Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Scotland Team to Face England

Scotland have awarded a debut to wing Sean Maitland, give a first start in six years to his Glasgow Warriors team-mate Dougie Hall at hooker and recall No 8 Johnnie Beattie in their team for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship opener against England at Twickenham.

In all honesty, whether or not you agreed with it you could have picked the back division in your sleep once Jackson found some form. We got the mouthwatering (attacking) back three predicted when Maitland first pitched up on these shores and now he has to step on considerably from the promise and enthusiasm he has shown up to know in a Glasgow shirt and justify the faith and hope placed in him! There is still an issue in the midfield though with Lamont offering undeniable ball-carrying abilities, but not perhaps the distribution given the talents outside him. Perhaps Hogg could have slipped in there and sent us off on a hunt for another full back but that is a tale for another time.

Up front the lack of Edinburgh players in the pack is not surprising, but Johnson has still found the time to stick Ford on the bench and grant Dougie Hall a first start since 2007 which is a little surprising, as well as refreshing.

Many will back the England pack to dominate but with a new hooker, Grant and Murray in reasonable form and Murray’s optimum workhorse Jim Hamilton in behind, could Scotland be a surprise package in the set piece?

Scotland team to play England in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Twickenham on Saturday 2 February, kick-off 4pm

15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) 10 caps, 1 try, 5 points

14 Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors) uncapped
13 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors) 71 caps, 8 tries, 40 points
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby) 7 caps
11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby) 5 caps, 4 tries, 20 points

10 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 15 caps, 2 conversions, 2 penalties, 2 drop-goals, 16 points
9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby) vice-captain 13 caps, 2 tries, 11 conversions and 22 penalties, 98 points

1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors) vice-captain, 5 caps
2 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors) 39 caps, 1 try, 5 points
3 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors) 49 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
4 Richie Gray (Sale Sharks) 27 caps, 1 try, 5 points
5 Jim Hamilton (Gloucester Rugby) 41 caps, 1 try, 5 points
6 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan) 30 caps, 1 try, 5 points
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) captain, 52 caps, 4 tries, 20 points
8 Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier) 16 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

16 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby) 63 caps, 2 tries, 10 points
17 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 15 caps
18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby) 17 caps, 1 try, 5 points
19 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) 47 caps, 1 try, 5 points
20 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby) 9 caps
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors) 3 caps, 1 try, 5 points
22 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors) 2 caps, 1 conversion, 2 points
23 Max Evans (Castres) 32 caps, 3 tries, 15 points

Not considered due to injury: Peter Horne, Chris Cusiter, Chris Fusaro (Glasgow Warriors), Ross Rennie (Edinburgh Rugby) and Scott Lawson (London Irish).

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland).  Assistant referees: Jerome Garces (France) and Francisco Pastrana (Argentina).  TMO: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

11 Responses

  1. Looks like an alright team, I’m sure Duncan Weir was excluded from the squad yesterday though. I’m feeling quite optimistic. When did Horne make the injured list?

    1. I think Horne has a niggle in one of his hands/wrists. I am really excited about him eventually getting a game as Johnson seems to have some plans for him.

      Re Weir – Yes, he is lucky to get his call up but I believe, if anyone is going to, that Johnson will get the best out of him. I think his off-form may be due to some confidence demons. I still believe that he has had his natural instincts dulled and has been under orders from his coaches to play a particular way. I would like to see him taking the ball at pace and into contact every now and then. Looking up to read the park would also be welcomed. As it stands he is very one dimensional and very predictable. Not good in a 10.

  2. Weir steps in for Horne then? I agree that I’d have liked Hoggy at 13, as Murchie has looked an excellent threat running lines from full back this year. Or murchie could play 13 himself. He’s nowhere near the finished article but neither is Lamont who is about 8 years his senior.

    Hall is an odd pick, but safer than Ford given Ford is in attrocious form. I imagine Hall is simply there as steady hands for the lineouts. Brown at 7 really doesn’t work for me. He’s a 6 at this level, but he’ll not let anyone down, I’d have liked Denton or of course Fusaro, but both are struggling for fitness.

    Can’t wait to see Maitland, and hopefully Seymour later in the tournament.

  3. Best selection for a while although disappointed not to see mcarthur in there there and weir should count himself lucky to be included. In terms of the 20s its a disgrace that rae gets a start at tighthead watched him againsy melrose and he was not even close to good enough. No impact afound the field and then completely destroyed in the scrum.

  4. Hall is not simply there as a steady thrower at the line outs, he also hits a fair few rucks and will offer himself up to carry plenty.

    In the past I’ve not been a fan of S Lamont in the centre, but when he’s been played there this year for Glasgow he’s actually been ok and both made line breaks and distributed the ball to get the back 3 going. I don’t think Hogg at 13 is a better distributer, his first thought is to beat the man and more often than not ends up dancing on the sport and then gets thumped. At this point in time Hogg is a far better attacking threat from 15 than 13, so I’m happy to see him there.

    If you were to bring Murchie into the centre it would be at 12, where he spent much of the season when Morrison was out the other year there. If Murchie was at 12 then I’d be tempted to put Evans at 13.

    1. Hogg has distributed as well as Lamont in his occasional appearances at 13 for Glasgow, and to me it’s just a chance to shuffle Lamont onto the bench where he could be a great impact player and go with our most dynamic backs. Murchie can play 13, though I accept he’s not played there for Glasgow all that much. I think he has the attributes to do well outside anyway. Had Horne not been carrying a niggle I’d have loved to see him play a part off the bench too.

  5. Lamont at 13 is more than likely not going to work. Hogg should be starting at 13, I would love to see him and Scott work together in the centre. Possibly a real threat for the future!

  6. Good team selection in my opinion. Reports say that Horne has a fractured thumb as so is not availible. Lamont is solid in defence and always looks ‘up for it’ so pretty happy with the backs. Good impact off of the bench as well though wuould have preferred someone other than Evans.

    Still, the last time Scotland won at HQ, a Glasgow Accie was at number 8….

  7. Likely Scotland A squad to be announced today:
    G Tonks; D Fife, B Cairns, A Dunbar, A Grove, D Taylor (Saracens), N Walker; T Heathcote, S Kennedy, J Stevenson (London S); G Reid, J Welsh, A Dickinson, G Sheills, S Lawrie, A Walker, T Ryder, T Swinson, R McAlpine, S McInally, R Vernon, R Wilson, J Eddie

  8. denton was scotlands best man in 6 nations last year and hes not starting. I cant believe you think Hogg should start at 13. if he started at 13 against wales he would be injured by half time.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion