Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


A wooden spoon to stir the black stuff…

A hot day at the Twickenham Stoop; and a Scotland player has just deftly side-stepped Ireland and Lions Number 8 Jamie Heaslip and run in for an easy try.

The try was possibly an equal to anything Scotland produced during the 6 Nations, but unfortunately this was a try at the Guinness Challenge touch rugby tournament rather than a match of any real meaning.

The Guinness AmbassadorsLast week the good folks at Guinness brought fans from each of the home nations together for a days training and a touch rugby tournament at the Twickenham Stoop. Representing the home nations and dishing out the coaching advice were John Barclay, Bed Foden, Jamie Heaslip and Jamie Roberts.

The fans in attendance couldn’t have asked for better conditions as they trotted out onto the pitch of the famous Harlequins club to be put through their paces by former England and Lions cap Graham Rowntree. A solid hour of training was expected from each of the folks in attendance, with the highlight being an under-the-legs pass over Rowntree’s head. The reward for such skill… 10 press-ups and a flea in the ear. On hand throughout the day were the pro-players, who were quick to provide some insight and a quip or two about their counterparts from the other Home Nations.

Scotland Guinness ChallengeFollowing the grunt work and a short break, the participants were given a chance to shine with a home nations touch rugby tournament. Now, as a member of the Scotland side, I’d like to say we avenged our miserable 6 Nations and destroyed all before us. Alas we emulated rather than avenged, and despite 1 point losses in each game Scotland lost both their games (against Wales and Ireland), to yet again walk away with the Wooden Spoon.

As with the 6 Nations the Welsh were the team to beat. Led by the Desperate-Dan chinned Jamie Roberts, and supported by some suspiciously Aussie sounding Welshmen, the Welsh team beat Ireland to set up a decider against the home team, England.

In what was a physical version of touch the Welsh battered their English rivals to walk away with the trophy… albeit a 3 inch toy trophy! Jamie Roberts will no doubt take this back to Cardiff and add it to the already full trophy cabinet.

A special mention is also due to Graham Rowntree who put in a performance as referee that reminded many of, um, Wayne Barnes.

It should be noted that whilst Scotland’s on field performance left a bit to be desired, they trounced all-comers in the evening’s quiz – thanks largely to John Barclay’s ability to identify a Welshman by his leg strappings.

Guinness Challenge Teams

Thanks to all the Guinness Ambassadors who were great with everyone throughout the day (and who more than once salvaged a wonky pass!) and to the good folks at Guinness for their efforts in organising a terrific day – a great chance to meet top players and coaches but actually learn something too.

Guinness ambassadors Jamie Heaslip, Jamie Roberts, Ben Foden and John Barclay were taking part in the Guinness Rugby Challenge where Guinness Facebook fans got the chance to play for their country at the Twickenham Stoop. For more great content go to

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion