Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Coman’s off, but Bennett’s back

Mark Bennett - pic © Al Ross
Mark Bennett - pic © Al Ross

After their dispiriting loss to Cardiff at the weekend, more bad news for Edinburgh that captain Mike Coman is moving to London Irish on a three year deal at the end of the season, following Matt Scott as the latest name to head for the exit at BT Murrayfield. Coman has been club captain in two seasons with 48 appearances for the club during which time Edinburgh got to a European Challenge Cup final and back-to-back 1872 Scottish Cup wins.

Edinburgh already have a more impressive match-day replacement waiting in the shape of Nasi Manu (proven leader, Kiwi, back row) if he can recover his fitness, but who will take over the role as club captain is more open to debate. Grant Gilchrist is an obvious choice, as perhaps would be Ross Ford or Cornell du Preez, or indeed (Super 15 final winning captain) Manu in time. Both Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury have been age-grade captains but are too young, while Stuart McInally captained Scotland at under-17, under-18, under-19 and under-20 level and could be a prime candidate if Fordy wasn’t stopping him from being in the team.

In happier news, Mark Bennett has been passed fit to train fully ahead of this weekend’s Calcutta Cup match, as has Sean Maitland who played for London Irish in their loss to Sale last weekend. It now looks like a straight shootout between Bennett and Duncan Taylor (who played on the wing for Saracens most recently) for the 13 shirt outside Matt Scott, with the loser likely to take a bench utility spot – his usefulness could go against Taylor in that regard.

5 Responses

  1. I don’t think losing Coman is a bad thing in fairness. He’s a very average player who offers nothing but some very decent defence.

  2. Bennet’s return will certainly help me sleep a little easier in the run up to this week. Whether he starts or not, it will just be a big positive having him in the match day squad. Has Taylor played much 12? I do like Scott but at times I get that ‘De luca’ feel from his play, particularly in defence. Taylor 12 and Bennett 13? Is it possible?

    1. Totally agree JB. He’s a great attacking threat, but defensively he’s is being left behind by Horne, Dunbar and Bennett for both tackling technique and breakdown play.

      Taylor has played a lot at 12 for Sarries. Solid tackler who will understand the English defensive system better than most.

      1. I actually rate Scott’s defence. Sure there is the odd moment where he is made to look like a chump as last man standing but that could be said of all of them and he has been marshalling it very well for Edinburgh. Taylor has played 12,13, 14 and possibly 11 and 15 for Sarries!

  3. I watched highlights from the England match last year and he missed a couple of shockers, one of them resulting in a try. Interestingly, the break that Mike Brown made which Hoggy managed to snuffle would never have happened if a sneaky English forward hadn’t been hanging on to Russell on the ruck blind side. Didn’t notice it at the time! Speaking of Russell, I cannot wait to see him go up against Ford and especially Farrell. Russell is always praised for his attack but I don’t think he gets enough recognition for his defence work. The boy has unbelievable technique and gets through an absolute power of work in defence. I hope he has a big game. Taylor and Bennett for me!

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion