Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Our Team: Wings

The Back Three

Generally the pretty boys of rugby, the wings in most clubs can be found in the changing rooms long after everyone else has hit the bar.  After all, that hair isn’t going to style itself.  For all the preening, posting about hand-tailored shirts and fluorescent boots, a solid pair of wings is essential for a successful side, and these days they still come in all shapes and sizes.

The attacking merits of good winger are there for all to see on the scoreboard. They’ll be the ones to capitalise on an elusive overlap or steal the glory of others hard work with a short sprint (and usually a dive) for the line. Yet, for all the fast feet, side-steps and blistering pace these days, just as key is the necessity for a solid defence.  After a standoff, a winger with a weak defence is the next most obvious target for attacking runners.

The wings is actually an area where we have been at times blessed with solid players, if not world class talent. However you could have Lomu out there and he’d struggle in the current Scotland side as the ability of our centres to get the ball that far seems limited. But we’ve still got two to pick. Who’s going to give us those tries?

Tim Visser

It’s been a long time since Scotland have had a player who has the clinical finishing of this guy.  5 games, 4 tries of which 2 have come against the New Zealand would tend to point towards a player who has taken to the international game with gusto.  His RaboDirect PRO12 record is examplary. For all his attacking verve though Visser is not necessarily the strongest defensively, in particular he has shown a weaknesses to balls being played in behind. There is still some development work to be done but he is clearly aware of this.  If you put someone like Visser into, for arguments sake, the Irish or French sides it would be interesting to see just how many tries he would end the tournament with.

Tommy Seymour

Nashville, Tennessee is not exactly a hot bed of rugby activity but this good ol’ southern boy has, after a short spell at Ulster, made himself at home in Glasgow and broke into the national training squad in the Autumn internationals.  Blessed with searing pace he’s solid winger and at 24 he still has plenty of time to improve and refine his game. Most tellingly, he’s been in great scoring form for Glasgow.

Sean Maitland

Quade Cooper’s cousin came to Scotland with a big reputation after being a try scoring machine for the Crusaders in Super 15.  He’s only played a handful of games since landing, notably dotting down against Edinburgh, but seems to be settling in and while there were rumours about his workrate, he certainly threw himself about against Ulster on Friday.  Having given up on playing for the All Blacks he qualifies to play for Scotland and will surely be in the thoughts of Scott Johnson.

Sean Lamont

Sean Lamont is still able to add value not to mention no small amount of passion. Even if it’s just in making certain (nameless) women smile and purr at his six pack. Lamont has been used out wide and in the centres so his flexibility would mean that he may have an outside chance of making the bench. Johnson has discussed looking to the future, and if he needs someone to start building some confidence now the likes of Lamont or Max Evans who have been great team guys but low scoring for wingers could find themselves in the wilderness.

Also considered: Lee Jones, Tom Brown (injured), Dougie Fife, Max Evans, Nikki Walker.

My picks:  Visser goes straight in without a doubt, even in this Scotland side he scores!  His form for Edinburgh has been patchy but in the absence of clear-cut attacking options he has been more than happy to throw himself about. The other wing is not so obvious a pick, but considering his reputation and stats, it probably should be Maitland who has the potential to be as prolific as his other wing compatriot and already has experience of high level rugby. As we’ve seen with Glasgow though, he’s almost interchangeable with Seymour so don’t be surprised if the Yankee-Ulster-Scotsman lines up on the 2nd February.

Team so far: Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland, Tim Visser; Ryan Grant, Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Richie Gray, Rob Harley, Al Strokosch, Roddy Grant, Johnnie Beattie

9 Responses

  1. Very close to what I would like to see. I would like to see Seymour start at 14 with maitland potentially coming in after he has had a few more games although it is a very close call

  2. No argument with the 2 choices here.
    Although like PDC above I suspect Maitland may not be in for the early games.
    Dougie Fife beginning to look a very good option.
    We have to move past the M Evans / S Lamont period – neither score tries, although always seem to contribute to the game somehow. One or other could feature on the bench as coverage.
    But we must pick wingers who can score tries. That means (in my ranking order): Visser, Maitland, Seymour, Fife, Walker.

  3. At the moment Seymour is looking like a better choice than Maitland, he might just need to settle in but right now Seymour is clearly in better form. I’d like to see Tom Brown get another call up, he seems like a promising new back. I’d also like to see the return of Nikki Walker, going by his try to cap ratio he’s certainly got greater scoring skill than a few of the other wingers although that still isn’t saying much

  4. Tough call between Maitland & Seymour but that can only be good for them both so whoever starts will need to make an impact or lose their place to the other.

  5. Visser and Maitland. We’ve harped on forever for Visser to be qualified and need him to play and improve at the top level. Maitland can also play fullback so obvious choice. Seymour gets a chance in the A team.
    A back 3 of Hogg, Visser and Maitland excites me

  6. I’d certainly be calling Visser, Maitland, Seymour and SLamont up to the initial squad for training, with Visser and Maitland pencilled in to start against England, but keeping a watchful eye on the other two as well to see how all 4 go in training. Visser’s try-scoring prowess simply cannot be ignored, even if his defensive work still needs considerable improvement. Maitland is just a class player, and showed against Ulster in the tipping rain that he doesn’t shirk his defensive duties either. SLamont has for long been the heart and soul of the Scottish side, and may be required elsewhere in the team due to injuries, while Tommy Seymour has done a lot of things right this season at the Warriors without always getting the rub of the green in terms of opportunity.

  7. Call up will include Visser, Maitland, Fife and Seymour when looking at our wing options.

    There are other Centre and fullback players that could cover this area but the above are out and out wingers. Except Maitland but this is where he spends most of his time.

  8. Visser is certainly nailed on, although he’s been a bit quiet lately imo. As for other wing, S Lamont may not be the most subtle player or have great scoring stats (does anyone in the Scotland team!?) but he’s very effective and time and again has been one of Scotland’s best players – imo people often seem keen to forget this all too often and slag him off unfairly. If he’s not needed at 13 then I think S Lamont is the stick on for the other wing.

    Although he’s been solid enough, I don’t think Maitland’s played enough games (or done enough in them) to walk straight into he Scotland starting 15, or possibly even the matchday 23. Seymour probably deserves a bench spot. Re the rest, Jones is off form (and his defence was unconvincing anyway imo) and Max Evans has been pretty poor in his last few appearances in blue. Fyffe is coming on, but it’s a bit early for him.

    It’s such a shame for us that DTH VDM was already playing for Canada when he came here – Imagine if he’d been able to become Scotland qualified and we could’ve had Visser on one wing and DTH on the other!

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion