Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Ashe and Dunbar to miss Calcutta Cup

Adam Ashe Photo Credit: © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography
Adam Ashe - © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

Adam Ashe and Alex Dunbar have both returned to the medical care of their club, Glasgow Warriors, after being ruled out of the first part of the RBS 6 Nations Championship through injury.

A scan at BMI Ross Hall Hospital confirmed that the posterior thigh strain sustained by centre Dunbar in his club’s 22-5 win over Racing 92 on Saturday will keep him sidelined for the coming weeks. It means that with Mark Bennett still an injury worry (reckoned to be about 50/50) and Richie Vernon already ruled out of the squad, a midfield pairing of Matt Scott and Duncan Taylor looks increasingly likely to face England – not an unwelcome pairing by any means. Sean Lamont will already be warming up as a reserve with Pete Horne a slight [update: confirmed] doubt also.

Further assessment on the shoulder injury sustained by Adam Ashe in his club’s Champions Cup match loss to Northampton Saints a fortnight ago led to the diagnosis for Ashe, who has been judged unavailable for selection for the coming weeks. Josh Strauss and Dave Denton will no doubt breathe a little easier, as Ashe had started to show signs of form in recent weeks.

13 Responses

  1. Now I’d assume that the sensible option would be Scott & Taylor @ centre. However despite playing for the best team in England/Europe, as yet, I am not convinced by Taylor. So How about Russell & Scott in the centre & Jackson/|Weir @ 10??

  2. I understand your thinking – but I disagree. Taylor is well due a shot and if the time is now, then so be it. Finn is not a centre, let’s not go down that road now.

    1. I think Russell is a capable centre – certainly better than Owen Farrell at 12, who is most likely lining up there for England. Nevertheless, when you have a guy in white hot form like Taylor, you play him. He hasn’t shown up well for Scotland in the past but I’m confident he’ll do well.

  3. Taylor is a class act all the way. If he has a confident player next to him he will shine. The boy really has stood out down south and I expect him to put in a big performance. Taylor and Bennett would be my ideal start since Dunbar is injured. I actually think that taylor would be pushing Dunbar close for the start sport regardless of his injury. Think Dunbar is a class act too mind!

  4. Suddenly realised that for the first time in years (decades?) we have strength in depth in the centres!! Two probable starters out (Bennett and Dunbar) and I’m still comfortable we have a test-class centre pairing in Scott and Taylor. Cannot remember the last time we had four centres worth the name. I wouldn’t count Horne as I see him as more of a utility back (harsh maybe, but good to have on the bench) and Vernon isn’t really test class (yet). Lamont can fill in but we don’t have enough wingers!

  5. I’d be very surprised if we saw anything other than Scott and Taylor in the centre a week tomorrow. Bennett is short of game time and recovering from injury so he’d have to be training very well this week to keep either of those guys – who may be seen as less talented but are fit and in form (Taylor particularly) – out of the XV. It’s between Bennett and Lamont for cover though and if he is fit, sure to come into contention for later games. Some have suggested Mark on the wing which I don’t think he’d be wild about having tried before but is actually a good way to keep as much creativity on the pitch as we can …?

  6. Taylor and Scott for me, no brainer. If Bennett is fit, then he can add some much needed strength to the bench – in truth, I think our bench, so often in the past a liability, could really make a difference next week.

    Imagine bringing on the dynamism and muscle beef of Gordy Reid, Josh Strauss, and Swinson/Gilchrist, just as the english forwards are blowing oot their backsides – John Barclay comes on to raise the fight at the breakdown to a new level and Mark Bennett comes on all jinky and full of beans…I don’t think that would be too shabby at all.

  7. Aye, Russell would potentially bring open up the game & bring Maitland, Seymour & Hogg into the game more. I fact the more I think about it the more I like it, we have to take the game to the English.

  8. Anyone got any injury updates following the weekend. I see Maitland put in the full 80, so what are we looking at in terms of a fit 15: Hogg, Seymour, Taylor/Bennett/Scott, Maitland, Russell, Laidlaw, Dicko, Ford, Nel, Gray, Gray, (???), Denton, Hardie?

    I wasn’t overwhelmed by MacArthur in the loose for Glasgow yesterday; seemed to make very little headway carrying ball. I would maybe favour McInally on the bench.

    1. re: your missing 6. I quite like the idea of either Cowan or Barclay at blindside, the experiment of 2 open sides worked well agaisnt Australia and crucially it worked very well for Australia against England (not for a second comparing Pocock & Hooper with our boys but the opportunity to slow ball down and create turnovers could be a game changer) – Strauss may cover 6/8 from the bench and with having the 2 7’s on with Denton I think we have a good balance for this game.

      Who to play though….I know JB has played there recently for the Scarlets and I think he offers more in terms of support play and he has good hands/continuity – but does he slow and turnover as much as Cowan (who perhaps didn’t do enough of this pre-world cup and found himself out the squad)? The safe choice would be Barclay as he offers more in the loose than Cowan but if you are serious about competing at the turnover then perhaps Cowan gets the nod.

      On a slightly different point but connected to the turnover I would like us to use the stay in field kick a bit more when we turnover the ball – I know we have gas and flair in the backline but the ability to win territory, penalties and turnovers could be a useful ploy (especially if the opposing FB is up in the line – might also mean sew the seed of doubt going forward thus genuinely leaving space in the channels when we do want to move it through the hands).

      Other than the question of Blindside I agree with your XV based on availability. As for the bench I’d go Reid, McInally, Welsh, Toolis, Strauss, H-C, Jackson, Bennett/Lamont

      1. Yep I think you’re right there Martin and we will have a 7 at 6. I reckon Cotter will stick with Cowan to have the same combo as fielded against Australia and I would be happy with that. I would also be happy with Barclay, but it may take Cowan to have a bad game before Barclay gets his opportunity. Other than that the bench looks good. Not sure if Welsh will cover tighthead ahead of Low (I have to admit I’ve not seen Low play for Exeter recently, but the reports have been positive).
        In the backs I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see that lineup, but if BVC puts Weir there,as he has in the past, it will be interesting to see who gets dropped. Jackson has versatility, a bit of flair, and covers a number of positions. Big Sean brings physicality and experience, and also can cover a few positions. The only certainty is that if Bennett is fit enough he will be there.

  9. How awesome would it be to see Hardie and Watson start together – both would get to the breakdown fast, first one there makes the tackle, second guy jackals the ball – by the time the English back row get there the deed would have been done, ball pilfered or penalty gained and we’d be off to the next phase or sticking it back down into the corner – happy days!

  10. Thought Weir played well in Swansea, if Bennett is not fit Russell @ 12 adds an extra dimension.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion