Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Stuart Hogg Voted Player of the 6 Nations 2017

Stuart Hogg
Stuart Hogg - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

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

28 Responses

  1. Congratulations to Hogg! I look forward to Gatland’s reasons/excuses for not starting him…

  2. No-one in the 6N had the impact of Hogg – the tries, the assists, the try saving tackles. end of.

  3. Well done Hoggy, by far and away the best attacking player in the Northern Hemisphere, and now surely nailed on for the starting fullback for the Lions – if Gatland doesn’t pick him then he will get flak from all angles!

  4. I voted for him. Makes you want to watch rugby more than any other contender on the list. Apart from possibly the other Scottish candidate.

    How great to be able to say, without any bias, that the two real flair players on the short list both play for Scotland.

    1. I think you could class Picamoles as a flair player as well – he has remarkably deft footwork for a man his size, and very soft hands.

  5. Well done Mr Hogg! I’d agree with Not Rocket Science – he is the kind of player who you want to see on the ball, and the frisson of excitement in the stands is palpable coming out of the television!

    And it doesn’t look like it was “just” Scots fans voting en masse as Finn got a fair number too.

    However, and I don’t want to disappoint Frazer, but I think that James may have hit the nail on the head – we might be about to see a Lions coach being asked by the press to justify not selecting the double 6N player of the year for a tour to NZ. Nothing would surprise me with regards to Gatland….

  6. Sincere condolences to Mr S Jones of the Sunday Times at this outcome.

    I do think there’s growing paranoia about Gatland. I see nothing anywhere ( other than the increasingly ridiculous Jones ) that suggests Hogg won’t be in the squad. Starting XV – that’s a different debate as Halfpenny is a quality player. I ( obviously ) would go with Hogg as with Sexton and Farrell on the pitch Halfpenny’s kicking is not needed, so the X factor Hogg brings is the difference. If he doesn’t start he won’t be on the bench, because others can cover across the back three better than Hogg.

    1. He will definitely pick him to tour so I think any paranoia is misplaced, but once you are on tour all considerations of previous form go out the window. It absolutely has to be form on tour that counts in terms of final XV selection. Saying that, players can always be mismanaged so they don’t get an opportunity to show their form ie picking Hogg at 10 midweek like he did last time…

      1. I remain convinced that last tour Hogg was the third Scot required, and Gatland / Farrell immediately started the “he’s special and can play 10” to get him game time there for the dirt trackers – e.g Oz Country XVs and Hong Kong Selects, IIRC.

        Four years one it is clear he is favourite to start in the test team, but not nailed on – our only favourite imo.

        Your point about form on tour is well made.

  7. Congratulations to Hoggy, but the stand out news here has to be than Nel has committed long term to Edinburgh. Not only brilliant for them but also for Scotland given his playing time will be managed well.

    I wonder what offers he rejected to stay? He was surely very much in demand coming into his prime. Great to see the SRU committing money to the pro teams.

    1. The irony is that Nel’s injury at Quins so soon after his previous problems will have put potential suitors off in the short term. Terrific timing and great news for Embra, but if / when he returns to his best form, I’d expect Nakawara type approaches from France and the AP.

  8. Congratulations Hoggy and as Ade said, great to see Rusell get so many votes too!

    And agree that Nel is great news. The ability to control the game time of key international players feels huge. As well as the fact they get to play and train with the guys they’ll line up beside in dark blue. When does Cockers start? In the summer?

    Be interesting to see the Glasgow team for Saturday given so many of them are coming off a heavy 6N and have Sarries to come a week on Sunday… tough balancing act…

      1. Many thanks Rory!

        Didn’t realise how decimated the squad was after the 6N though!

        Bennett, Fagerson, Favaro, Seymour and Wilson all out in addition to the known longer termers Strauss and Sarto… really hope they’re borderline and return next weekend… I would absolutely hate to turn up at Allianz Park with half a team, get whipped and then be faced with the inevitable media slating (led by Jones)

      2. Horne G looked really sharp for the 7s. Could be a really good card to play on the carpet with 15 to go.

      3. I was really impressed with George Horne last year at London Scottish. If he has progressed he could give any tired legs a very nasty shock with 15 to go.

  9. I voted Hogg last year out of sheer favouritism, I voted for him again this year because I truly believe he was the most important player in the tournament.
    He was missing for the 3 tries against England, due to some seemingly foul play by the uncardable Itoje, but other than that he scored 3, had the last pass on 3, and got himself involved in attacking situations.
    He’s fast becoming a legend. At 24 years old he still has a lot to learn and offer, but his decision making is getting better, and with his natural speed and power, I’m near salivating at what’s to come from him. 50 caps by the age of 24. The kid picked for the Lions 4 years ago is nearly twice the player he was then.

  10. I’m not sure what Hodge is doing in the Edinburgh coaching sessions but bring back Solomons!!

  11. On an unrelated matter, how bad are Edinburgh. The game tonight was appalling. All 7 players in the backs are simply not up to top 6 quality stock. Unless they are going to go on a big spending spree in the next few months, Edinburgh will be gash for a good few years to come. Such a shame for the fans.

  12. Agreed. Hodge, Scott and whoever is the defence coach are way way out of their depth. That pack on paper is good, granted the packs are useless but play to strengths, play kick and clap.

  13. Just watching Edinburgh & thinking they’re becoming a bit of an embarrassment. On paper, they should be a reasonable set up but something dire is happening behind the scenes, basic stuff is just not happening. Scarlets must be fuming they didn’t more past this shambles. Wasn’t really a fan of Leicester’s style but can see that a Cockerill boot up a number of Edinburgh arses might be what is needed. He surely can’t make things worse and hopefully instils some much needed backbone. Here’s hoping next seasons forays to BBC Alba make for better viewing.

    1. They’d even made it to the big show tonight, BBC2. Good choice if you want to turn people off rugby.
      Edinburgh were minging tonight, Scarlets walked in a couple and they didn’t look like they were up to defending much themselves. Mark Bennett… what have you let yourself in for?

      1. Was only able to watch the second half and even then couldn’t bear to endure it all the way to full-time.
        Unless there’s some kind of extraordinary turn-round, I really fear for Edinburgh’s prospects in their quarter final next weekend.
        Among other things, can’t work out why they were completely unable to deal with a rush defence – which at times looked very close to offside, but that’s still no excuse really.

      2. Looked like the Edinburgh squad have downed tools & are mentally off on their holidays. A similar performance next weekend v La Rochelle would be catastrophic. I was a critic of Solomons but, by heck, Hodge is far worse. No heart; no fight; basic skills have regressed to the level of amateur players. Cockerill needs to start with a clean coaching slate so I can envisage some heated conversations with Johnson, leading to P45s. For Scotland to progress as an international team they need to draw from more than one successful pro team. At least Bennett’s injury will see him avoiding the harsh realities hitting too many who are claiming pay-packets under false pretences.

      3. Spot on HB. Major clean out required, Cockerill needs a chance to succeed and if that means wholesale changes to the coaching staff, then so be it. Hodge has had many chances and has failed dismally.

  14. Anyone else watching Trev vs Osp last night, surprised by some of N Owen’s decisions in the last 20 mins? Even allowing for things missed, the fact that he was on the spot and I was being an armchair ref; I still think he was awfully generous to Ospreys.

  15. I think next season we will challenge on both fronts again. A lot of the youngsters (Hughes, Griggs, Johnson, Cummings, wynne, Rae etc) needed this season to gell and get up to pro 12 pace. All of the above are now at the right levels to win the matches that we lost this season.

    Once we get a good back up to Russell in, I think we will have the joint strongest squad with Leinster next year, especially when we add jones and those other two SH players.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion