I’m not one to create hype (oh ok, maybe a little), but this weekend could be the most interesting in a long time for those of us interested in the perpetual debate over Scotland’s problems at number 10. And I’m not talking about David Cameron.I never thought I’d say this, but Dan Parks is the undisputed holder of the Scotland 10 shirt at the moment, and he’s buggered off to Cardiff to leave his potential successors to battle it out north of the border.
While all of us here at SRBlog towers wish Phil Godman well with his recovery and hope that he comes back in 6 months or so full of inspiration in time to fully challenge for a World Cup place, his torn ACL in training has to some extent forced Rob Moffatt’s hand as regarding the younger standoffs in his care. He will now have to do what his counterpart Sean Lineen was forced to by the transfer market – put his faith in youth. We will now find out if either of the Blair brothers – or perhaps Mossy?! – have what it takes to thrive at this level. David Blair starts against Leinster on Friday, with no obvious backup on the bench.
In the same way, having had a solid if unspectacular start to the season (but showing some decent place-kicking skills), Ruaridh Jackson has been benched for Glasgow and the even younger Duncan Weir has been offered the starting berth against Munster this weekend. This time last year we were all muttering about Rory Hutton (now playing for Hawick) being the great white hope for Scottish standoffs after one game, and this year Weir’s 15 minute man-of-the-match performance against Leinster has set tongues wagging once again. Now he will get a start to see if he can control a game rather than just change it.
A sustained run of form for either Weir or Jackson over the next few months will at the very least see them included in training squads for the autumn – I hope David Blair can convince us otherwise – but they will probably have to do a lot to convince Andy Robinson that any of them merit inclusion on an International bench ahead of a stand-in standoff such as Hugoo or Mossy. Jackson is arguably the front runner here having been included before, but that could all change, starting on Friday.
Both games clash on Friday night, so the Edinburgh game is on BBC Alba, with coverage of Glasgow on BBC Radio Scotland.
Edinburgh: C Paterson; M Robertson, B Cairns, A Grove, T Visser; D Blair, M Blair; A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross, E Lozada, S MacLeod, S Newlands, R Grant (capt), R Rennie.
Replacements: A Kelly, K Traynor, J Gilding, C Hamilton, A MacDonald or D Denton, G Laidlaw, T Brown, J Houston.
Glasgow: B Stortoni; DTH van der Merwe, M Evans, G Morrison, F Aramburu, D Weir, C Gregor, J Welsh, F Thomson, M Low, T Ryder, R Gray, R Harley, J Barclay (capt) R Vernon.
Replacements: D Hall, E Kalman, K Tkachuk, A Muldowney, R Wilson, C Forrester, H Pyrgos, R Jackson, R Dewey, P Murchie.