Frank Hadden has announced that IRB Player of the Year Nominee Mike Blair will continue to captain Scotland for the Autumn Internationals, and that the SRU has also come to some sort of agreement with Premier Rugby over the release of Scotland players based at Guinness Premiership clubs.
While it’s not as much as Hadden wanted (a full two weeks) it’s more than they offered (5 days), and while any players picked for their clubs in the intervening period will have to return to play – in the case of the Gloucester and Northampton boys this may be likely even for an EDF cup tie – at least now Hadden and his new team of coaches can plan accordingly. For once Frank talked a bit of sense when he talked about the structure of the rugby season constantly throwing up club vs country clashes. If you look at the Southern Hemisphere they go from Super 14 to Tri Nations to Currie Cup/ANZ Cup then Autumn Tours etc rather than having them all run side by side or interwoven with each other like we do. And while I am sure the EDF cup is popular in Wales – giving them as it does another pop at their cousins across the border – the GP teams commit little to it unless they manage to coast to the semi finals. Couldn’t we just get rid of it and have a little breathing space in the season that would make these player release issues less contentious?