Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Burleigh Sits Out Stade Return Leg; Pyrgos Re-Signs

Strauss, Wilson and Reid combine for Glasgow - pic © Al Ross/Novantae Photography
Strauss, Wilson and Reid combine for Glasgow - pic © Al Ross/Novantae Photography

After a 1 week suspension for the PapeSlappe™, Phil Burleigh will sit out the return leg in Paris tonight. Despite a citing commissioner’s warning, Pascal Pape will set the tone at captain for the home side. Sergio Parisse also returns for the Stade.

Burleigh’s place is taken by Chris Dean, and Jason Tovey also comes in to replace Duncan Weir who despite having a storming second half last weekend, had  a bit of a shocker in the first – he wasn’t alone. The pack is shuffled again – still no sign of WP Nel – with the return of Cornell du Preez good news for Duncan Hodge. Up front things are settled in with the in-form Dickinson/Dell pairing at loosehead but the search for Nel’s understudy continues with Simon Berghan starting, having impressed last week.

Stade Francais: Hugo Bonneval, Jeremy Sinzelle, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Jonathan Danty, Josaia Raisuqe, Jules Plisson, Clement Daguin; Emmanuel Felsina, Remi Bonfils, Rabah Slimani, Hugh Pyle, Pascal Pape (capt), Jonathan Ross, Sekou Macalou, Sergio Parisse.
Replacements: Craig Burden, Zurabi Zhvania, Giorgi Melikidze, Mathieu de Giovanni, Sylvain Nicolas, Arthur Coville, Morne Steyn, Julien Arias.

Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland, Michael Allen, Chris Dean, Tom Brown, Jason Tovey, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford (capt), Simon Berghan, Fraser McKenzie, Ben Toolis, Cornell Du Preez, Hamish Watson, Nasi Manu.
Replacements: Neil Cochrane, Allan Dell, Murray McCallum, Lewis Carmichael, Viliame Mata, Sean Kennedy, Duncan Weir, Glenn Bryce.

In other news, it seems that Jason O’Halloran has followed Gregor Townsend in turning down the opportunity to work with/under Rob Harley on the Lions Coaching team, in favour of preparing the Glasgow squad for the arrival of Dave Rennie who could be delayed by Super Rugby.

World Rugby have also announced changes to the laws to protect player’s heads. World Rugby has redefined illegal (high) tackle categories and increased sanctions to deter high tackles via a law application guideline. This will apply at all levels of the game from 3 January 2017 introducing minimum on-field sanctions for “reckless” (yellow) and “accidental” (penalty) contact with the head  effectively lowering the acceptable height of the tackle.

Glasgow have announced that Henry Pyrgos has signed a new contract, joining Jonny Gray and Stuart Hogg in sticking with the Warriors rather than moving on. He’s just one of a host of players out of contract next season across the pro-teams and the SRU will be trying to pin them down or shift them on as soon as possible.

Despite that, he’s brought down to earth with a bump as he has to sit the bench behind Ali Price for a second week running in the side to face Racing 92 on Friday night (k.o 7.45pm, live on BT Sport and BBC Radio). The match at Scotstoun is a 7,351 sellout.

Simone Favaro also sits it out through injury and he’ll be a big miss in the defensive line. Glasgow need a big game from Josh Strauss on his 100th appearance to allow Wilson and Harley to focus on tackling…

For Racing, Dan Carter resumes his face off with Finn Russell and big Naks packs down at 8. Interesting…

Glasgow: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Sam Johnson, Lee Jones, Finn Russell, Ali Price; Gordon Reid, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Tim Swinson, Jonny Gray (capt), Rob Harley, Ryan Wilson, Josh Strauss.
Replacements: Corey Flynn, Alex Allan, Sila Puafisi, BA, Chris Fusaro, Henry Pyrgos, Mark Bennett, Sean Lamont

Racing 92: Brice Dulin, Teddy Thomas, Casey Laulala, Anthony Tuitavke, Marc Andreu, Dan Carter, Maxime Machenaud (c); Viliamu Afatia, Camille Chat, Ben Tameifuna, Gerbrandt Grobler, Francois van der Merwe, Wenceslas Lauret, Chris Masoe, Leone Nakarawa
Replacements: Dimitri Szarzewski, Eddy Ben Arous, Cedate Gomes Sa, Thibault Dubarry, Antonie Claassen, Xavier Chauveau, Benjamin Dambielle, Joe Rokocoko

11 Responses

  1. (Moved here for topic – mod)

    Apologies to mods for posting off topic, but the Lions thread is closed. I see O’Halloran has also turned down a potential opportunity to join the coaching staff. I fully respect his, and similarly Townsend’s, decision. However, Gatland is more or less saying here that it is negatively going to affect our representation. Personally, I would like to see as many Scots in the Lions as possible. I just think it’s really good for player development and psyche. I would like our players to generally have a mindset like Hoggy, who you can see can’t wait to get on the pitch every game, and has the confidence about winning any match. The old underdog mentality gets a rise in performance every now and again, but having the confidence of being at least on a level playing field with the team you face will lead to better performances overall, in my opinion.

    1. This is an absolute nonsense! O’Halloran has done the right thing as he will have a job to do with Glasgow, and Gatland has come out with an early excuse for not picking Scottish players based on there being no Scottish coaches in his team. Does this mean that Ireland will be under-represented in the Lions? Certainly not!

      I thought that in the last Lions tour that certain Scottish players were hard done to, especially Richie Gray who I felt deserved more than a token few minutes at the end of the 3rd Test, and I fully expect that our involvement in the Lions 2017 squad will be minimal.

      In fact, I will make a couple of bold predictions – Scotland will have 3 named in the original squad – Nel, Hogg, and J Gray – although we maybe get a couple more through injuries, and not one will start any of the 3 Tests. In fact I seriously doubt any will get a single minute!

      1. This is of course largely down to the ineptitude of Scottish rugby for the past ~17 years, but I really couldn’t care less about the Lions; I simply don’t feel part of it. If it was a case of Scotland winning in Aus or the Lions winning the series next summer, I would rather the former every day of the week. Very happy our coaches are staying with the national team.

      2. Oops, haha sorry FF, I forgot about Farrell, I retract my comments about Irish involvement, but I stand by my predictions.

  2. After Glasgow win the European cup and Cotter exits on a grand slam, I expect a strong Scottish contingent in the Lions. I think winning the European cup, the six nations and the NZ Lions tour will be good for these players.

    1. Not sure a grand slam and European cup would be enough for Gatland to rate any Scottish players. Maybe Hogg might then be considered as first choice injury call-up over Shane Williams though?

  3. I agree with the previous comments regards Scottish Lions representation. I think we will get three players on tour max (J Gray, Nell & Hogg) that is even if we have a great 6 Nations (3-4 wins). Gatland has already made his excuse for not picking Scottish players. It’s an absolute joke that they are looking for an attacking coach to support Howley, who has certainly not made Wales into an attacking force. I’m glad Townsend and O’Halloran have turned the Lions down, I would much rather a strong Scotland side during our tour. The Lions have not represented Scotland since 1997 (admittedly because we have been so bad) and I am actually hoping the ABs win all 3 tests convincingly.

    1. As posted in the Lions thread, there are people like me who think that Scottish Rugby’s interests would be best served by our best players spending the summer on tour with GT and developing the squad, rather than being messed around by Gatland and getting a token 20 minutes of Test time.

    2. We may well have been, as a team, pretty poor but there have been some shockingly bad omissions from lions squads of Scots lads in favour of lesser players, starting in 2001 with Jenkins over Townsend, Perry over Paterson and Charvis over Jason White. Since that tour no 50/50 selection has been in favour of a Scot so I don’t even bother with the Lions any more. It’s just a glorified English and Welsh barbarians team with the odd Irish lad thrown in. The last true Lions team where players earned a spot whilst on tour was in 1997. It’s been jobs for the boys ever since. I’m finding myself wanting the ABs to cuff them 3-0 to finally show up what a farce it’s become.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion