Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Geoff Crosses Sides

Geoff Cross - pic © Al Ross
Geoff Cross - pic © Al Ross

In exciting news for his fanclub that lurks in the darker recesses of the Scottish Rugby Blog, Edinburgh Rugby have agreed to loan prop Geoff Cross to Glasgow Warriors until the end of the season following injuries to tighthead props Mike Cusack and Ed Kalman.

The injuries leave the Warriors – who are currently one place outside a top-four playoff finish – shorthanded in a crucial position.

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons explained that the decision coincides with, but is unrelated to, the confirmation that Cross will leave the club at the end of the season, with London Irish rumoured to be a potential destination.

He said: “There comes a time in a player’s career, especially when you’ve been at a club for a long period, that you realise you could benefit from something fresh and new, and Geoff [Cross] has secured such an opportunity at a new club.

“He has been a great servant of Edinburgh Rugby for a number of years and we wish him all the very best.”

Glasgow only have Moray Low and Jon Welsh available at tighthead, with Welsh a fairly recent conversion from loosehead. Cusack returned to action last month after more than a year out with a shoulder injury, but now has an mysterious and unrelated medical issue that will keep him sidelined for an unknown length of time.

Ed Kalman will also be out of action for a period of time due to a back injury.

“They approached us for senior cover in what is an extremely important position, and requested Geoff Cross on loan” said Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons.

“We agreed to assist them and, in view of the fact that the cut off registration date was midnight last night (Tuesday), we agreed to assist them with emergency, senior cover with immediate effect.”

With Cross out on loan, promising young Scot, Ewan McQuillin, has been promoted from the club’s development programme into the squad for this Friday’s clash with Ulster at Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm).

The club have also negotiated the early arrival of recently signed prop Simon Berghan from the New Zealand Rugby Union, meaning the player will check in next month instead of next season as originally planned.

Cross played in all five of Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations games, starting against France and Wales and coming off the bench in the games against Ireland, England and Italy.

However the tighthead prop has featured eight times for Edinburgh Rugby this season, seemingly stuck behind WP Nel which has undoubtedly had his agent reaching for the phone book.

Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Mike (Cusack) worked really hard to get back fit again and we’re all disappointed that his comeback has been put on hold.”

“We’re delighted to welcome Geoff (Cross) into our squad. We’re getting an experienced tighthead to strengthen our front row options as we push for a play-off spot.”

Hogg out for 3 Weeks

In other news, angry (but not cross) young man Stuart Hogg has been handed a three week ban by a Six Nations disciplinary panel after his red card in Saturday’s farce against Wales.

The charge was amended to an act of foul play contrary to Law 10.4 (f) – Playing an opponent without the ball – which is a mid range (five weeks) offence. This was reduced by two weeks for mitigating factors, including the player’s remorse for the incident both on the day of the match and subsequently through the media.

Hogg said afterwards, “I am disappointed to be missing three games but fully respect the committee’s decision.”

The ban, which ends at midnight on 6 April, means that Hogg misses three Glasgow Warriors home games – against Scarlets, Ospreys and Treviso – and becomes available for selection for the match against Munster on 12 April.

11 Responses

  1. Strange decision to allow the incumbent Scotland prop to leave mid season.
    Wish him all good fortune and that he continues his good form with Scotland through the World Cup and beyond.

  2. A strange decision. Don’t get me wrong, as a Glasgow fan, I am delighted. To see those perfect thighs squeezed into a pair of Warriors shorts is every fans dream but it stinks off a great player being forced out by Solomons. As one of your tweets showed yesterday, Scotland had one of the best scrums of the 6 nations and probably would of had the best had Girth started from the beginning! This may come back to bite Edinburgh when it comes to the derby replay match especially if Heineken Cup qualification is on the line!

    As an aside, the look on Girths face after Hogg’s incident was priceless. No doubt the great doctor himself was probably subtly triaging the situation before moving on to the next serving of leg drive based justice. Need to try and get my hands on a Girth game used warrior jersey. What a collector’s item that will be!

  3. Hogg has had a tough season. Although one of our best players I’m not sure he is really a stand out player in his position. Kearney, halfpenny and now Brown all surpass him. He needs to refocus, forget all the smoke blown up his arse over the last two years and remember if he wants to realise his potential he needs to work hard to improve his own performance and better the team. He could be as good or better than all of those rivals.

  4. Wish the guy all the very best. One of the few Scots able to hold his head high this 6 Nations. The BBC reported that his contract was not being renewed so hope that it works for him. More worryingly is that he appears to have been pushed out for another foreigner. I really do not understand the Edinburgh approach to supporting Scottish rugby and on top of the news that Ross Rennie was pushed out as well is this part of the SJ masterplan ( if he has any idea of how to plan!)?. Irony is that the Edinburgh performances of the ‘has never been’ South African/NZ FP’s has hardly been inspiring and does not stimulate myself to leave the warm of my house on a Friday night!

  5. I dont think its any secret that the SRU have invested serious ££ in WP Nel being a Scotland prop for the WC.

    Not a Solomons decision by any means.

    Funny how Edinburgh seem to be under obligation to pick Nel but Glasgow seem to get to make their own decisions about Strauss

  6. Cross is there to give cover and that’s all he is good for.Glasgow try, and usually succeed, to play expansive, running rugby and Cross will never keep up. Can’t believe London Irish are in the frame for Cross no way will he cut it in the Premiership

  7. Why are there so many Springboks allowed to play for Edinburgh. It’s so ridiculously counter-productive

    1. Because the idea seems to be that in a few years a lot of these players will be Scottish qualified. Can’t say I am a big fan of what the SRU are doing with this, we should be using our money to nurture good, home-grown talent but instead are looking abroad to find anyone who may possibly have a distant Scottish relation…

  8. A past Scottish captain, Rob Wainwright, had been complaining recently of the recruitment by public schools of “big-boned” South Africans to bolster their rugby teams, alleging that their presence was actually ENDANGERING home-grown players. Perhaps Alan Solomons has judged that much of the home-grown talent on offer at professional level lacks the physicality to compete with the top Rabo teams — and even the Irish provinces, which tend to dominate, have a fair sprinkling of Antipodeans. Solomons is caught between two stools — the need to nurture indigenous talent and the need to achieve creditable results for Edinburgh. Entry into the new European competition is no longer going to be automatic.
    If our 17-/18-year-old schoolboys lack the physicality to compete with those imports, is it likely that they will have acquired the necessary physicality as 20-year-old professionals? Manifestly not.
    I believe that a much more scientific approach to physical development has to be applied at a much earlier stage, say, for 15-year-olds, if we are to compete with the top countries at international level. All my observations suggest that this aspect of training has long been neglected, perhaps even frowned upon, in Scotland.

  9. Gym work and MMA type work indoors in winter, rugby and skills in BST for all (or at least Youth)

  10. Kev, brilliant. Whether we want it or not, we’re all caught up in a vortex of ever-increasing standards of athleticism and skill –that is, if we want to compete internationally.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion