Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


A new coaching Tombola?

John Barclay
John Barclay has a word with Referee, Matthew Carley, during Scotland vs New Zealand - pic © Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

Sorry to over-extend that particular Toony-related jape further, but you’ll see why.

In addition to the recent announcement that Dan McFarland is set to leave the Scotland setup, now there are rumours that defence coach Matt Taylor could be a target for Eddie Jones. This all comes after his own defence coach Paul Gustard left the England coaching group to take over the top job at Harlequins. England are now without both full-time attack and defence coaches.

Just over a year out from the next Rugby World Cup, it is an odd time for coaches to be jumping ship, before a chance to execute the endgame, if you like. And especially, you hope, it will be seen as such by Scotland A cap Taylor who has spent so long getting these players (for Glasgow and Scotland) to the stage where they can, for the most part, actually defend.

Of course Scotland’s defence has been ropey at times, but that ropiness usually goes hand in hand with bad performances. In short, when they execute their systems properly, the defensive system Taylor has them playing can be very good indeed so there’s nothing to suggest Taylor wouldn’t be on the RFU shortlist. It could just be more “exile-baiting” with Twickers throwing their weight about to keep the SRU honest. Don’t overstep the mark or ALL YOUR COACH ARE BELONG TO US.

Shaun Edwards of Wales has been mooted as another possible candidate for Jones while successful Wigan Rugby League boss Shaun Wane (to Sean Connery, Marion Morrison to everyone else) has also just stepped into the job hunt with no news as to where he could end up, but the Thistle podcast lads mooted him as a possibility to join the Scotland setup.

In other news, John Barclay is to undergo surgery on the Achilles he injured during the Scarlets semi-final win over Glasgow and the recovery in Edinburgh will keep him out beyond the Autumn Internationals. It gives Stuart McInally a good shot at the captain’s shirt on an ongoing basis following on from the summer tour.

Barclay hasn’t blamed the Scotstoun pitch, but the Scarlets have been very vocal this week about how hard it is as a surface to fall on in terms of bruises, scrapes and carpet burns. Not all artificial surfaces are created equal, it seems.

All the best with the recover, John.

Final bit of good news? Finn Russell in a Barbarians shirt, where he will team up with Greig Laidlaw to face down England at Twickenham.

It could be perfect.

19 Responses

  1. Looks like Johnny B is out for six months, which means he’ll likely miss the AIs. Bad news for him, Edinburgh and Scotland.

  2. I would be more interested in having a look at Blade Thompson Scrummo.

    (Dont google image Blade Thompson..)

  3. Nothing in the English Times today about Matt Taylor in their article on Gustard’s potential replacement, and they usually have the inside line.
    Real shame about Barcs – as Rory says in the article, bit of a POOPYstorm over the Glasgow pitch at the moment. No one near him when he went down, which only proves it was bad luck, not that it was definitely the pitch

    1. As someone who has broken their leg playing football in such a way that I believe would never have happened on a grass pitch. I really do think such pitches are not fit for purpose, and for professional sports teams it is a bit of a disgrace to be using them instead of paying to maintain a grass pitch. Anyone who has spent much time playing on artificial surfaces would have to admit that they prefer grass and most I speak to would also agree that they pick up more injuries after playing on artificial pitches.

      Never mind the carcinogenic substances they use to build them. Wouldn’t fancy eating old tires myself.

      Anyway, I can sympathise with the Scarlets on the pitch front, and while it is easy to understand why Glasgow went for the option after the quagmire that there used to be, I do not think criticism is unreasonable at all, difficult to defend players coming off the pitch covered in burns.

      1. Yeah, but why doesn’t it affect both sides? Saracens? Cardiff? Are we talking astro or a combo surface? And why does Jonathan Davies always weigh in against Scottish teams? Smacks of Welsh gamesmanship

  4. Really hope Barclay recovers more quickly than they say. If he doesn’t then I can see him missing out on the RWC, as there is very little time to get back to fitness and form. He wasn’t touring anyway so a good chance for Bradbury/Fagerson/Ritchie to cement their place(s) in the squad for the AIs and beyond.

    On a separate note, and I don’t want to complain, but does anyone proof-read the articles? They are generally very good, with few or no mistakes. However, there are a few here which detracted from the article and in one case (the Sean Connery mention), left me wondering what was trying to be said.

      1. TeamCam is correct, and possibly the other one you mention (the bit with the wonky grammar) actually has an explanatory link on US although now I look at it, it’s hard to see that there is a link. Apologies for the occasional pop culture reference, but we have to keep ourselves amused somehow. Your understanding of the article’s content shouldn’t be affected by any little side jokes (however unsuccessful) and we’ll aim to keep it that way.

      2. Thanks Rory. Obviously I’m an old fuddy-duddy. Or I was earlier in the week anyway.
        Your response made me laugh out loud. LOL?

  5. I’d like to see the ‘defence coach’ merry-go-round include Humphreys at Glasgow. McFarland proved what could be done at Glasgow, and the pack have gone into reverse since Humphreys tenure began. It would be strange to jump ship a year from the world cup , but maybe E Jones is desperate.
    On the subject of the G4 pitch. Scarlets have made a serious fuss about it at press conferences, and I’m surprised that nothing has been heard by any of the other teams who have played on it. Have they kept quiet about it, or are Scarlets just trying to put the boot in for some reason.

    1. It’s probably the driest spell in Glasgow since the pitch was put in to be fair. I thinkb they underestimated how much they need watered

  6. Sorry for changing the topic, but I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of the American no.8 Glasgow have picked up or any info/ideas on who Rennie’s other summer recruits might be?

    1. He looked good running, passing and tackling on Twitter video posted by Glasgow.

    2. Heard a rumour he had signed a contract for Newcastle Falcons back in 2016 but when it came to the start of the season he just didn’t turn up, it was just a rumour mind so there could be more to it.

  7. Scotty it’s likely at this stage John-Roy Jenkinson from the Bulls is coming in to strengthen Tighthead.
    His grandfather is from kirkliston also.

    1. This guys cv has journeyman written all over it.

      In other news Cameron Redpath has just had an ACL reconstruction and will be out until at least the second half of 18/19 season. So looks like he’s very unlikely to be captured before the World Cup unless he’s a real contender for the RWC squad (almost certainly not).

      1. Every cloud has a silver lining….for someone else.

        Hope he gets back to playing on plan

  8. Off topic………………. to the more Balerno based – what has become of Ben Robbins – McPhail scholarship, huge pace…………………

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion