on the other hand is a bit different. And it’s this side that makes me feel doomed. What I mean is behind Zander who else is there? My fear, and possibly Toonie’s also, is that kebble did hee haw to show he’s a possible TH option. And thon wee Allan Jacobson body double that rocked up for japan was horrendous. Maybe he needs time?

But turning back to Nel makes me think there’s simply no one else.

Wings are fine. TH is a worry. As is 8 which still alludes us and we won’t talk about he who is flakier than the crumbliest chocolate at 10
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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 22 Nov 2021, 12:32 am

I posted on the Scotland Autumn series thread last night and noticed that Hazel Sapling asked me to put it here but I won't hehe, I will post my thoughts on the AIs and 6N though Wink.

First things first, 3 wins from 4 is a, success I'd say so tbh, I really don't get the outcry about yesterday's performance etc, we didn't look like losing. Maybe my standards aren't as high as you guys though seeing as I'm fairly new to this Rugby malarkey :P. The penalty consession count is a worry though so hopefully GT and Co can address that!

As for the new players, I'd say Pierre Schoeman, Josh Bayliss and perhaps Jamie Hodgson and Rufus McLean will get a shot in the 6N or at least named in the squad for the tournament, once that's announced.

As for the 6N, I'm always confident (I was last week lol and even before the opener of the last 6N: I think I'm just an optimistic guy lol).

Our defence is solid and very tough to score against plus we can now score tries, oh and we can win when not playing well as yesterday proved.

I also believe that we are due a win v Ireland (that's exactly why I was confident we'd beat England in last seasons opener), we should have far too much quality for Italy, England and France are at home, where we actually have good records against in the last couple of years and the crowd will be loud (is there a better place than a lively, full Murrayfield, Hampden perhaps?).

As for the comments made by the gaffer in the above TOL article posted by Gee, I'd say next in line for debuts will be Cameron Henderson, Rory Darge and Ben Vellacott if he continues his excellent start to Edinburgh life.

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Post by RDW Mon 22 Nov 2021, 3:13 am

i don't see us capping many newbies in the 6N unless we have to due to injuries. It's very much not the place to be bringing in new people.

I don't think it's been announced yet what our summer tour is but usually we go for a development tour because A) the big dogs don't want to play us - they want the lucrative tours against others and B) we like to use it to develop new players.

It's such a shame last summer's tour was cancelled as a lot of these players would have been capped by now.

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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 22 Nov 2021, 5:36 am

I saw on Twitter yesterday Argentina and Uruguay being hinted at plus I saw one from USA last week or the week before saying they are playing us at somepoint too so I'm sure we will know sooner rather than later Smile.

Yeah, I was meaning in the summer tour lol, I had said that in the AI post that I was asked to move over here lol, I just assumed every Scotland fan would have seen the post on there so just broke it down a bit for here Very Happy.

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Post by Old Man Mon 22 Nov 2021, 7:24 am

Scotland seems to have four genuine options at wing, so my question is, would a guy like DVDM not be an option in midfield, I haven't seen much of him apart from the Lions series and the AI's, his power and pace are his strengths, whilst he isn't great under the high ball in my opinion.

With teams kicking so much these days, would he not strengthen the Scottish midfield?

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Post by RDW Mon 22 Nov 2021, 7:37 am

There's so much intricacy to midfield play in terms of positional awareness, defense, distribution and attack - neither of which are his strong point! In the modern game at international level you can't just chuck a big fast winger at 13 and expect him to be juya as effective.

Like North he may end up there later in his career but I don't see it happening any time soon.

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Post by BigGee Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:10 am

RDW wrote:There's so much intricacy to midfield play in terms of positional awareness, defense, distribution and attack - neither of which are his strong point! In the modern game at international level you can't just chuck a big fast winger at 13 and expect him to be juya as effective.

Like North he may end up there later in his career but I don't see it happening any time soon.


Chris Harris is probably as undropable as anyone in the team at the moment. The only way he is giving up the 13 shirt is if he is injured!

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Post by bsando Mon 22 Nov 2021, 12:53 pm

I’d be very happy with Johnson and Harris playing every game in the 6N. They’re just the sort of centres who will frustrate England, France and Ireland who are all hitting good form. It’s just their replacemts incase of injury that difficult to pick at the moment. Redpath has the best opportunity to claim a start but Harris is untouchable.

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Post by BigGee Mon 22 Nov 2021, 1:18 pm

I think the Redpath/Harris combo would be my preference, with another flair player on the bench as cover. Tough on Johnson but we do seem to have lacked a bit of variation in the backs throughout this series.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 22 Nov 2021, 9:42 pm

It is hard to know as Johnson/Harris works fine as the defensive bulwarks that give us solidity when Russell is playing. With Hastings or Thompson, we really need a H Jones or a Hutchinson who can take some of the pressure off going forward.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Wed 24 Nov 2021, 4:35 pm

So with the new eligibility laws for stand down periods of 3 years to be allowed. Does that mean Z Mercer could play for us?

Not sure if he was only residency qualified, however that would really annoy people in England and Scotland. From a rugby perspective, it would be a boost. Now if we could convince Aldritt to not play for France anymore, that would be an upgrade.

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Post by demosthenes Wed 24 Nov 2021, 5:34 pm

Ha, based on the above comments re Zach Mercer, I had a look at his Wiki entry.  Looks like someone Haas been at it already :

"Zach Mercer (born 28 June 1997 in Leeds, England) is a rugby union player who plays as a Flanker or Number Eight for Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. Due to new Nationality laws for international rugby teams, Mercer is now destined to represent the Scottish National Team and fulfil his destiny. Rather like Jim Hamilton but much much better."

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Post by Highland Shaun Thu 25 Nov 2021, 12:50 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:So with the new eligibility laws for stand down periods of 3 years to be allowed. Does that mean Z Mercer could play for us?

Not sure if he was only residency qualified, however that would really annoy people in England and Scotland. From a rugby perspective, it would be a boost. Now if we could convince Aldritt to not play for France anymore, that would be an upgrade.

According to the below Twitter post by a Scottish podcast, the following 3 are now available for us: Jack Singleton, Rauridh McConnachie and some Kiwi Fly half Brett Cameron.

https://twitter.com/thistlerugbypod/status/1463555410175143943?t=nIpe2a3aZjVtoZu5Nm4b2w&s=19

I am not sure regarding Mercer because there seems to be confusion, some on Twitter think he is eligible as does one poster in the Eligibility thread on this forum, whereas others think he's not eligible.

Hopefully we get clarification soon.

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Post by RDW Thu 25 Nov 2021, 9:48 am

Haven't seen it corroborated but Jack Dempsey is apparently SQ and will qualify for the Autumn tests 2022 based on the new rules.

Could make a late charge for the WC? Bit mad given he played for Australian at the last one!

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Post by dummy_half Thu 25 Nov 2021, 10:15 am

The eligibility thread seems to suggest Mercer isn't Scotland qualified - wasn't born there or with Scottish parentage. Spent half his childhood growing up there, but it doesn't count against the revised rules.

Anyway, as an Englishman, my thoughts are that Scotland are probably the most inconsistent team in the top tier at the moment - some very good players and a high performance ceiling but a low floor. Everything clicks and you could beat any of the 6Ns teams, but if its an off day (especially for Finn) and you could be hammered by Wales and pushed by Italy.
A bit more squad depth and filling a couple of holes in the team (number 8 in particular has been a relative weakness for years now, and the centre partnership is, shall we say, pragmatic), and you would be a regular challenger towards the top of the table.

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Post by BigGee Thu 25 Nov 2021, 10:24 am

RDW wrote:Haven't seen it corroborated but Jack Dempsey is apparently SQ and will qualify for the Autumn tests 2022 based on the new rules.

Could make a late charge for the WC? Bit mad given he played for Australian at the last one!


He talked about this when he first came over, he has a Scottish Grandparent. I think he said he had been sounded out by Scotland even prior to getting capped by Oz.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 25 Nov 2021, 11:37 am

Shame about Mercer if he is not eligible because he probably has a stronger claim than most having spent c.10 years in Scotland as a youngster.

McConnochie has missed the boat and Brett Cameron did not even play Super Rugby last year. I am guessing the only ones of interest would be Dempsey as we need alternatives for 6/8 and Singleton as Brown and McInally wind down.

Not a fan of the eligibility criteria. It is going to cause as many issues as it solves.

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Post by BigGee Sun 28 Nov 2021, 11:10 pm

Maybe what we were missing this autumn!

Mark Palmer interview with Cameron Redpath in the Sunday Times




Cameron Redpath gave a debut performance for the ages against England at Twickenham in February, showing up brilliantly on both sides of the ball as Scotland won there for the first time in 38 years.

We can now reveal that the Bath centre did it all pretty much one-handed, having lost all force in his right arm due to the effects of the bulging disc in his back which would be diagnosed days after the game.

“I had a labral tear in my shoulder the whole of last season which I was planning on getting surgery on at the end of the year,” the 21-year-old told The Times. “I always thought the pain in my neck was coming through from that shoulder so I just didn’t say anything to anyone. I played that England game and must have got a whack on it or something, because it got a bit worse.

“The day before the game, I couldn’t even do a press-up and I lost the feeling in two of my fingers. I could pull, hold and grip, but couldn’t push — I just had no force in my right arm. I found that out when I tried to do a press-up in my [hotel] room and was really struggling.

“At that point, I was like, ‘It’s too late to pull out now, I’ve just got to get on with it.’ I didn’t say anything [to the coaches or medics] on the day. I mentioned to some of the lads, ‘My shoulder is playing up.’ But it had been such a big couple of weeks building into it, I couldn’t really say, ‘I’m pulling out, I’m not right.’ I just wanted to play against England, wanted to play the whole Six Nations — I was never going to pull out.”

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Watching on from the otherwise deserted stands that evening, you would never have known that anything was amiss. Redpath — who had only declared for Scotland a few weeks previously — threw himself into tackles and at the breakdown, making one lovely dart from inside his own 22 that saw him fend off his old Sale Sharks team-mate Tom Curry. He also had a sweet, flat, fast pass in the build-up to Duhan van der Merwe’s crucial try and was used as the fulcrum of a brilliantly conceived and executed lineout play.

“I wasn’t that sore during the game. The only thing I couldn’t do was push. But watch the game back and you’ll see I carry the ball in one hand, my right, the whole time. I had to hand-off with my left, something I’m used to doing, so that habit worked in my favour because I didn’t actually need to use my right hand very much.”

Redpath celebrates at full-time of the victory over England, which marked his debut Scotland appearance
Redpath celebrates at full-time of the victory over England, which marked his debut Scotland appearance
ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS/ANDREW BOYERS
Even after the scan came back as it did, the thinking was that Redpath might only miss a couple of games. “I didn’t train on the Monday or the Tuesday of that Wales week [before the second game], and the lads were all giving me stick saying, ‘Oh look, the big dog doesn’t train.’ I expected to be back towards the end of the tournament, but it just wasn’t right and I ended up missing ten weeks.”

Redpath made it back on to the field for Bath in April, but just over a month later misfortune struck again in an ill-fated reunion with Sale at the Recreation Ground. In the last minute of a match where Redpath touched down early on only for the visitors to nick it with a 77th-minute try, he stepped Raffi Quirke, the Sale and now England scrum half. A simple enough action with a devastating outcome.

“I didn’t get touched or anything, but as I’ve stepped off my right leg, my knee has fallen inwards a bit,” he said. “I carried on running for five or ten metres with a dodgy knee. Ben Curry smashed me, and in the breakdown I was like, ‘Oh f***, I’ve done something bad here,’ and he was like, ‘Poopie, it wasn’t me was it?’, and I was like, ‘No, no [it happened] before you.’

“I tried to stand up and run, but having previously done my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] I knew something was not right. I walked off and the physio in the changing room was like, ‘Yeah, Cam, I won’t lie to you, I think you’ve done your ACL.’ My face went into my hands and I was gutted, absolutely gutted.”

That previous ACL rupture, in his left knee, came in 2018, just before he was due to go on the summer tour of South Africa with the senior England team. If, on that occasion, another door opened — had he been capped by Eddie Jones, that would have been that as far as Scotland was concerned — this time it felt like a brick wall had been thrown up in the path of his progress. The recovery time meant that Redpath would miss the summer tour, autumn Tests and be very lucky if he played again in 2021.

Those early weeks were torture, not least because he contracted Covid and experienced the agony of someone very close to him dying. But session by session, day by day, he came back to himself. “The last time I did my lateral meniscus as well, which means you can’t weight-bear for six weeks at the start. This time I was walking two weeks after my op, so even though there were tough times, I managed to stay positive.

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“For a while, it was Monday: lower body and knee rehab. Tuesday: upper body and shoulder rehab. Wednesday: lower body and knee rehab again. Thursday: upper body and shoulder rehab again. Friday: more lower body and knee rehab. That was for the first couple of months, but it’s been mixed up again since I’ve been able to start running. My shoulder is all good now, my knee is on the right path.

“I had my shoulder done along with Josh McNally [the Bath and England lock], so a lot of the shoulder rehab was with him. I’d never done much upper-body gym before, so he was laughing at me getting excited about getting a pump on.”

Redpath is off to see a specialist in Dublin this week when he hopes to get the green light to resume full rugby training. That should allow him to return in early January, which in turn would give him a run at Six Nations selection. Scotland’s campaign begins with another Calcutta Cup match, at Murrayfield on February 5.

“I’m not rushing things, I just want to get it right. If I’m not fit for this Six Nations, so be it,” he said. “I will just crack on, and hopefully get the summer tour. I need to get right and play well for Bath before I can think about getting picked [for Scotland]. I don’t want to go there and have people think I’m not right or ready. I want to come back looking like I’m ready to play a Test match. So hopefully January, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Redpath — right, with Bath team-mate Joe Cokanasiga — has been forced to watch from the sidelines this season but is nearing a return from injury
Redpath — right, with Bath team-mate Joe Cokanasiga — has been forced to watch from the sidelines this season but is nearing a return from injury
PATRICK KHACHFE/JMP/REX
It has not, of course, been easy to sit on the sidelines while Bath endure such a torrid few months. Stuart Hooper’s men have lost all eight of their Premiership games this season, and have twice shipped 71 points in a match, one at home to Saracens and then again at Gloucester in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

“I love to play, I love to try to help the club and I came to Bath because I want to try to win things,” said Redpath. “It’s a great club to be at. This year we’ve not been going too well but I’ve been trying my hardest to help out where I can. I’ve been trying to help out some of the young ones, talk to the likes of Max Ojomoh and Orlando Bailey. They’re good mates of mine, so I’m trying to keep them playing with a smile on their face. I know I play my best rugby when I’m smiling and I know it’s the same for them.

“They’ve really done that. The club hasn’t been playing well, but we have had some boys playing pretty well and some close games as well. When it clicks, we’ll be in a good place. We started a new style with [new attack and backs coach] David Williams coming in. A new attack style which is really good for us.

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“We’ve had some really good games where we’ve played really well but we’ve also had some games where we’ve switched off altogether and completely gone the other way.”

Gregor Townsend invited Redpath to do some of his rehab in the Scotland camp around the autumn Tests and he was present at the South Africa and Australia games. “The last time I’d experienced a full Murrayfield I was something like 14,” said Redpath, whose father Bryan used to captain Scotland from scrum half and won 60 caps.

“Singing the anthem in the stands with the boys, I just smiled so much. I can’t wait to hopefully one day be able to play there, in front of my family and especially my grandparents.

“Twickenham was good. It just felt really quick. Everything happened in a blink. It was weird having no crowds, that would have made a difference, but the lads there [with Scotland] are great lads, the environment is good and I really enjoy it. My family enjoyed the day and hopefully I can do it again sometime soon.”

We can all raise a glass to that. Using just the one hand, naturally.

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Post by RDW Mon 29 Nov 2021, 3:43 am

Well it worked out well in the end, but that wasn't exactly in the best interest of the team for him to be playing one arm down! I wonder what Toonie makes of him publicly saying that he deliberately kept a debilitating injury to himself becuase he didn't want to miss the game...

Imagine if England had ran in a late winning try because his arm stopped working and he missed a tackle!

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Post by TJ Mon 29 Nov 2021, 6:59 am

I just do not get what folk see in Hastings - to me he is far from ready to be an international 10. He hesitates, runs up blind alleys if the predetermined play is not on and gets turned over

to me he needs a season or two playing club rugby and to forget about internationals and then we can see

I would prefer Thompson or Blairhorn but any back up to is only getting on the pitch if Russell is injured so blairhorn covering 10.14.15 makes more sense to me

something was just "off" during the AIs - things just didn't click and we looked disjointed. I don't know why but we looked like individuals in the backs not a team

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Mon 29 Nov 2021, 6:17 pm

You rate Kinghorn as a better international 10 option than Hastings?

Tbh I think I’m just as baffled by what you don’t see in Hastings as you are by what others do see in him!

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Post by BigGee Mon 29 Nov 2021, 6:23 pm

TJ wrote:I just do not get what folk see in Hastings - to me he is far from ready to be an international 10.  He hesitates, runs up blind alleys if the predetermined play is not on and gets turned over

to me he needs a season or two playing club rugby and to forget about internationals and then we can see

I would prefer Thompson or Blairhorn but any back up to is only getting on the pitch if Russell is injured so blairhorn covering 10.14.15 makes more sense to me

something was just "off" during the AIs - things just didn't click and we looked disjointed.  I don't know why but we looked like individuals in the backs not a team


You can hardly say any of that was down to Hastings as he was hardly on the pitch!


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Post by RDW Mon 29 Nov 2021, 8:26 pm

In a way I don't mind we had a stuffy 6N that still got 3/4 wins. We've had many years of swashbuckling one off AI performances that then lead to a disappointing 6N.

We may of course still have a disappointing 6N, but it points to us trying to find out 'Test' intensity performances that wins matches, not just look good.

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Post by TJ Tue 30 Nov 2021, 8:16 pm

BigGee wrote:
TJ wrote:I just do not get what folk see in Hastings - to me he is far from ready to be an international 10.  He hesitates, runs up blind alleys if the predetermined play is not on and gets turned over

to me he needs a season or two playing club rugby and to forget about internationals and then we can see

I would prefer Thompson or Blairhorn but any back up to is only getting on the pitch if Russell is injured so blairhorn covering 10.14.15 makes more sense to me

something was just "off" during the AIs - things just didn't click and we looked disjointed.  I don't know why but we looked like individuals in the backs not a team


You can hardly say any of that was down to Hastings as he was hardly on the pitch!


Two differnt points

I just do not get Hastings - watch him play and watch how often he runs upblind alleys and gets turned over. I think he believed the Hype and wants to run before he can walk as it were. He needs a couple ofdf seasons to get his game in order

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Post by BigGee Fri 10 Dec 2021, 9:13 am

Sean Maitland not giving up on his Scotland career just yet it would seem.

From Mark Palmer in the Scottish Sunday Times.




Sean Maitland thought it was going to be just like old times: a December date with Edinburgh, as was always the case back in his Glasgow days.

However, the 33-year-old wing, now very much a Saracen, picked up a groin niggle in training in the days before last week’s 18-15 loss away to Exeter. It is nothing serious, but enough to see him miss the visit to Sandy Park as well as the Challenge Cup double-header that brings Mike Blair’s capital charges to the StoneX Stadium on Saturday before Saracens travel to Pau.

“It’s really frustrating, because I’d had this one circled for a while, with the chance to bring back a few 1872 Cup vibes,” Maitland, who had three years at Scotstoun between 2012-2015, said. “I’m gutted, really, because I’ve already got the strength back in the groin and can begin running, but this game has just come too soon.”

Maitland has still been involved in preparation and insists that Saracens are taking this competition as seriously as they do every other one. Europe’s second-tier tournament is a long way from those three Champions Cup triumphs — Maitland scored a crucial try in the final of the most recent one, in 2019 — but Mark McCall’s men know this represents a major chance for further silverware after the tribulations of salary cap infringement, points deductions and relegation in recent years.

“Our mindset is to do well in this competition,” Maitland said. “It’s the first time we’ve been in the Challenge Cup for a long, long time [since 2010] and every competition, every game we want to go out and put our best performance in. That’s the way it is at this club. Over the next two weeks there are going to be opportunities for boys to put their hands up, there will probably be a bit of rotation, but at the end of the day, it’s a trophy, isn’t it? That’s the way we are looking at it.

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“Exeter v Sarries is always a big game, it was the first time we’ve played them since the [salary cap] scandal, since everything kicked off a couple of years ago. It was always going to be a tough game, but we didn’t play our best, still managed to stay in it and could potentially have won.

“We’ve always got a good defence, but it’s probably attacking where we want to try to get better against Edinburgh. When you come off a loss, you expect a reaction. We’ve had some good, honest conversations on where we want to improve.”

Maitland has been taken with the changes in Edinburgh’s approach under Mike Blair, whose coaching he experienced for several years with Scotland.

“He wants the boys to have a crack. Now they’ve got the artificial pitch [at the DAM Health Stadium] as well, that’s really fitting into that game plan. They’ve had a few great results this year and they’re playing some good rugby.

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“They’ve traditionally always had strong forwards, but they’re now chucking the ball around and getting their wingers involved. The two Argentines [Ramiro Moyano and Emiliano Boffelli] have already made an impact, Darcy [Graham] is doing what he always does and now Blair [Kinghorn] is at 10 and seems to be growing in every game. We know it’s going to be tough.”

Maitland started three games in this year’s Six Nations, producing one of his best Test performances in the win at Twickenham, staying on the wing against Ireland then shifting to full back for the hammering of Italy.

He was one of those who missed out against France due to the Premiership clubs not releasing all exile players for the rearranged fixture and was then not called upon for the Autumn Nations Series, with Gregor Townsend electing to take a look at the likes of Rufus McLean and Kyle Steyn.

After nine years when Maitland, the Kiwi-born wideman, has been an almost ever-present in the set-up it was strange to see a Scotland squad without him. If the man with 53 caps has his way, we will not get used to the idea anytime soon.

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“Gregor called me before the squad was announced and we had a pretty good conversation,” he said. “Gregor told me that because the summer tour had been cancelled, he wanted to see how these boys go. But he also said this ain’t the door closing, keep playing good footy and maybe you’ll get a crack in the Six Nations.

“I would have loved to be a part of it. When you watch it on the telly, see the boys get a good result against Aussies, then the frustration against South Africa . . . I’m not going to lie, it was tough. But you get on with it, and I 100 per cent still want to be involved. I know I can still play at that level — it was only the Six Nations when I was playing some good footy. I just need to keep my head down and keep playing well.”

Duhan van der Merwe, Graham, McLean and Steyn are all more eye-catching in attack, but Maitland’s amalgam of aerial skills, defensive positioning, vast experience and understated nous offers an alternative that is still compelling.

“I pride myself on doing the basics well,” said the man who toured with the 2013 Lions and might have gone again four years later had he not suffered the ankle injury which also caused him to miss the Champions Cup final win at Murrayfield.

“I don’t want to blow smoke up my arse, but every time I’ve put the jersey on, I haven’t let anyone down. I’m still keen to have a crack. Apart from this little niggle, the body is good, the mind is good and I feel really up for it.”


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Post by Tramptastic Fri 10 Dec 2021, 2:27 pm

i like maitland as a player but have we found a ready made replacement in Steyn?

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Post by Highland Shaun Fri 10 Dec 2021, 11:02 pm

I would rather Kyle Rowe got a chance but I think it would be harsh on Maitland to not get a chance to stake a claim for what will be his last World Cup.

Anyway, slightly off topic but still relevant to the Scotland thread lol, I see Maestro Finn had a stormer tonight Smile.

I didn't watch the game as I don't have BT (I have Premier Sport, Discovery, Prime and Tennis TV so don't fancy another monthly bill added to my list) vat I did watch BS Rugby YouTube watchalong, the lad was very complimentary towards Finn Smile.

I really like him and Rugby Analysts YouTube channel Very Happy


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Post by RDW Sat 11 Dec 2021, 12:27 am

Rowe has had a great start to his time at LI but he's well down the Scotland wing pecking order. As mentioned before the 6N isn't the time to experiment.

That's why I think we might see Maitland in some of the games. I wouldn't mind it so much, but given we have a fairly stodgy midfield I think we need a bit more threat and spark in the wings. Someone like Darcy very much brings that spark - creating opportunities from nothing.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Sat 11 Dec 2021, 9:26 pm

Ickle Jonny just picked up a hat-trick of tries for Exeter, after Hoggy got their first. Good weekend for the Scottish exiles with Finn absolutely tearing things up for Racing too

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Post by Highland Shaun Sun 12 Dec 2021, 11:28 pm

Ewan Ashman scored today too Smile Smile.

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Post by RDW Sun 26 Dec 2021, 9:26 am

Just read in a Mark Palmer article that Scotland are heading to Argentina in the summer for 3 test tour.

Probably a good one for us - I don't think as a rugby nation we benefit from a test series against the big dogs, and we'd probably never get it anyway. We'd then have to compromise if we wanted to play a single test against the likes of SA, Aus or NZ i.e. outside the test window which also wouldn't do us any good. The cobbled together world tours like we've had the past are also far from ideal, not least in Covid times.

It'll be Argentina's first home games in 3 years too so they'll be well up for it.

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Post by BigGee Sun 26 Dec 2021, 9:54 am

This will be a chance to rest up some of the Lions and to bring on some of the next generation as well.

Expect players like Darge, Thompson and Dobie to get given a chance and Hoggy, Watson and Finn to have a summer off.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Sun 26 Dec 2021, 5:54 pm

Interesting to see what curveballs get selected.

Would love to see what Vellacott can do to put G Horne under pressure for playing quickly, however Chapman has also quietly been getting a lot of gametime for an impressive Gloucester outfit.

Think it will be a good test to test out our props like McCallum, Rae (who has found a spot in an admittedly struggling Bath side), Hislop and maybe a Walker or Lambert if they get a run late in the season. I can see us scouring the Southern Hemisphere for someone to come in rightly or wrongly.


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Post by Highland Shaun Mon 27 Dec 2021, 12:26 am

I really want Cammy Henderson capped (I sound like a broken record haha) and definitely either Charlie Chapman or Ben Vellacott.

Callum Hunter-Hill would also be good as would Kyle Rowe though I'd not be disappointed if they missed out Very Happy.

Oh and who will be the first to benefit from the new rules ahaha, pity it won't be Dempsey as we have to wait until November Sad.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Mon 27 Dec 2021, 10:45 am

Think Cameron Henderson tore his ACL in pre-season though that was a brief mention in an article long ago. He has not played for Leicester this term so sounds about right. It is a shame as he looked set to be at the heart of a resurgent pack. He may get fit at the end of the year and it will be a question of what is better for his rehab.

Hunter-Hill is struggling to beat out Swinson at Sarries though rotation may explain part of that. Davidson has been used a bit more by Gloucester and may have a greater claim. we have so many locks fighting for spaces it is hard to know who will get the nod.

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Post by BigGee Mon 27 Dec 2021, 11:07 am

We are not short of goid and promising locks that's for sure.

Pity about Henderson, who looked ready for a major breakthrough but he is young and will come again.

Davidson, Craig, Hunter-Hill and Young all good players but will struggle to break through into the international set up purely because of the competition.

Not so easy to get capped thede days which can only be a good thing!

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Post by bsando Thu 06 Jan 2022, 12:49 pm

Happy new year everyone!

I’m getting a tad worried the 6N may be impacted once again by Covid. It’s good to hear Sturgeon seems eager for Scotland’s home games to go ahead, but as the tournament relies on six different countries to make up the tournament with appropriate pre planning I’m starting to dread a "Games will be played behind closed doors" announcement.

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Post by Hazel Sapling Tue 11 Jan 2022, 9:53 am

I guess we are starting to get to that point again. England are announcing their initial Six Nations Squad a week today and last year five of the six were in a two day period. Assuming Sutherland is not banned:

LH: Sutherland, Schoeman, Kebble, Bhatti
HK: Turner, McInally, Ashman
TH: Zander, Nel, Berghan/Rae/Sebastian/Auterac


LH and HK are generally simple with Brown a contender to come in. I think Ashman getting good gametime for Sale is likely to be the third option over Brown who has struggled to stay fit. Hislop is unlucky to be at a position of real strength.

TH is difficult. I think Kebble has failed to demonstrate he is an above average TH option at club level and Nel is a proven quantity playing well. After that, Berghan needs gametime and Rae (plenty of gametime at Bath), Auterac (playing well as a TH for Bristol) and Sebastian offer some uninspiring options or Kebble can cover third choice if desperate.

LK: J Gray, Cummings, Skinner, R Gray/Gilchrist

I would want R Gray as he offers a higher ceiling than Gilchrist and works well with each of the other options (Gilchrist - J Gray don't work well in combination). Probably be Gilchrist though. Hodgson, Davidson and Hunter-Hill have not done enough to force their way in.

BR: Ritchie, Watson, M Fagerson, Bradbury, Darge, Haining/Bayliss

Five pick themselves, I don't think Dempsey or Mercer are qualified so Haining or Bayliss get the nod....unless Christie at Saracens decides to throw his lot in with us (former u18 for us, u20 for England). Christie has played quite a bit for Sarries though he is likely a BS at international level rather than an 8. Crosbie and Gordon can consider themselves unlucky to play at a position of real strength. Richardson has not played enough. G Graham has had injuries and is not currently starting at Newcastle.

SH: Price, Vellacott, Dobie

G Horne has not come into form, Steele is on the bench frequently and Chapman just misses out. Vellacott is the man on form and should be on the bench. Dobie is cover.

FH: Russell, Hastings, Thompson

Does not need explanation.

Centres: S Johnson, Harris, Tuipulotu, Bennett

Starters and the men in form. Scott unlucky to miss out in this scenario. Too soon for Redpath and Hutchinson has not done enough to force his way in.

Wings: VDM, McLean, Steyn, Graham
FB's: Hogg, Maitland


Kinghorn and H Jones would be unlucky to miss out. They are both versatile options but are unlikely to play in their current positions of 10 and 13. We are too good to take a player to be a third choice FB, fifth choice wing and a fourth choice FH (if that) or to take our fourth choice 13/FB.

I have probably forgot someone obvious or someone has gotten injured and will miss the first game. Those are my initial thoughts on reading reviews

TL;DR
LH: Sutherland, Schoeman, Kebble, Bhatti
HK: Turner, McInally, Ashman
TH: Zander, Nel, Berghan/Rae/Sebastian/Auterac
LK: J Gray, Cummings, Skinner, R Gray/Gilchrist
BR: Ritchie, Watson, M Fagerson, Bradbury, Darge, Haining/Bayliss

SH: Price, Vellacott, Dobie
FH: Russell, Hastings, Thompson
Centres: S Johnson, Harris, Tuipulotu, Bennett
Wings: VDM, McLean, Steyn, Graham
FB's: Hogg, Maitland

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Post by BigGee Tue 11 Jan 2022, 10:34 am

That squad is not a million miles away Hazel.

I still think Keeble will provide TH cover though. He is as good/better than the other options and has good international experience already, we can also get by without him with our other options at LH. Berghan is injured and has not played this season yet, so I don't think will be in the equation. The exception to that is of course Nelly, who can still hold up the scrum but this may well be his last season and if he is not going to make the next WC, should we really be persisting with him in Scotland colours. Auterac is a LH and Sebastian is out of favour at Scarlets, so lacks game time (and suggests he might be moving on). Rae has had a solid season down at Bath and should probably be the next cab off the rank.

Ritchie Gray seems to have blown hot and cold about playing for Scotland, he needs to nail his colours to the mast now and committ if he does want to, we have other options with the good youngsters if he does not.

I agree with Vellacott over George Horne, who has not shown any great form this season and might even struggle to get game time for Glasgow now.

Kinghorn will be in the squad somewhere, as a utility back, Toonie is clearly in favour of this switch to FH and to be fair, it is going well. It is really useful to have a player on the bench who can cover wing/FB/FH and that could cost Hastings his place.

Pretty much everyone else picks themselves.

I do think he will start with a larger squad than that though. He will surely keep Richardson in there, he does look like a very good young player and his time may well come, probably this summer on the Argentina tour when Watson will inevitably get rested. Likewise Redpath will be in the squad, even if he does not play the first few games. The 6N always takes some casualties, with the games coming thick and fast, so a large squad with players who can come in is essential.

There is as well always the Toonie curveball to consider as well, there just has to be one.

Maybe Christie this time or Chapman the SH, both look like very good young players and not going to get a look in for England in the present. Or maybe someone else we just have not considered at all!


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