Stuart Hogg became only the second player to win back to back Six Nations player of the tournament awards after he won with around 25% of the popular vote. Finn Russell was also on the shortlist, and Hogg beat off competition from Louis Picamoles and Joe Launchberry who were favourites to win.
Hogg might not have been the standout candidate but he’s worthy of the win, having been the pointy end of Scotland’s attack, both creating and scoring tries. Hogg also slots straight into Glasgow’s team to face Champions Connacht (see below).
In other news, referees have been announced for the Lions tour and summer internationals: Paul Williams (NZ), Wayne Barnes (Eng) and Pascal Gauzere (FR) are the referees for Scotland’s summer tests against Italy (10th June), Australia (17th) and Fiji (24th) respectively.
Edinburgh Rugby this week announced the re-signing of Scotland international tighthead prop Willem ‘WP’ Nel on a three-year deal. The highly sought-after front-row’s contract extension will keep him at the capital club until at least May 2020 and keep anxious Edinburgh fans happy. No news yet on John Hardie but the pack still looks pretty robust for next season.
Meanwhile their loosehead prop Jack Cosgrove will leave the club at the end of the season to join Bristol Rugby. The Scotland age-grade internationalist joined the club from Worcester Warriors ahead of the 2015/16 season and has since made 10 appearances, but with 3 out of Scotland’s 4 top looseheads ahead of him it was perhaps only a matter of time.
There’s no John Barclay for the Scarlets who
is hiding in a cupboard have rested him for the visit of Edinburgh tomorrow night. Our capital side have a smattering of Scotland players back, most of whom were training rather than taking much part in the Six Nations. The exception is probably the front row where they’ve been able to name a decent unit of Dell, Ford and Berghan.
Edinburgh team: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Damien Hoyland, 13. Chris Dean, 12. Phil Burleigh, 11. Tom Brown, 10. Duncan Weir, 9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; 1. Allan Dell, 2. Ross Ford (capt), 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Anton Bresler, 5. Ben Toolis, 6. Viliame Mata, 7. Jamie Ritchie, 8. Cornell Du Preez.
Replacements: 16. Stuart McInally, 17. Murray McCallum, 18. Kevin Bryce, 19. Grant Gilchrist, 20. Viliami Fihaki, 21. Nathan Fowles, 22. Jason Tovey, 23. Glenn Bryce
The referee is John Lacey and it’s live on the BBC, Friday 24th 7.05pm k.o.
UPDATE: Glasgow’s stars have shown a clear commitment to the effort required to haul themselves back into playoff contention with a number straight from Six Nations action back on to the front line, including Hogg, Finn Russell and Ali Price.
In a new move in the absence of Jonny Gray and Henry Pyrgos, Pete Horne captains the side with the possibility of playing alongside his brother for the first time in professional ranks. Retiring test centurion Sean Lamont gets a start on the wing. Despite missing stalwarts Gray and Ryan Wilson, it’s still a meaty pack.
Glasgow team: Stuart Hogg, Sean Lamont, Nick Grigg, Pete Horne (capt), Rory Hughes, Finn Russell, Ali Price; Alex Allan, Corey Flynn, Sila Puafisi, Tim Swinson, Brian Alainu’uese, Rob Harley, Matt Smith, Adam Ashe
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, D’Arcy Rae, Scott Cummings, Lewis Wynne, George Horne, Alex Dunbar, Peter Murchie
Live on Sky Sports 2, Saturday 5.15pm