Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


The Scottish Rugby Blog Scottishness Test

Sean Maitland - photo © Alastair Ross

If you spend any time on the internet whether here, on Twitter or over on other rugby sites you’ll know there is a certain amount of outcry every time a player is imported with a view to being selected for Scotland based on residency or the nationality of a parent or grandparent.

But IRB rules allow selection on that basis and it’s hard to question a player’s motivation without knowing more about that person and their background.

Sean Maitland qualifies through his grandparents but was brought up on a diet of Scotch Pies and was forced to get up in the wee small hours to watch Scotland play. David Denton’s father apparently gave him no illusions as to which country he would represent when he grew up.

On the other hand, Brendan Laney and Dan Parks*.

With that in mind the team at Scottish Rugby Blog Towers have come up with the definitive test all players should pass before being allowed to pull on a Scottish jersey.

The Scottish Rugby Blog Scottishness Test™

Thinking about coming to Scotland to play rugby? In order to ensure that your time here playing rugby is greeted warmly by the fans who like our players to be a bit, well, Scottish, please answer the following questions. No Wikipedia allowed.

SECTION 1: History & Culture

1. Who led the Scots to victory at Bannockburn?

a) Sean Connery
b) Mel Gibson
c) William Wallace
d) Robert The Bruce

2.  What nationality is Andy Murray?

a) English
b) British when he’s winning and Scottish when he loses
c) British
d) Scottish

3. What’s in a “Scotch Pie”?

a) Whiskey and vermouth
b) Whisky and coke
c) Mutton and spices
d) Who cares it’s f****** delicious

4. What was the greatest film ever made?

a) Gone With The Wind
b) Citizen Kane
c) Braveheart
d) Gregory’s Girl.

5. Who is the greatest band of all time?

a) The Beatles
b) The Rolling Stones
c) The Proclaimers
d) Runrig

6. Deep fried?

a) Tempura vegetables
b) Camembert
c) Mars Bar
d) Pizza

7. What’s Irn Bru made of?

a) The devil’s toenails
b) Out of date orangeade
c) Ammonium Ferric Citrate
d) Gurdurs.

8. What kind of hat does the Duke of Wellington wear?

a) Black cocked hat
b) Bicorne
c) Bunnet
d) Traffic cone

9. What is a “Glasgae Kiss”?

a) A kiss on both cheeks
b) A Robert Burns poem
c) A Rabbie Burns poem
d) A headbutt

10. What’s the best type of sausage?

a) Lincolnshire
b) Biltong
c) Cumberland
d) Lorne

Bonus Points Available: Sing the theme song from either Dotaman, Supergran or Take The Highroad.

SECTION 2: Rugby

1. Complete this sentence. “I want to play for Scotland because…”

a) There’s too much competition in the country of my birth and this is my best chance of international rugby
b) I look good in tartan
c) My grandmother is Scottish/Bill Mclaren is my hero

2. Who is Jim Telfer?

a) Jim who?
b) The man who built the Caledonian Canal
c) Scotland and British & Irish Lions most successful coach of all time
d) God

3. Who’s your second favourite rugby team?

a) Scotland
b) The British & Irish Lions
c) South Sydney Rabbitohs
d) Whoever’s playing England.

4. Who is Scotland’s greatest ever captain?

a) Haddock
b) Archie Gemmill
c) Gavin Hastings
d) David Sole

5. You have a 4 on 1 overlap. Do you…

a) Commit the first defender and pass to the man immediately outside
b) Get tackled
c) Kick for touch
d) Drop the ball

6. What does the phrase “he’s as slippery as a baggie up a Border burn” mean?

a) Something to do with West Bromwich Albion
b) A split condom
c) He’s like a whirling tsetse fly!
d) That player is quick, skillful and difficult to catch

7. Who is Brian Moore?

a) Former Australian rugby league player
b) Former hooker for England turned TV pundit
c) That annoyingly correct bloke who keeps interrupting Andrew Cotter
d) Biased English *******

8. Complete the following sentence… “Swing Low…”

a) Sweet Chariot
b) Oh Flower Of Scotland
d) You can stick yer f****** chariots up yer a***

10. How many layers should you wear to Murrayfield in February?

a) Dress for arctic conditions
b) Longjohns are essential
c) Scotland jersey over a hoody, jeans and walking boots
d) Short sleeved Scotland shirt, tartan tammy with ginger wig, kilt and flip flops. Polyester Scotland flag in case it rains.

Bonus Question: Are you Dan Parks?

a) No
b) I don’t think so
c) Yes
d) Are you taking the p***?


Mostly “A” – Are you even sure you know where Scotland is?

Mostly “B” – Maybe you should stay in Auckland watching repeats of Albi The Racist Dragon and working on your guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk album.

Mostly “C” – You are Dan Parks.

Mostly “D” – Cut you open and you’d bleed tartan. You’re hired!

* Sorry Dan, we don’t mean it really. You served Scotland well, even if you appeared to be operating on a different intellectual and astral plane from those around you. Your international career was brought to an end in the worst way possible. We blame Andy Robinson.

With thanks to Finlay MacCuish, Gordon Brown and Graham Love

8 Responses

  1. Riddle me this BlogMan – if someone from overseas comes and plays for Scotland for a year because they have a Scottish Grandparent and then they go “home” is their son eligible to play for Scotland?

    1. The short answer is not unless their son/daughter was born in Scotland whilst they were over here.

      However Regulation 8 of the IRB regs does say the IRB is willing to consider exceptional circumstances so it may be possible for them to argue they have close familial links through their parent having played for the national team before but there’s no direct reference to this scenario in the text.

      Interestingly if a player is formally adopted his adoptive parents nationality can make him eligible however his adoptive grandparents do not.

    2. Thanks for that great answer. Obviously with people coming in from all over the world being a relatively new thing the concept of the son of a Scotland international not being eligible to play for Scotland hasn’t come up yet but I am sure it will one day

    3. So what makes someone Scottish is it all about place of birth of them or a parent or grandparent?

      This is not including those who come to Scotland and play for 3? seasons to be eligible or is it in fact of living in Scotland for 3 years makes you eligible even if you are not playing?

  2. cant we just hire anyone with a vaguely scottish sounding surname. i’m sure thatere are lots in SA, new Zealand and OZ that would fit that category.

    1. You will probably find that most of them are Scottish qualified with at least a Scottish Grandparent

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion