Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Denton: Time For A Bath

David Denton - pic © Al Ross
David Denton - pic © Al Ross

Dave Denton is all set to up sticks and move to Bath as cover for the departing Sam Burgess who has legged it down under to return to his preferred code and presumably the warm embrace of Superman’s dad himself.

While it is on paper a major blow for Edinburgh’s pack with one of Scotland’s biggest stars moving on after a World Cup in which he returned to top form, it might actually make things a little easier for Alan Solomons. Edinburgh’s coach is currently trying to figure out how you fit Denton plus John Hardie, Hamish Watson, Cornell du Preez, Nasi Manu and Roddy Grant into three shirts, not to mention club captain Mike Coman and the younger players like Magnus Bradbury.

According to the Daily Mail, Bath will buy out the remainder of Denton’s contract with Edinburgh (subject to medical) in order to move him into their squad as quickly as possible. That they can afford to do this suggests that the SRU were unable to match Bath’s offer.

Money aside it’s a good move for Denton who gets a chance to test his battering ram style against some of England’s top bosh merchants and defences. Their league might not have suited the likes of Chris Paterson, but for a battering ram forward if he can keep making gains and breaking tackles down in the Premiership, it is only going to make him better for Scotland. Bath too play an adventurous style of rugby so it should not be too unfamiliar to someone coming away from the Vern Cotter mindset.

Announcement via Bath Rugby.

65 Responses

    1. Hot off the press !!! As bad as this is ‘potentially’ for Edinbugh it does perhaps allow them to quicker integrate Nasi Manu and more game time for Bradbury.

      1. Yes, it is disappointing need but bath play a superb brand of rugby so hopefully Denton will develop the parts of his game – like offloading – that will help him to the next level at test rugby and Scotland will benefit.

      2. That’s what I was thinking FF. We have a good few decent back rowers. Sending Denton off to somewhere he’s out of his comfort zone might end up working really well for us (Scotland.)

        Different skill set, learning to be adaptable, fighting for his place. All good stuff for Scotland. Plus frees up room for development of others.

  1. Ooft that came out of the blue. It’s a shame to lose him, but somehow this seems positive. Frees up a bit of space in the back row, which was looking a bit congested. Especially with some good youngsters coming through there. I actually thought Denton’s offloading improved a fair bit in the RWC, admittedly from a fairly low baseline, but maybe I’m alone there. This should represent a bit of a windfall for the SRU, so, as David says above, hopefully we’ll see a new playmaker on Edinburgh’s books before too long.

    1. You aren’t alone – denton’s off-loading seemed to improve in inverse proportion to the length of time he spent away from Alan Solomons’ squad.

    2. This has to be a total win / win Denton goes off to play for a club where he will have to improve his ball handling skills + frees up opportunity for younger players at Embra. Not often we get one like this, may turn Denton into a really top 8.

  2. Good luck to him. And potentially good news for the national side. In the same way that Tim McVisser’s move to Quins could be good for Tim and the national side.

  3. A big loss for the team but not a big loss for the squad if you catch my meaning. Still leaves Coman/Grant Hardie/Watson DuPreez/Manu plus the youngsters in what is still a decent (if lacking an XFactor) back row.

    As for the national team, the more forwards that we can get playing Avivaball the better IMO.

    1. Grant is likely to be off at the end of the season, but it does leave more opportunities for Bradbury and Ritchie.

    2. Lacking an X factor? I would say Hardie, Watson and Du Preez all tick that box. The back line on the other hand…

  4. This is good for Denton but edinburgh are going to need all of their resources. Look at Glasgows backrow for comparison:

    Strauss, Ashe, Harley, Fusaro, Wilson, Blake, Favaro, Holmes – that is before you add in the development players and youngsters like Eadie etc.

    Edinburgh have comparable resources so Bradbury and Ritchie should get plenty game time.

    1. Umm – Eadie’s not exactly a youngster… I agree that Embra’s squad isn’t close to Glasgow’s yet, but I do think that Ritchie and Bradbury could be two of the most exciting native backrows we had for a while and they need game time.

      Makes me wonder if they knew something before they signed Hardie for Embra though….

      1. Conjecture, but very plausible indeed. Think we are all agreed(ish), Embra’s needs are in the backs, specifically at 10 (IMO), let’s hope the SRU have some spare cash after taking Hardie on board.

      2. If that’s the case they read sam burgess’ mind before he k ew he was off! I think Bath did this because they got their rabitohs money.

        But how did they know Denton was available? not many transfers like this happen in rugby so it makes you wonder, and Hardie didn’t know where he was going at world cup time or so we thought.

      3. From what I know of the Hardie signing this is unlikely to be a conspiracy.If Denton were to evaluate what he can be part of at Bath versus Edinburgh’s immediate prospects, this is a great move for him at this stage in his career and life. Win win IMO.

        Mid season transfer, that is an Interesting precident to set, I wonder who might be next.

      4. Its not really a great move for Denton. He will obviously be making big money, but money isnt everything. He should have stayed with Edinburgh to fight for his place in a great Scottish team, not bow down to the English bucks. Where is his loyalty?

      5. TK : Who says he is getting ‘big money’? Where did you hear that? How much ? Maybe he just wanted a move and why not, Edinburgh is not the most exciting side. Next you will be asking why the SRU do not ask Kelly Brown to take his place and bring the ex pats home. Does anyone think he will get a game at Bath? Mibbies. No good to Scotland warming the bench.

  5. So everyone agrees that embra have weakness in the backs and now they have a bit of cash who do people think they would want and who do you think would be a realistic target considering a lot of squads will be locked down after the European fixtures this weekend?
    I also read that Denton is now the highest paid Scottish player of all time…

  6. Bath would have had to pay Denton big bucks just to move, plus money to the SRU/ER as he was still under contract.

    Be interesting to hear how it went down though, if he was headhunted or his agent shopped him round

    1. I totally get it that he would be on a fair wedge, but is he the best Scottish player to move to a big money league?

      I suppose the aviva has more money than they use to with TV money and Bath have a lot of money but I found it hard to believe that he was the highest paid player from Scotland ever.

      Your right it would be interesting to know how it happened because Denton is a very good back row player but Bath could of just about of got anyone they wanted with the cash they got for cow head.

      Considering that he will more than lightly play 6 you would not think he would be the top of the list for the coaching staff at bath. You have to think that his agent has earned his 10% here.

      1. Bath went for Denton after failing to prise Faletau away from the Dragons in the last year of his contract. I think Bath were desperate to bolster their squad and knew the SRU didn’t have the means to offer Denton a comparable salary. Denton was in the last year of his contract so the SRU probably calculated they could either lose him at the end of the year for nothing or lose him now for the price of his remaining contract (unlikely to be big bucks – the Dragons were expecting only £150,000 for the sale of Faletau.

        The financial disparity between France/England and us means it is essential we settle players contrast before their final year, just as glasgow did by extending on better terms Russell and Gray’s contracts and Nakarawa’s just before the RWC.

      2. Think you are off the mark with Bath signing Denton as a 6, yes I know they have signed him in the wake of the Burgess bungle, but they have been desperately trying to sign an 8, Vermeulen et al, certain they see Denton as an 8. Good for Bath, good for Denton, therefore Scotland as they will coach some ball handling skills into him. Whether he is the best Scottish guy moving for Money or not is not really relevant. Bath needs an 8, and Denton is probably the best available. Basic economics.

  7. Great news for Denton and I suppose scottish rugby in that are top players can play in any of the top leagues and be noticed for their exploits. Who could be next to move south? Does Denton move have a negative impact on their pro 12 campaign. Let’s hope not

  8. Looking at Bath’s back row you’d have to say their need was greater than Edinburgh’s. Francois Louw, Leroy Houston and Matt Garvey are all pretty strong, but they don’t really have any strength in depth, so I’d say Denton will get quite a few starts at the Rec.
    As for another 10 (although I think we should be playing Kinghorn there) how about getting the Canadian standoff, Nathan Hirayama? I’m sure he’d fit in well and would be affordable.

    1. I think Denton will get heaps of starts once he has settled in. A much better player than Leroy Houston IMO. Like your thinking about Hirayama, bit left field but some quality there.

  9. Everyone seems to accept this but don’t you think Denton is being a bit disloyal to the team that nurtured his talent and made him the player he is today. He was just happy to accept big bucks over team loyalty. However, it does raise an interesting issue. If we had more pro teams we would have half a chance of retaining our best players.

    1. If the SRU had to employ 40-50 more professional players, there would be even less chance they could afford to keep Scottish stars at Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    2. Don’t think it’s disloyal at all – He’s spent 5 years there through some pretty bleuch times. Going by the lack of incision (10 tries in 7 matches this season), it could be years before Edinburgh really get up to speed, if they ever do. Passing up the offer to play with a top club side in the Premiership and Champions Cup would be a huge regret for him for the rest of his life if Edinburgh slipped back the way. Also the brand of rugby that they play at Bath is a lot more adventurous and will be beneficial for him as a player. And it’s not like he’s leaving his old club in the lurch – Edinburgh have (way) more than enough back-rowers. Indeed the move really makes sense for everyone involved.

      Sad that we won’t get to see a Hardie, Watson, Denton trio at club level – think that could have been real fun.

      As far as more teams goes – Glasgow and Edinburgh have to both be in the playoffs and providing real profits for the SRU before that even becomes a question. Edinburgh, though their team sheet has improved, are still not there.

      What the SRU need to do in the meantime, is figure out a way to clone Finn Russell.

    3. I presume Tam, you still sweep the floors at your primary school because of all nurturing of your talent they did?

      I fail to see how having more cost heaped onto the collective wage bill of the SRU would have helped keep Denton? Money in England is better and the opportunity to win/develop is better.

      Good luck to him and to whomever Edinburgh use as the primary replacement.

  10. Pro Rugby is a career Tam, not a charitable affair. To improve as a player you need new challenges – RWC provided that to an extent and look at the difference – Bath should present another opportunity to grow. In addition, it creates room for SRU/Edinburgh to develop younger Scottish talent by giving them more exposure in Pro set up – this is a win win whatever way you look at it.

  11. a touch unfair to say he’s being disloyal. He gets to grow his game, get bought out of last year of contract, and gets his club some cash. He’s young enough to be able to up sticks and play a bit elsewhere and also be “our man in” where he can undoubtedly report on some of his team mates come the 6N ;)

  12. Tam here again. For the record my name is not Neil or FF or Bulldog. i am merely expressing the opinions I have so quit the whinging. Denton is disloyal as he has left a very good Edinburgh side to join the enemy, he has no loyalty to his country or to the club that made him. The debt is on him. So he can just stuff himself and disappear down south, As for Bulldog or Bull.. or whatever he calls himself he can do the same thing as he is obviously English or an ex-pt living in the Middle East who loves to be a pseudo Scot. He is a Bul+BullBullBukl sh.tter

    1. Boring…..

      You asked the question, folk gave their opinion, hardly whinging….in fact thats what your posts come across as.

      Denton out. Hardie in. Get over it

    2. Tam, congratulations on discovering a VPN proxy for this particular post, however you are on thin ice posting other comments under this name from Saudi Arabian IP addresses which points to your true identity as many other posters have worked out merely by your tone. Regardless of your opinion of the Bulldog or indeed his location, he is clearly capable of actually discussing rugby matters – the purpose of the comments section – rather than spouting tasteless jibes or repetitive theories ad nauseam designed to upset or irritate other users. The ban hammer is warming up.

      1. Neil/Nel/Nelly the Elephant (liked that one by the way)/Tam

        Unless the Mods have deemed it all beyond the point of no return, why don’t you just think about it and then offer to come back in to this Blog with a more measured and less provocative tone? Your devotion to the Scotland rugby cause is not doubted. It’s the way you have been expressing it that’s caused problems for you and upset other forum contributors. I really hope this doesn’t come across as patronising – to you and others – but if you could change your tone it would I think be much appreciated?

      2. OK Neil. We’ve been more than patient in allowing you to return under multiple names and masking your IPs but comparing our treatment of you to the atrocities committed during WWII really is a step too far.

        We will continue to remove any comments we suspect as being from yourself. If you continue we will have to consider escalating this further.
        We can identify your employer from some of the IPs you have used to post earlier comments and I’m sure they won’t take kindly to finding out an employee is using their equipment to post abusive messages. Once again I would remind you that access to the comments section is at our invitation – this is not a publicly-affiliated site and you have no intrinsic right of access.

        I trust this brings the matter to a close.

  13. Although I have been a prime offender in the past, I’d suggest to everyone that we don’t feed the troll. It’s very likely just Neil again.

    1. FF : Haven’t we all been guilty of that offence. This is one point on which we are both agreed :) Do not feed the troll.

    1. Doesn’t look promising. BT and Sky have the rights for the challenge cup in the UK. Sky not showing it from what I can tell and BT only showing leicester game. With champions league football BT do the thing online where you can watch any game so I guess there is a chance they good be doing that tonight. Nothing to suggest so though.

  14. Any tolerance for a massive tangent mods?

    I’ve just noticed that in summer 2017, whilst the Lions are touring New Zealand, Scotland will be playing a three test series in Australia. If we get more than our token representation that is going to be a massively challenging mission.

    1. Awesome. Hope the tests arent on the same days and I can fly back and forward :) Any word on 2016 I heard Japan for 2 tests but not seen anything official yet

      1. 2 test against Japan and 1 versus New Zealand, who also play three tests against Wales. I hope our test isn’t outside the test window or it is going to be a tough gig.

      2. According to the Hootsmon the NZ test has been shelved as it was outside the window – apparent looking to arrange someone else before Japan.

    2. Also means that if there’s any Lions injury call ups then they will come from the Scotland squad if needed at short notice

  15. Instead of just being pleased for Denton we should see this as a disaster. We have just lost one of our most talented young players and its not as if we have so many players that we can afford to lose a few. Should Edinburgh not be trying to at least match if not better Bath. Why should we accept second place. I really don’t get it FF, AndyN Rosey etc. Are you guys even Scottish? I wonder.

    1. Lol! The language structure and syntax of your posts quite clearly point to the fact that you’re Neil/what ever other names you dream up! If your going to troll can you at least show some intelligence when you do it? Otherwise you do make me chuckle…

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