Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland vs France Teams

6N Scotland vs France

I joked on Twitter a few minutes before the team announcement that Lamont played most of his club time at centre playing 13, not 12, and wouldn’t a Morrison and Lamont centre partnership be fun?

I didn’t expect Andy Robinson to do it.

Scotland have given Stuart Hogg the 15 shirt for his first start and opted not to parachute Jackson in over Weir who has yet to get his first cap. That, at least is pleasing, as is the selection of Blair at 9 who is currently our form scrum-half.

But after Nick De Lucagate last week, one of Scotland’s more creative – if divisive – centres has been swapped out to the bench in favour of TWO crash ball centres in Morrion and Sean Lamont, who moves out to 13. So now we have a nicely balanced attacking and pacy back three for the first time in years and a half-back pairing willing to use them.

Will they ever see the ball with that midfield?

As expected, the pack is largely the same, with John Barclay being rewarded for a decent showing off the bench with a starting spot for the first time in the tournament. Richie Vernon comes onto the bench as cover.

Read what Andy Robinson had to say about it HERE.

Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Rory Lamont, Sean Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Lee Jones, Greig Laidlaw, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford (captain), Geoff Cross, Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton, John Barclay, Ross Rennie, David Denton.
Replacements: Scott Lawson, Ed Kalman, Al Kellock, Richie Vernon, Chris Cusiter, Duncan Weir, Nick De Luca

France have named an unchanged team from the one that didn’t play Ireland. Which, worryingly, suggests a typical Gallic indifference as to who or how the opposing team will play.

France : Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana, Julien Malzieu, Francois Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra; Louis Picamoles, Imanol Harinordoquy, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape, Nicolas Mas, Dimitri Szarzewski, Jean-Baptiste Poux.
: William Servat, Vincent Debaty, Lionel Nallet, Julien Bonnaire, Julien Dupuy, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Mermoz.

27 Responses

  1. Vernon is not in form, and his choice over the excellent Rob Harley reeks of cowardice from Robinson.

    Morrison and S Lamont in the centres? Oh Lord. Won’t Pass and Can’t Pass. Defensively sound but hardly likely to end our try-scoring drought.

    Another selection from Robinson that leaves me incredibly disappointed. He should have stuck with S Lamont and NDL, and put Matt Scott on the bench, rather than giving the ponderous Morrison another chance to run into people and ruin overlaps.

  2. What a terrifying centre combination- not scary to the French, but awful for us. What is wrong with that AR. He gets the rest of the starting XV right, and then vomits all over the centres.

  3. I’d definately agree that the centre pairing is more defence minded than attacking. Not defending it but I just wonder whether AR’s thinking was influenced by the difficulties the big Welsh backs caused wee Greig the other week? He’s a tenacious tackler but on at least one occassion a Welsh player ran straight over the top of him.

  4. I have to echo the thoughts of my fellow bloggers. We all thought it was one or the other at centre, but to have both! Fairly blindsided there. Defensively sound yes but not what we want considering the pace of the back three. They will never get ball other than Hogg fielding up and unders which lets face it, is not his strength. You have got to wonder what was going through Robinsons head when he picked this. First week, it was Parksy being made the scape goat now is would appear to be NDL’s turn. I thought he had one of his better games against Wales. Surely Morrsion and NDL would be better? Scott on the bench.

    I suppose Robinson must have both eyes on the power of Rougerie and Fofana which is quite understandable but it would be nice to field a team to let Scotland play rather than attempt to prevent the opposition from doing so. This can only be done when playing with confidence which in turn will only come from winning. A difficult paradox.

  5. Incredible. Never have I been so happy to be on the other side of the Atlantic than at Murrayfield on Sunday. I hope that this is a masterstroke by Robinson but then again pigs might fly. He finally gets the balance at half back right at the 3rd time of asking with some excitement at full back with Hogg’s inclusion. Everyone can see that 12 has been a massive problem area in both games so far…AR’s response…shift lamont to 13 and put in another 12 who offers as much gile and creativity as a bull in a china shop. Phillip Saint Andre must be looking at this and thinking how easy is this going to be to defend as both centres cant and wont pass the ball. Cannot say I would have gone with Barclay. He has been average to poor for Scotland for some time now and he must be on a last chance by now. Vernon hasn’t been oustanding for Sale but he offers pace and is a ball player who can do something a bit special so I am glad he will get some game time. Worst thing is is that the SRU are financially committed to a man who clearly cant pick a team following their inept decision to re-hire Scotland’s least successful coach at a World Cup to a long contract paying him a fortune. Superb bit of business by the SRU. I hope the French decide it is a day to travel poorly as that is the only way this team will win on Sunday

  6. MJW i disagree that not picking Harley is a sign of cowardance from Robinson. Whilst it is not a secret that i am not Rob Harley’s biggest fan, Vernon covers more position as he can play 6 and 8 which Denton can also play and Barclay playing all three giving you more compinations. Harley is a work horse 6 but i just do not think he would offer much as an impact sub. There are arguments for him to start but not as an off the bench player. I still do not think we have seen all that Vernon has to offer and he has been scoring a few tries down in Sale. Other than that, completely agree with your points. NDL has been hard done by.

  7. don’t rate vernon, he’s the only No8 i’ve seen pick up a ball and end up further behind his pack than when he started, but then again, who else can we pick, Is McInally ready for a shot… As for the midfield, agree it is to stullify the fofana and rougerie combo…although morrison has be decent in the few glasgow games i’ve caught on bbc alba, ah well, lets just see what happens on sunday

  8. Nightmare. Add to the fact that the Scotland team are so hamstrung by Robinsons lack of vision they are scared to play expansive Rugby and a result are now serial losers. More of the same I’m afraid.

  9. A preview of Glasgow’s centre pairing for next season… oh joy.
    On a positive note, nice to see that Blair gets the opportunity to start. Hopefully he and Laidlaw can make the most of it.

  10. Why don’t we pick a team to win rather than a team to defend? Let the oposition worry about what you can do rather than what they can do, this apporach has a success rate so far of 100% failure

  11. I always thought that Lamont was a more effective option at 13 than at 12 as it gives him a little more space in the wider channel.

    All we need is for Laidlaw to spin the ball in front of Morrison rather than these telegraphed balls behind and we might make some headway.

    Has anybody ever considered Weir or Jackson as an option to the inside centre problem. Weir weighs over 14st (bigger than Matt Scott), has a reasonable step and a decent pass not to mention the extra kicking option from hand.

  12. Who picks the Scotland team? Is it just AR or a selection committee? If the latter who’s on it?
    Good to see Blair in at last and Hogg and Laidlaw being retained, but two non-creative centres – unbelievable! Surely Morrison or Lamont but not both!
    Good to see consistency in the pack, but again at international level we choose to play players out of position. Harley should have been given the start at blind side flanker.
    Getting there but still disappointing, particularly in the centre.

  13. Where the hell do you start with the numerous replies of sheer negativity above??

    NDL offers ZERO at International level and half the guys on here need to take thier Black n Red tinted glasses off on that one.

    Do you really think the French coach wont have picked up on Cuthbert emptying Laidlaw on the way to scoring in Cardiff…hence a defensive centre pairing (also chosen due to lack of real options)

    As for Barclay being played out of position, I reckon 6 might be the future for him.

    Basically every position on the pitch is what we would have wanted bar 1 of the two centres. The options are Matt Scott (A Laidlaw/Scott 10/12 was never going to happen against France), Alex Grove who seems to have been totally discarded or what we have.

    Get positive FFS!!!

  14. When did Morrison last do something even remotely creative? Scotland have to score tries to be able to win matches at international level. This selection will not do that against a French team that could have won the world cup playing poorly. Having picked Blair and Laidlaw picking Morrison and Lamont is a step backwards. Dan Carter would struggle to get something good out of them.

  15. Are we looking for NDL creativity after 50 minutes when French start to tire? (or should that be if)

  16. nothing stopping Hogg moving to 13 in attack and R.Lamont moving to 15. Hell, Glasgow and Scotland have done this for years with Dan “how exactly do you tackle” Parks.

  17. Some real positives in this selection – however – its taken AR a while to get here – Half backs are good, new and something to be enthusiastic about, Hoggs inclusion is great – Denton and Rennie Brilliant ! but the centres ???? Yet again we seem short of ideas in attack before the game has even kicked off !!! I really believe the pairing that needs reviewing is AR and GT !!

    1. Hey Kev. I think the record has been stuck for the last few years. Roughly same pool of guys with generally poor outcome. Why don’t we sacrifice / use the next few 6 nations to blood a new breed of team … As Wales done. On that premis I would have weir and Scott in there. Mix it up a bit. Have a go. It couldn’t get much worse to watch than the England performance. Radical maybe but surely something has to change. I still have my doubts about the management team I’m afraid.
      Hey. Look what happened when we brought the young boys on for the Wales game. A definite upward trend in attacking playback???!!!!!!

    2. Hey Kev. I think the record has been stuck for the last few years. Roughly same pool of guys with generally poor outcome. Why don’t we sacrifice / use the next few 6 nations to blood a new breed of team … As Wales done. On that premis I would have weir and Scott in there. Mix it up a bit. Have a go. It couldn’t get much worse to watch than the England performance. Radical maybe but surely something has to change. I still have my doubts about the management team I’m afraid.
      Hey. Look what happened when we brought the young boys on for the Wales game. A definite upward trend in attacking play !!!!!!!???

    3. Sorry Kev. After reading pigeons comments I realised you were referring to my management change statement rather than centres. Don’t disagree with pigeon.
      I would like to give a southern hemisphere coach a go. Get our attacking game going. Or at least give it our best go.

  18. Ian McGeechan. With the money that the SRU are paying Andy Robinson not to mention Scott Johnson who has been brought in to assist Robinson you could hand pick a coach who can pick a winning team. The prospect that Robinson could be the Lions head coach is laughable. No longer is the argument that Scotland dont have the player resources to compete at international level valid. The players he has at his disposal at the moment are as good as we have had since the game turned professional. And he consistently picks teams conservatively that ultimately cost us. His record as the Scotland coach speaks for itself and if he was working in any industry he would never have been re-hired after the fiasco that was the World Cup.

  19. The stats speak for themselves.Reading comments here, people the feeling aint good.MJW I sense FRUSTRATION!Get Rid of AR period.Its
    time for change!Roared The Team On since the start,I relish Defeating The French, but my gut tells me different! Sadly I fear another Wooden Spoon looming, PLEASE proof ME wrong!Lets see the
    SCOTTISH LION show its teeth!!! Its TIME!!

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