The 2015 Six Nations Epic Roundtable Pt 2

The epic post Six Nations chat continues with a look at scrum halves, and the coming World Cup.

3. Why do all good Scottish scrum halves end up crabbing after a few games?

GH: I thought Sam Hidalgo-Clyne controlled Edinburgh brilliantly against London Irish, and Scott Steele had a good game opposite him. I think Hart gets away with crabbing because he’s a bit bigger but it is a real problem for Laidlaw, who denies Bennett, Russell etc, the space they need.

BJ: Is that what the issue with selecting Cus is? He doesn’t crab??

CB: Even Cusiter crabs! People used to have a go at him for it. Don’t know whether he’s cut it out now. Only time will tell.

BJ: Watched a weekend of English rugby recently with coverage of a Gloucester game with Laidlaw and a Sale game with Cusiter; crabbing from Laidlaw and slow ball, no crabbing from Cus, quick delivery and go forward. So is it coaching philosophy? The 10s? Gloucester’s win on Friday night in the Challenge Cup seemed to be down to James Hook despite the best efforts of Laidlaw and Twelvetrees to give Connacht every chance.

RB: Crabbing is semi-permissible if there’s a chance the scrum-half might actually make a break instead of passing. Hidalgo-Clyne is the only one threatening that at the moment.

AK: And he can kick.

4. So the old chestnut: can Scotland win the World Cup? Or even get out of the pool?

GH: Absolutely not a chance of us winning it – that’s pie in the sky, but we should get out the pool if we sort out or discipline

Jack Dmytro Mysyk: Getting out of the group will take a strong effort as it is, not to mention how many injuries we are likely to pick up in bruising encounters vs Samoa and South Africa, we may not have too much of a squad left! Anything beyond that should be considered a bonus, we have the ability to cause sides problems in one-off matches but at the moment lack the experience in seeing out test matches.

RC: I agree. There’s no chance of us realistically winning the world cup but I still think that we will escape the pool stages with Samoa being the real test.

CB: When the pool was announced I thought there might be an outside chance of us topping the group. However South Africa have only gotten better whilst we’ve crabbed along occasionally spluttering into life. I think we’ll finish second with room to spare but after that it’ll take a miracle to see us progress further

AK: Personally, I don’t think a fit team should fear Wales, England or Australia in a one-off game if we can get a strong support.

BJ: Scotland struggle to string together a consistent 80 mins of rugby never mind backing it up over several back to back fixtures. Currently not convinced we’ll get out of the group unless we do better in the warm up games (and with four of those how many are likely to get injured?). I honestly think at least two of the 6 Nations teams are going to come a cropper at Pool stages this year (one for definite out of Pool D). Hopefully Scotland aren’t one.

RB: If Fiji turn up you could be looking at 2 going from Pool A alone…

AM: My only hope is the extra time the squad have together allied with the 4 warm up games means we’ll finally see a Cotter Scotland side string together a full 80 mins. I think we’ll get out the group but win it? No. We’re too far behind some of the bigger boys and whilst on our day, I would fancy us to cause an upset (blind optimism really) in a one off match but expecting us to do it more than once is probably a step too far.

Plus, as noted on several occasions a couple of injuries to some key players and we’re knackered. We dropped players at an alarming rate through the 6N and with the Glasgow boys playing bruising play-offs and Edinburgh going deeper in Europe I worry one or two more knocks will crop up.

On a more general note, I don’t have a problem with Dodson saying our target was the win. It’s perhaps pie in the sky but is rather hear that rhetoric than get out of the pool, win our home games mentality we’ve seen in the past.

5. Are things really all that bad? Do you find any hope in your hearts?

BJ: With Alan Dymock’s piece for Rugby World about a possible demise of the Scotland Sevens set-up the hope in my heart is slowly dying. It was another avenue to develop fringe players and give them exposure to larger crowds and experience pressure situations and it has of late paid off; two seasons(?) ago they were in the play-offs to remain a core side now they are currently 7th with two legs to go. However if the SRU aren’t going to continue to invest then what chance do the full XV have?

AM: Yes, there’s hope but I find the sevens thing disheartening. To pull funding from an aspect of the game sets us down a dangerous road and coming so closely on the heels of the Commonwealth games would be a real smack in the chops.

RB: Especially as they are doing well now with a coach they seem to like and a settled squad.

AM: At pro level though, Glasgow continue to impress and I like the way they’re going about their business but they need to win the Pro 12 this year in my opinion. Edinburgh need consistency but I was impressed with them vs London Irish and regardless of the manner of victory a result is a result.

At international level, as ever, we’re lacking the depth but I sadistically enjoy the air of unpredictability we have. We’ve served up some rotten fare down the years after all but i still believe there’s a very good team in there waiting to get out.

Finally, with the 4 academies still to come there’s always hope. Whether they’ll produce we won’t know for some time but it’s a step in the right direction none the less.

RC: As I’ve already stated, the future does look bright. This world cup is probably too early to see any success but providing this new wave of talent builds up the necessary experience, there is no reason why we can’t be competing with the bigger boys in the future. I remember though that I said something similar in 2012 when Laidlaw, Weir and Denton all came through.

RB: We’ve been “building for the future” for 15 years…

CB: The future always looks bright for Scotland… We just never develop quickly enough to keep up. The U20s look more promising than before. They certainly look physically on a par with other home nations at that age which is a start. If that’s going to continue though then Vern Cotter’s ideas of playing the Scottish way needs to filter through all levels so players have experience and skill set by time they come to play for Scotland. That’s how Alex Ferguson did it at Man United by instilling the same ethos right down through youth levels.

Thanks to all the writers for their contributions. Let us know your thoughts on these points in the comments below.

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Created using the combined powers of the Scottish Rugby Blog team.

48 comments on “The 2015 Six Nations Epic Roundtable Pt 2

  1. Kev on

    Regarding the 7s. It’s no longer Rugby and a very specialist sport now. To be successful we need a large 7s squad that plays…7s (and 7s only). So I dont really see it as a long term developer (although its got some one off exposures that have helped i.e. Bennet)
    Without a 3rd Pro Team we will still beat England, Ireland and Wales but only in one off rare home matches.
    Without a 3rd Pro Team our young players will not get exposed to pro rugby on a regular basis to sharpen their game management at the level required.
    Without a 3rd pro team we’ll be writing and reading the same old strength in depth stories after RWC2015, 6N2016, AI2016, 6N 2017 etc etc

    • FF on

      Pretty sure the funding for the 7s squad comes from SportScotland and revenue from the Glasgow 7s. Losing it won’t make any difference to our ability to establish another pro-team. The question is if we lose the leg of the World Series as looks like a done deal, can we replace the funding from elsewhere.

      This would not necessarily be an opportunity cost as the World Series has a sizeable audience outside traditional rugby audiences and the pro-teams are frankly not seen as attractive sponsorship opportunities in general (Aberdeen Asset Management being the exception rather than the rule).

      If there is a way to fund it we should – 7s is growing in popularity, has proven effective in other countries at gaining new audiences for rugby, is a more accessible code for young people to begin playing (in a similar way to tag or touch) and so we should take advantage of the promotional opportunities it presents to bring people towards the sport. We are also beginning to be successful, which helps!

      • Highland Bear on

        Having attended a number of the events at Murrayfield, the onus was on the SRU to promote the Scottish leg and supporters/public to attend. Moving it to Scotstoun, while creating an atmosphere, was ultimately defeatist as clearly the IRB see 7s as a means of promoting and growing the game. Those who suggested Melrose ignored the lack of infrastructure to host an international event. The loss of the Scottish leg funding will likely see Scotland pull out as there isn’t money available to run the team, given the other financial demands in terms of academies, the 2 Pro 12 clubs and the national side.

    • Bulldog on

      Ok we have had the 6 nations moan, and the endless buffoonery of a third team. I should know the answer to this question but I dont. It is prompted by thinking of all the comments on our players not lasting the full 80 mins and on Peter Horne’s leg cramping on that vital kick.

      Many players are impact players, they get substituted. The Glasgow squad is rottated , so they only get a FULL game once or twice a month. So what do they do when not playing for the pro side. As a Player I would have played 7 days a week if i could, so how frustrating is it for them and what impact could that be having on their long term effectivness?

      Should the pro teams have a second XV with a league – or is that just a costly farce? Maybe it exists and I have not got a clue?

  2. Neil on

    Kev- I completely agree with your comments. The only way that we are going to get a sufficient pool of talented player to take on France, Wales, England and Ireland is to have more pro teams. We certainly need a third one but I would argue we need a further two. Sure we can beat these teams in one off games but certainly not on a regular basis. Just look at the gulf in class between Ireland and Scotland. Unless we can get another 2 or 3 pro teams we will struggle to achieve better than 5th place in the 6 nations and certainly have no hope of getting beyond the QF or the WC.

    • Ad nauseam on

      Change the record. Where does the money come from to pay for these three teams then Mr Majeika?

      Your grand ideas are pipe dreams without the funding.

      • Neil on

        Do the maths- 3000 fans per week paying around 20GBP each = a decent sum of cash. Add that to sponsorship deals, TV rights money and sale of merchandise, +/- SRU money and you have a winning formula. In the economic heartlands of Aberdeen and Perth it would take off where I recon you could guarantee a large fanbase ans sponsorship deals. I think it would also work in the borders, so we could have 5 pro teams. At that stage our national team would then be competing for top honours.

      • Yet more Neil hot air on

        As usual Neil you talk fantasist rubbish. Tickets for pro 12 games are not 20 and you forget the discounts for students, kids etc. and the actual number of games played each year. Oh and how much do you actually think the sponsorship and tv deals are worth? Get some facts to back up your case or belt up. Living out in the desert and having no concept of the economic realities of professional sport in Scotland makes your opinions worthless. If English sides can’t turn a profit with the money they get from Sky, how on earth will a scottish side?

      • Neil on

        I’m not on about making vast profits- just enough to break even. 20GBP per ticket is not an unreasonable fee to charge. I used to support a football conference team and thats what I paid to watch them (about 3 years ago). I’m not even going to tell you how much it would cost to go to a top Premiership game. Sure you have some tickets that are discounted but ceven charging 10GBP per OAP or child is not unreasonable. Also 3000 fans per game is a definate possibility, especially in the econiomic heartlands of Aberdeen and Perth where they dont have any pro rugby teams. Regarding TV rights money, sponsorship etc, thatese are unknown factors but nevertheless they would be significant. Where some of the English clubs fail is that they ppay the top players too much. As long as the clubs dont pay out David Beckham type salaries, I think it would work. It works in Ireland and Wales where the population is about half of ours so why not in Scotland.

        Lets face it the alternative will be to continue with only 2 pro teams, end up finishing 6th in the six nations each year, not reaching the WC QF etc. Is that what you want?

      • Cloud cuckoo land on

        Facts on finances still lacking and ever heard of a salary cap?

        45 professional players should be paid how much exactly? Minimum wage?

      • Neil on

        So before you dismiss the idea of more pro teams, think about this one. There are 4 pro teams in Ireland- a country with less wealth than Scotland and a much lower population. Wales also have 4 pro teams- again a population of about half that of Scotland and with much less wealth than both Scotland and Ireland.
        If they can do it why not us? Nobody has ever or will ever be able to answer that one. However, I would like to see you try. Bring it on.

      • Wakey wakey! on

        Population and GDP are only one tiny factor. If they were the be all and end all the USA would be the best rugby nation on the planet. They aren’t so why not? Could there be more to it? Cultural, social, historical etc reasons maybe? If you had half a brain you would realise this you naive ……..!

      • Scafell on

        Neil – Population of Ireland is approx 6m. Plus Northern Ireland 1.8m (Ulster) so that 7.5m. Scotlands pop 5.5m. A minor point but still.

    • Bulldog on

      Neil – How many people play rugby in any of these other countries in comparisson to scotland?

      You are living in one of the wealtiest countries per head of population in the world and there is no pro rugby team playing there- So clearly wealth and population are not the building blocks for a pro rugby team. As i see it feeding the scottish team is costing the proteams their resources.

      You need to look at demand and if there is a demand , how big and how much entry charges can the market sustain?

      Oh and you still think pro rugby is there to support the national team .

      • Neil on

        The issue I have with this is that we do have a proud tradition of playing and supporting rugby in Scotland, at least on a par with Ireland. I remember in the 80s and 90s when we nearly always beat Ireland and one reason for this was that we had more players than them and more clubs. Part of the reason that the sport is not more popular is that we only have 2 pro teams. Its a vicious cycle- the less pro teams you have the less people you will have supporting the sport and the less funding there will be to improve things. Also the less pro teams the lower the number of quality players available to play for our national team, the lower the number of matches that we will win and the lower the support for out teams at all levels. Am I the only one that can see that?
        So why not try to break that cycle and introduce another 2 or 3 teams. If it worked in Ireland then there is absolutely no reason why it cant work here. Glasgoww are on the verge of winning the pro 12 and Edinburgh are ever improving and have reached a European cup final. These are things to celebrate and be proud off. Just think what it would mean to have a further 2 or 3 teams achieving similar things. And just think about it- it would mean doubling our pool of talent to the extent that we would be able to compete on a level playing field- something that we havent been able to do for the last 15 years or more. I gave up on our national football team years ago but I hope that I dont have to do the same with our rugby team. Unfortunately, without a will to improve things on the part of the powers at be I cant see much happening.

  3. Neil on

    Based on current form I’m not 100% convinced we will get out of the group. Samoa could be a serious test and what about the USA- an ever improving side. Both could potentially beat us on their day so a second place finish is by no means guaranteed, particularly given thee way we folded against Italy and Ireland. If we cant beat Italy on home soil then who the hell can we beat.

    • FF on

      USA are poor and we shouldn’t have any trouble beating them. Japan will be better but we should still be comfortable winners. Samoa will be a huge test – they are the second seeds in this group and there hasn’t really been anything between us for years. It really is 50:50 and may be decided off the pitch. Can we field anything like our strongest team? Will Samoa’s off-field management problems prevent them preparing properly for the World Cup or even selecting their best players?

      We have the added challenge of playing Samoa last, after South Africa, whereas Samoa play us after Japan (if memory serves). So juggling our playing resources whilst avoiding an embarrassing slip up to the group minnows will be challenging. This dilemma really undermined Robinson’s campaign at the last World Cup where we really should have qualified but never had any consistent team on the pitch with any cohesion.

      • Neil on

        I agree that we should beat all of the teams in our group except SA but look at what happened in the 6 nations. If we have no injury worries and our team are giving 100% but how often is that the case. The Samoans re probably the strongest group of people on the planet. The only thing going in out favour is that their team tends to lack a bit of discipline and makes stupid mistakes- a bit like Scotland. Honestly, I think we will struggle against Samoa unless we can field our best team and they are firing on all cylinders. Based on the 6 nations, neither is likely. Regarding the USA, they used to be the whipping boys or world rugby. Their side is still quite mediocre but if their team watched any of our 6 nation gmes they will fancy their chances. Remember that they are an improving team and much better that they were 10-15 years ago. I seem to remember that we only beat them by around 12 points in the summer of last year- hardly a convincing win. I would say even Japan could be a banana skin so don’t be completely surprised if we end up finishing bottom of that group, never mind going for a 2nd place finish.

        The biggest problem, apart from Laidlaws pathetic kicking skills, is our forwards. They just lack strength and any team will know that our weakness will be defending rolling mauls and scrums. Each team will play to that weakness and I think we will find it difficult unless VC thinks more carefully about selections and tactics. The team also lacks fitness, so we really need to finish these teams off in the first 40 mins. If we aren’t at least 12 points ahead of Samoa or the USA going into the last 20 mins I would be very nervous. Just look how easily Ireland found that they could push us around the park. Samoa could easily do the same thing and, who knows, so too could the USA.

    • Bulldog on

      So if our weakness is forwards, rucks , scrums and rolling mauls. Why do we not just get a 3rd team and share all these fine asttributes with them ?

      • Neil on

        Bulldog- its common sense really. A third team = a third more players. The greater the number of pro teams the greater the pool of players. A fairly simple concept if you ask me. Also, with an increase in the pool of players the chances are that there could be one or two decent props or second row forwards to chose from.

  4. Chris Nicolson on

    Crabbing scum-halves. They’ve all been ‘guilty’ of it, but like ‘bad refereeing’ it only happens when the team you’re supporting is on the back foot.

    With a clean ruck from gain-line breaking ball then the scrumhalf has all the options open, the area around the ruck is clearer, less bodies on the ground, less forwards having to arrive late to secure ball, etc. When the ruck is a mess because the ball carrier isn’t getting anywhere, and the ruck clear-out is slow and poorly performed, there’s not even the room to get a pass away cleanly, never mind a scrumhalf sneaky threat.

    Even if the clear-out is good, when the ball carrying round the corner is ineffective the attacking side is losing ground and the backs are constantly having to re-arrange their positions, scrum-half looks up and sees nothing he recognises as an attack pattern from training and has to crab to wait for the backline to get moving.

    I was more concerned with Laidlaw playing quick ball… until he got into the opposition 22. Then he seemed to panic and be over thinking: “musn’t muck this up what should I do… oh dear took too long, hit it up… right what should I do this time… wave my arms about a bit… oh dear too late, hit it up”. It’s infuriating to watch the team power their way up the pitch with skill, accuracy and speed and then revert to headless, slow rugby when they get into the points zone.

    • Neil on

      Completely agree with your comments about Laidlaw. He needs to go but VC is intent on picking him regardless of how much he messes up. There have got to be better alternatives.

  5. pragmatic optimist on

    Scrum halfs.
    SHC, Laidlaw, Cus, Steele, Hart, all mentioned. Not a dickybird about Henry Pyrgos who is currently the best of the lot, albeit just returned from injury.
    I’d forgotten how easy it is to be ‘out of fashion’ in Scottish rugby!
    Just ask ohn Barclay and Kelly Brown!

  6. Kieran Jack on

    I think that SHC needs to get at least 2 starts in the world cup warm ups, he’s currently scoring points for fun for Edinburgh is an attacking threat with ball in hand as well as distributing well. He could well provide the spark that the team needs to start performing well. Hart needs to get a game for Glasgow first (or is he still at the Gunners until the end of the season?) before he can even be considered for Scotland. Steele looks like an option for the future definitely. A lack of leaders is still a problem, what about recalling Barclay to the squad, at least then there will be a senior international (who is playing some fantastic rugby down in Wales) with captaincy experience who could at least lessen the burden on a lad like Johnny Gray who many have touted as the next captain.

    • pragmatic optomist on

      Can’t see Hart getting any game time for Glasgow considering their run in towards the business end of the Pro 12. Pyrgos/Matawalu/ Price.
      Also too many people suggesting that SHC is answer to Scotlands ‘Laidlaw crisis’. Pyrgos still the best all round game and management by a margin.

  7. Highland Bear on

    Dodson’s comments were idiotic, exposing a complete disengagement with reality. Currently getting out of the Group should be the one and only objective, but will Cotter dare field a weakened team against the Springboks to improve the chance of beating Samoa? Shades of 2007. While there are signs of promise the progress of other nations is faster. A good guide should be how many Scottish players are selected for the Lions squd, and test team in 2017. On current performance none would be selected for the test team for a tour departing this summer.

    • Standoffalot on

      On current form and injuries aside I think Gray, Dunbar, Bennett, Hogg and potentially Tommy Seymour would be in with a very good shout.

  8. Standoffalot on

    Just back from Scotstoun and a truly memorable night for both Big Al and Dougie Hall. Big games from the aforementioned, Tommy Seymour, and particularly hat trick hero Peter Horne, who after his performance in Dublin is reminding us all that he is a very gifted player, and shouldn’t be discarded by Scotland just for missing touch. Pyrgos was decent if unspectacular, although his box kicking was poor, and good to see Duncan Weir get some game time. Squeaky bum time in the Pro12 and Glasgow should be confident, although that should be measured against just how mince the Blues are. You have to really feel for Sam Warbuton playing in that team.

    • I beg to differ on

      Feel sorry for Warburton? I don’t think so. He is a snide bugger who is the first to run whining to refs asking for red and yellow cards. Not what rugby players should be doing but typical of the sheep worriers it seems.

      • Bulldog on

        Nice one. We may not always win, but we will always have our dignity. But tonight – we have both and did our talking on the pitch.

    • Bulldog on

      A great game, and many would consider that was Glasgow’s second string. The Glasgow Loosehead Jerry would be worth a mention, up against Adam Jones and held firm all night. Indeed the front five were safe and steady, giving a solid platform for Pyrgos long passes to get the ball out wide quickly.

      I have a lot of respect for Peter Horne, he has been around a while but he is only 25. He has become the kind of lad we take for granted as just being a safe pair of hands. He is a late starter and If he moved to any other team in the pro 12 , they would be starting him week after week. He can fit in a number of positions and all things considered , made the most of his 6 nations appearance.

      I am pleased for him.

      • Aye! on

        I too like Horne. He is a steady 12 with lovely distribution skills. Matt Scotts dip since injury to me means horne should be Dunbars deputy. Stick him in with Bennett outside and Russell inside and Scotland have a good back line. Its the forwards that need a rocket!

        I still get a little giddy watching Hornes try v Northampton!

  9. Wullbert on

    In fairness to Horne he has a fantastic season, tremendous defence and support lines from the off since he scored Glasgow’s first try of the season vs Leinster. He has tackled like a demon and played some very slick and throughly modern rugger, long may he prevail.
    Unfashionable perhaps, but for how long if he keeps this level of performance up? Enormous credit as a team player and how much has he compensated for loss at different times of Weir, Dunbar and Russell? Underrated, may be considered an understatement.
    Personally, I’m absolutely delighted for him and hope he bookends his season, poetically, with the winner @ Kingspan on May 30th.

    • Andy on

      I’m all for a third pro team but am struggling to see where the market would be for it.

      Aberdeen is quoted, but the only football club in the oil-rich city only averages about 10-11,000 fans at home games, and this is a club with a long history and established fan base. Would a brand new Rugby franchise be able to attract the 5,000+ crowds needed in order for the franchise not to be a complete white elephant? Unlikely. Also, where would they play, Pittodrie? The surface is dreadful for 5 months of the football season so could only imagine the state of it if they played another 11 rugby matches on it.

      Borders? The locals wouldn’t turn out for it and there isn’t any suitable venues for it.

      • Neil on

        Andy,

        In some Edinburgy and Glasgow games they attract crowds in the 2000-3000 range so I don’t think it would be absolutely necessary to get growds of 5000+ for every game to survive. Sharing a ground with Aberdeen FC would certainly work. Think about it, there are no other pro teams in that region so it would attract fans from not just Aberdeen but the surrounding areas. Also, Aberdeen is an economic heartland so I think it would be relatively easy to attract sponsorship.
        I think there would also be an apatite for the game in Perth which is also an economic stronghold.
        Regarding the borders, the focus would have to be on marketing and promotion. I believe the Reivers would have taken off had more emphasis been placed on these + good general management. These factors were missing last time around.
        All this has worked in Ireland so why not in Scotland. The apatite for the game has to be at least as big in our country.
        I will close on this point- I have a dream- a dream of 5 pro teams, a pool of players bigger than that of Ireland, Italy and Wales, our pro teams competing with the cream of Europe, our team competing for the 6 nations title and occasionally wining it, our national team getting beyond the QF of the WC and our team being in the top 4 in the World. I don’t think any of this is unreasonable but it just wont happen with 2 pro teams. The SRU are delusional.

  10. Allan on

    Just a thought. Now that the club sides have been withdrawn from the B & I Cup. Why don’t Glasgow and Edinburgh put their ‘A’ teams in? The Irish do this by using a mix of their academy players, some senior pros and call ups from the All Ireland league teams. Why doesn’t this happen in Scotland? Surely getting the young uns from the academies that are being established, some seasoned pros and the good amateurs who are potential pros games at this level can only benefit Scottish rugby? They would stand a better chance of competing too than the club sides alone.

    A question to be put to the SRU perhaps?

  11. Neil on

    Allan,

    I think this would be a good idea but the question I have is why were our amateur teams withdrawn from the competition in the first place. It seems a bit crazy.

    • FF on

      The organisers changed the fixture list so that six games were played before Christmas, three either side of the international window. The SRU were unable to prevent these changes and withdrew the four Scottish clubs who had qualified because losing 6 weeks from the calendar in large blocks would impact ‘the integrity of the Scottish Premiership’.

      It should be pointed out that the decision was made in consultation with the clubs whose public statements seem to accept that despite the disappointment the decision was unavoidable.

      The changes to the fixtures did not affect the Irish, who entered Provincial A-teams, or English teams, who regularly entered weakened and second string seconds and could still compete, to the same extent. I’ve no idea what the position of the Welsh clubs was.

      This was widely reported so you can find out yourself with Google.

      • Allan on

        I believe the welsh enter four teams from their domestic league and these are decided by play offs. I think we should go down the irish route as its a competition that will allow us to get our youngster exposure to a decent standard of competition above the BT premiership.

        I can understand the reasoning behind pulling the club sides out as it would have meant either fielding a weakened side in the league or in the Cup, neither a palatable option for clubs. However, the academies and pro sides could cope surely?

  12. FF on

    Deary me, just read the chat that SJ told the 7s squad their contracts may not be renewed in the changing room immediately prior to the Tokyo 7s Plate Final against New Zealand and told them to enjoy it as it might be their last appearance for Scotland 7s. Not only that but he asked to speak to the players without their coach even knowing that he was going to break that news.

    An absolutely appalling way to treat professionals representing their country, he deserves to be fired just for that, let alone all his other rumoured indiscretions. What an a***hole.

    • Standoffalot on

      Scott Hastings was talking about this very incident during the BBC’s coverage of the Melrose 7s. I know we’re all quick to blame SJ for all Scottish rugby’s ills but this really takes the biscuit.

  13. pragmatic optomist on

    I don’t dount your voracity FF. If proven, it should be a serious disciplinary. Given what happened at Edinburgh who unceremoniously sacked their team manager, it would appear that the SRU believe themselves to be above the law of the land, or at least outside of normal HR protocols in a civilised business.
    The timing of the announcement is particularly strange. Did he think this would somehow motivativate the players?
    I didn’t have a good opinion of SJ before, and thought he’d been moved to an ‘upstairs position’ to keep him out of the way. It would appear this isn’t the case and that he still holds a position of some power. Man management skills- zero. What a complete t*rd.

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