The Herald is reporting that Ruaridh Jackson will not be considered for selection for the opening matches of this year’s RBS Six Nations for Scotland.
This could take Scotland’s stand-off debate back to the rivalry we thought we had all seen the last of: Phil Godman vs Dan Parks, but hopefully Andy Robinson will see sense and give the nod to Greig Laidlaw, who has stepped into the breach for Edinburgh this season after a few appearances last year, and performed beyond all expectation.
Glasgow’s Duncan Weir is also in the equation, offering more in attack than Parks but with a similarly effective boot. However, his boot can also be similarly inconsistent.
Yes, Phil Godman dropped that goal, but it has largely been Laidlaw (with a little help from Harry Leonard) whose attack minded Edinburgh came top of their Heineken Cup pool, having scored 17 tries.
In one competition; in 6 games. Compare this to pool rivals Cardiff, with Dan Parks at the helm lest we forget: 7 tries. Or Scotland since January 2010: 18 tries; over 2 Six Nations, a summer tour to Argentina, a World Cup and a 5 autumn tests (21 tests). Okay, international tests (and defences) are not quite the same as those in the Heineken Cup, but the level is not that far off these days.
Injuries are starting to force Robinson’s hand, and now the half-backs have been affected. While we wish Ruaridh all the best with his recovery, it could well turn out to be a positive, leading him to pick the young form players he may otherwise not fancy. It certainly could have this effect in the back row, where both Rob Harley and David Denton would have been very unlikely to have found themselves both in the team during the Killer B era, but now may yet both start or at least make the matchday squad. Needless to say picking Greig at 10 also allows you to pick either Blair or Cusiter at 9, both of whom have been playing very well of late.
Robinson apparently wants to build Scotland’s play around Jackson’s attacking mindset. With Jackson out until mid-tournament, Laidlaw is the next best thing in this squad.