Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland Squad for New Zealand

This squad, announced today, is to be rejigged after the (what could be potentially disastrous) All Blacks match for the remaining matches against South Africa and Tonga. Sorry if that sounds negative but my feelings on the matter are pretty well known and this article aside, recent weeks have given me little succour to aid my weary rugby-watching soul.

Still, I’m off to watch Edinburgh play the Scarlets at the weekend so everything’s looking up, right?

Plenty of new faces as Robinson faces up to the World Champs without plenty of his first choices – and with plenty of the ones that remain in poor form. Henry Pyrgos gets a first call up as the only scrum half in the squad playing Heineken Cup rugby (unless you count Lee Jones) while sometime correspondent for this site Peter Horne gets his first call too.

Scotland squad for training camp at St Andrews 29-31 October in preparation for the EMC Test against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Sunday 11 November (kick-off 2.30pm)

Backs: Mike Blair (Brive), Nick De Luca (Edinburgh Rugby), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Max Evans (Castres), Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne and Ruaridh Jackson (all Glasgow Warriors), Lee Jones, Greig Laidlaw (both Edinburgh Rugby), Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), Rory Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), Peter Murchie, Henry Pyrgos (both Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby), Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) and Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby)

Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross, David Denton, Ross Ford and Grant Gilchrist (all Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh Rugby), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (London Irish), Stuart McInally and Ross Rennie (both Edinburgh Rugby), Tom Ryder (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) and Kyle Traynor (Bristol Rugby).

Of course there as always a number of names left out, with Glasgow providing much of the squad but also much of the injured roster.

Not considered due to injury:

Backs – Joe Ansbro (London Irish), Ben Cairns (Edinburgh Rugby), Chris Cusiter, Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison (all Glasgow Warriors), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors) and Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors). Forwards – Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ed Kalman (Glasgow Warriors), Stevie Lawrie (Edinburgh Rugby), Moray Low, Pat MacArthur and Jon Welsh (all Glasgow Warriors)

Not considered due to Jesus:

Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors)

Other notable although perhaps not unsurprising absentees:

Johhny Beattie (Montpellier), Mark Bennett (Clermont Auvergne), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors), Fraser Mackenzie (Sale Sharks), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)

Surprising absentees:

Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors)

If someone put a big black gun (with a silver fern logo on it) to my head, here’s the team I’d most likely pick from this group:


Yes, I know, Greig hasn’t, etc. I’m not saying they will beat the All Blacks or anything.

What about you?

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23 Responses

  1. Richie Vernon is another suprise omission as he appears to be scoring tries in an admittedly under performing Sale side. Lets just hope Robinson picks the on form players but I can not see that happening. As exciting as it was to watch Edinburgh last year, their selection can not be justified off of the back of their Heineken performances so far. Although I do think De Luca should be in the centre as he is playing quite well and is probably the best defensive centre we have at the moment and can offer something in attack. Against the All Blacks we will definitely require size in the midfield!

    1. Assume the omission of Vernon is down to the amount of competition in the back row. Probably the only area there is any real competition for places at the moment.

    2. I think Robinson will revert back to his favoured De Luca Lamont (if fit) combo in the midfield purely to match the All Blacks in defence. I cannot feel that this would be a negative selection though. I would happily see him on the wing as he certainly looked impressive against Northampton.

    3. It was Scott and De Luca for the first two games in the Summer tour so I think he’ll stick with that. Might see Shaun Lamont on the wing though in place of the light weight Jones and Evans

  2. Forwards:

    Ford – Not sure lineout issues at Edinburgh have been entirely his fault and I think he offers a bit more in defense and ball carrying
    Denton (would like to see McInally get a run out)


    De Luca

    I’d agree with Pheonix – We need size to match the AB’s. Not sure it’s the sort if game for experimenting more one for grinding out some sort of (admittedly unlikely) result that might give the whole squad a boost.

    If we’re getting at hammered at half time stick some newbies on and see what they can do.

    1. You’re probably right about Fordy but it might be time someone else got a shot even if he is/was the captain, if nothing else to make him hungry for it.

    2. He’s not had any real competition for years. Not seen much of McArthur but compared with the back row it feels like he’s not going to be pushed for a couple of years at least

  3. 1) Grant
    2) Ford (Pat McArthur if fit)
    3) Cross
    4) Kellock
    5) Gray
    6) Brown
    7) Rennie (Though Fusaro is the form player)
    8) Denton

    9) Blair
    10) Laidlaw (Laidlaw and Weir would be better though)
    11) Visser
    12) Scott
    13) Dunbar
    14) Evans
    15) Hogg

    16) Chunk
    17) Dougie Hall
    19) Gilchrist
    20 Barclay
    21) Lawson
    22) Horne
    23) Slamont

  4. 1) Grant
    2) Ford
    3) Cross
    4) Hamilton
    5) Gray
    6) Brown
    7) Strokosch
    8) Denton
    9) Blair
    10) Laidlaw
    11) Visser
    12) Scott
    13) De Luca
    14) Evans
    15) Hogg
    16) Hall
    17) Jacobsen
    18) Kellock
    19) ??
    20) Rennie
    21) Lawson
    22) Jackson
    23) SLamont

  5. Do we field a side that will minimalise damage, or a side for offensive experimentation against the best defence in the world?

    1. I’d field a side that could grind out a result like we have against the Springboks and Wallabies in previous season. I think you need to play the conditions, not that this should prevent AR from playing some of the newbies. I remember Richie Gray emerging from the autum tests a couple of years back

  6. 1) Ryan Grant
    2) Ross Ford
    3) Geoff Cross
    4) Richie Gray
    5) Grant Gilchrist (offers much more in the loose)
    6) Kelly Brown (c)
    7) Ross Rennie
    8) David Denton
    9) Henry Pyrgos (only scrummy to play H Cup, Blair on the bench if all goes wrong)
    10) Greig Laidlaw
    11) Tim Visser
    12) Matt Scott (good boot can assist laidlaw)
    13) Max Evans
    14) Sean Lamont
    15) Stuart Hogg
    16) Dougie Hall
    17) Kyle Traynor ( Jacobsen’s hardly played. He’s finished)
    18) Alastair Kellock
    19) Stuart McInally
    20) Mike Blair
    21) Peter Horne
    22) Alex Dunbar

    This would be a risky selection for Robinson but it’s time to start blooding as many new players as possible, have no idea why Fusaro is not in the squad either he has been the form player in Scotland for the last two years.

    1. Two years? 12 months max. Agree he should be in the squad ahead of Barclay, but Rennie has the starting shirt.

  7. Mark my words Ford will come out and prove everyone wrong. PS anyone that thinks McArthur is a better hooker 1. Are you f***ing high?
    2. McArthur has not played this season 3. Are you f***ing high 4. Ross Ford is a British Lion can we really afford to dropthem for a completely untested player at test level.

    1. Euan ‘Dino’ Clark. An up and coming prop making his way thru the amateur ranks. Mark my words he will be something special in a year or 2

    2. DIno Clark from Dundee? I still wake up in a cold sweat thinking about that dummy. That guy is dangerous.

  8. As a kiwi, i hope you guys get the side right & come to play & your boys do you proud. The ABs are going to experiment with selections, so i’d go with a side who want to win not limit damage because the chance is there. Always my favourite game of the tour, love hearing the crowd singing ‘Flower of Scotland’, best of luck guys.

  9. @Phoenix don’t read into that news item that you showed, that’s bloody just typical media garbage. I’m from Christchurch(NZ) an believe me we don’t think like that. We have the up most respect for Scotland and the All Blacks will have to be on their game to win., looking forward to the game

    1. Good man Pete, the kiwi at our club showed a similar level of disgust toward the article, still good motivation for the boys. I managed to go a free ticket today so looking forward to Sunday. Classic Scottish optimism makes me think there is room for a shcok or at least a scare!

  10. With all the tries Seymour is scoring I’m surprised he’s not getting more of a long in, there is a lot to be said for playing the in form players.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion