European action resumes: teams for the weekend

Edinburgh Head Coach Richard Cockerill has welcomed back seven Scotland international players into his starting XV for this weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup match against RC Toulon.

Scotland stars Blair Kinghorn, Henry Pyrgos, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist and Hamish Watson all return to action after being rested in last weekend’s Guinness PRO14 win against Southern Kings.

All of which means that it is the bulk of the team that faced down Glasgow over the festive period are set to take on an out-of-sorts Toulon side. A a knockout slot for the first time since 2012 is the prize for Edinburgh if they can pull it off, but Edinburgh have only won away in France twice in 19 attempts.

Also worth looking out for: Darcy Graham vs Julian Savea.

RC Toulon: 15. Mathieu Smaili, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Mathieu Bastareaud (c), 12. Francois Trinh-Duc, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Anthony Belleau, 9. Rhys Webb; 1. Jean Baptiste Gros, 2. Guilhem Guirado, 3. Emerick Setiano, 4. Juandré Kruger, 5. Romain Taofifenua, 6. Stephane Onambele Mbarga, 7. Facundo Isa, 8. Raphael Lakafia.
Replacements:16. Anthony Etrillard, 17. Xavier Chiocci, 18. Marcel Van Der Merwe, 19. Jean Monribot, 20. Louis Carbonel, 21. Antoine Zeghdar, 22. Yoann Cottin, 23. Mamuka Gorgodze.

Edinburgh Rugby: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Darcy Graham, 13. James Johnstone, 12. Chris Dean, 11. Duhan Van Der Merwe, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Henry Pyrgos; 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. Stuart McInally (capt), 3. WP Nel, 4. Ben Toolis, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Viliame Mata.
Replacements:16. David Cherry, 17. Allan Dell, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Fraser McKenzie, 20. Luke Crosbie, 21. Nathan Fowles, 22. Simon Hickey, 23. Juan Pablo Socino.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Unavailable due to injury: Pietro Ceccarelli; Rory Sutherland; Lewis Carmichael; John Barclay; Magnus Bradbury; Senitiki Nayalo; Luke Hamilton; Matt Scott; Mark Bennett; Damien Hoyland.

Dave Rennie’s Glasgow have struggled for form in recent weeks but a full strength team is set to welcome Cardiff to Scotstoun in an effort to jump-start things before the 6 Nations splinters the squad.

The only notable absence from the regular pack is Jonny Gray who is carrying a shoulder injury but it does give Rob Harley a chance to make his 200th appearance for Glasgow when he packs down in the boilerhouse beside Scott Cummings. Ryan Wilson is set for his 150th appearance.

Stuart Hogg is back from injury while the main change in the backs is Brandon Thomson starting at standoff as Adam Hastings drops to the bench.

Glasgow Warriors: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Tommy Seymour, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Samuel Johnson, 11. DTH van der Merwe, 10. Brandon Thomson, 9. Ali Price; 1. Oli Kebble, 2. Grant Stewart, 3. D’Arcy Rae, 4. Robert Harley, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Ryan Wilson, 7. Callum Gibbins (capt), 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16. Kevin Bryce, 17. Alex Allan, 18. Petrus du Plessis, 19. Tim Swinson, 20. Chris Fusaro, 21. George Horne, 22. Adam Hastings, 23. Lee Jones.

Cardiff Blues: 15. Dan Fish, 14. Owen Lane, 13. Harri Millard, 12. Willis Halaholo, 11. Tom James, 10. Steven Shingler, 9. Lloyd Williams; 1. Brad Thyer, 2. Matthew Rees (c), 3. Dillon Lewis, 4. George Earle, 5. Rory Thornton, 6. Shane Lewis-Hughes, 7. Josh Navidi, 8. Seb Davies.
Replacements: 16. Ethan Lewis, 17. Rhys Carre, 18. Scott Andrews, 19. Macauley Cook, 20. Nick Williams, 21. Tomos Williams, 22. Jarrod Evans, 23. Aled Summerhill.

Referee: JP Doyle (England)

Players unavailable through injury: Fraser Brown (knee), Alex Dunbar (thigh), Zander Fagerson (ankle), Jonny Gray (shoulder), Siua Halanukonuka (calf), Pete Horne (knee), Niko Matawalu (illness), Robbie Nairn (knee) and George Turner (ankle).

In other news, John Hardie, Gary Graham and Chris Harris are all in action for Newcastle, Finn Russell has the reins at Racing and Jake Kerr, Sam Skinner and Sean Maitland start for their clubs.

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80 comments on “European action resumes: teams for the weekend

  1. Stuart Kinnear on

    Fantastic how strong the Embra pack is and how settled the starting 15 is – just pray they dont need to call on the back subs.

    Worried the Weegies will carry their poor form on.

    • FF on

      If they can’t beat that Cardiff side at home they have no real business being in the QF. So I’m nervous but realistically it should be fine.

    • DesT on

      It’s true that there’s little strength in depth in the backs at the moment. I’m looking forward to Scott and Bennet coming back and hoping that Shiel gets a run.

  2. JohnMc on

    Here’s hoping for wins for both of our club sides this weekend. I’d love to see Glasgow get back on track after their recent setbacks.

    To all the Ryan Wilson haters out there. Yes, he’s not the best back row man in the world, but he’s figured prominently in some of our best Test performances in the last couple of years – Sydney 17, Calcutta Cup 18 for example. Not a coincidence I think.

    I’m not Ryan Wilson using a pseudonym btw.

  3. Highland Bear on

    Superb trolling on the part of Rory using picture of the Marmite player to initiate ‘discussion’!

    Wasn’t the same picture used in a recent blog post?

  4. Fraser on

    A weak Cardiff side at home should be no problem for Glasgow – will be interesting to see Thomson at 10 as I haven’t watched him much before. Hope Horne and Hastings get 20-30 minutes in the second half as a run out against a tiring Cardiff might be just the thing to get Hastings firing again.

    More worried about the Edinburgh game – on paper Toulon are pretty impressive. Hope this isn’t the week they decide to turn up! Having said that, Edinburgh’s starting 15 is looking very strong these days and shouldn’t be afraid of any team. If we can dominate in the forwards, we should be able to control the game.
    Looks like the wind isn’t going to hit until after the game (80mph tomorrow….).

  5. Ben F on

    Pleased to see Rob Harley get his 200th cap. A double centurion , well done Rob. I hope this is a memorable game for you,

  6. Fraser on

    Newcastle on the receiving end of an absolute thumping by Montpellier – next weeks game might be interesting.

    Scottish contingent didn’t impress hugely – Hardie did his best, Harris looked out of his depth and Graham wasn’t great.

    • Ńéíł on

      Thought Hardie had a good game considering how poor the rest of his team were, made a few good turnovers and a good rip on picamoles.

      Surely back into contention for Six Nations.

      The turncoat and Harris i agree looked out of the depth, Struggling to see them get near a first choice scotland team and the turncoat should not be near the overall squad. (based on performance)

  7. Fraser on

    Further Scottish player update

    Russell had a good game for Racing. Distribution was outstanding and beautiful soft hands. Also did well defensively. Couple of kicks charged down, but what else do you expect?

    Racing lost but got 2 bonus points so I think that’s them through with a game in hand.

    • pytelium on

      I dont think was watching the same game,Finn missed 3 easy kicks at goal..also kicked the ball when under no pressure straight over the deal ball line. Also if he had passed the ball to a colleague there was a certain try. I am normally a Finn fan but he always seem to through in mistakes when the team is behind.

  8. Rosco on

    High chance that Glasgow and Edinburgh will be competing for the last remaining place. 3rd place runner-up.

    Unless Edinburgh can win their last two games. I’ve ruled out Glasgow winning against Saracens, sorry. Hopefully they can prove me wrong.

    • Fraser on

      Ulster beating Racing has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works.
      Unless there’s a massive shock result, 2 go through from Leinster/Toulouse and Racing/Ulster’s pools.
      19 points should be enough to qualify – if Glasgow get 5 tomorrow (or 4 and a bonus against Saracens) then both teams go through if Edinburgh beat Montpellier. Otherwise might be between the 2 of them for 8th spot (which will probably be Saracens in the quarters!).

      • Andrew McGavin on

        Yes, looks like we might need Edinburgh to beat Montpellier for both Scottish sides definitely to go through (if Glasgow beat Cardiff). That would mean Edinburgh winning the group and Glasgow qualifying ahead of Montpellier and whoever finishes second in Munster’s group.

        Fantastic result for Edinburgh tonight!

      • Rosco on

        Huge game tomorrow for Glasgow. If it goes their way Edinburgh could give them a massive helping hand towards qualification. See how tomorrow goes first!

      • Jontynmo on

        Here’s hoping that Edinburgh don’t knock Glasgow out or vice versa.

        I wonder whether Leicester Tigers can rouse themselves to beat Ulster at home next weekend and deny them any bonus points? Here’s hoping for some Tigers pride to re-emerge.

  9. Fraser on

    Edinburgh had a massive game – not a bad word to say about anyone.
    Graham and Kinghorn pushing for a 6n start, Ritchie as well.
    3 cracking tries

  10. Busy Little Bee on

    Graham must be in the 6n squad. Only a matter of time before Scotland’s back 3 is 66.66% Hawick. JJ and Dean have played themselves in to contention too, especially with the likes of Dunbar misfiring and Harris no good. I really rate Sam Johnson too. Guys like Seymour and Dunbar will soon find themselves out the frame.

  11. Ńéíł on

    In my humble opinion that Edinburgh match was a defining moment in terms of the pecking order for scotland players.
    Here is my top 3 in each position assuming it were selected from available players today.

    Loosehead – 1. Dell 2. Sutherland 3. Allan

    Hooker – 1. Mcinally 2. Cherry 3. Ford

    Tighthead – 1. Nel 2. Berghan 3. Rae

    Blindside lock – 1. Skinner 2. Gray 3. Toolis

    Openside Lock – 1. Gilchrist 2. Harley 3. McKenzie

    Blindside Flank – 1. Ritchie 2. Wilson 3. Hamilton

    Openside Flank – 1. Watson 2. Hardie 3. Smith

    Number 8 – 1. Strauss 2. Ashe 3. Fagerson

    Scrum half – 1. Laidlaw 2. Horne 3. Pyrgos

    Half back – 1. Russell 2. Weir 3. Hastings

    Inside Centre – 1. Johnson 2. Dean 3. Mcdowall

    Outside Centre – 1. Jones 2. Grigg 3.Johnstone

    Openside Wing . – 1. Graham 2. Seymour 3. Mcguigan

    Blindside Wing – 1. Maitland 2. Jones 3. Nairn

    Full Back – 1. Hogg 2. Kinghorn 3. Fife

  12. Andrew McGavin on

    What a great job our sevens programme has done bringing through guys with amazing pace and vision. The Mata-Johnstone try was sevens heaven.

      • Scrummo on

        There has been a couple of big lads approaching Mata’s size come through the under 20s at 8 in recent seasons in Bruce Flockhart and Devante Onojaife but nothing like a giant offloading Fijian in the 7s!

        Perhaps we could do with a MacPhail Scholarship equivalent sending a few big, fast young players (must be some out there) to Fiji to play on the beaches.

  13. James on

    Excellent result for Edinburgh, well done boys! I’ll definitely be getting a ticket for Friday’s showdown with Montpelier. Here’s hoping Glasgow can set up a similar showdown with sarries by getting a bp win tomorrow.

  14. Jamie on

    Graham continues to look top draw. If he plays well next weekend I’m guessing these performances will secure him into the 23 come February, maybe even the 15.

    Superb by 1-15, everyone had a top game.

    • Scrummo on

      Incredible to see a smaller guy power through the fullback like that. I’d have him over Seymour at the moment. Kinghorn is desperately unlucky to have a player of Hogg’s quality ahead of him too as he’s going up in class rapidly. Depth in the back 3 who’d have thought it.

      • Ńéíł on

        What i like about Darcy Graham besides his unexpected power is his work rate off the ball, he is very competent in defense and is always in the thick of things, it is that reason for me that he should get selected ahead of Seymour for six nations.

        He is literally the Wing version of Hogg – predict he will be world class in a year or 2.

      • Busy Little Bee on

        For all the talk about how wee Graham is I was first struck by how powerful he looked a few weeks back. He looked to have bulked up a bit and looked really strong in contact against much bigger blokes. No surprise to see him swat away the fullback last night. He also sounds REALLY determined to do well.

      • TeamCam on

        Quite, he was running through defenders against Montpellier and Toulon in rounds 1 & 2 as well, and I’m sure he’s been doing it in the Pro14, too. He’s just so eager to get involved, as well as hugely talented. Great to see. I hope he gets some decent game time in the 6Ns, at the very least against Italy.

  15. lairgboy on

    Great result for Edinburgh today. Slightly off topic but I was watching the Clermont v Northampton game (tryfest) and a young Fraser Dingwall at centre played very well but it seems he has switched allegiances to the dark side along with Cammy Redpath. Does anyone know if either will stick with their choice or do a “Gary Graham” ?

    • Ńéíł on

      If they switch allegiances and do what the turncoat did then i dont want them as far as im concerned, would much rather have players whose first and only choice is scotland.

      In saying that i dont know these 2 individuals so have they actually said they want to play for England ?

      • FF on

        Neil – both are selected for England u-20s squad for 6N and RWC. Thankfully your childish opinions don’t carry any influence and aren’t widely shared, so until these players are capped at senior level they can weigh up their options.

      • Ńéíł on

        TeamCam that was a fake neil account :( someone trolling again, im guessing its Stu2 he is quite a troll.

        Can one of the blog editors confirm i did not say that second comment thanks.

      • Ńéíł on

        FF just because you disagree with my opinion does not make it a childish comment – i have always been of the thought that there should be alot of pride in representing Scotland and that there is a great rivalry between us and England.

        To me if you declare you want to represent england after originally representing scotland is abit of an insult.

        So while i dont wish players like Dingwall and redpath any harm in there professional careers and if they represent england now i do not care, but dont come grovelling back and forth trying to get the best of both worlds. and picking Scotland as your second choice should things not work out.

        Take some pride in the jersey you represent and stick with it through good times and especially bad times.

    • Jontymo on

      He formerly captained Scotland U16 and played for Scotland U18 before switching to England. English born and bred with a Scottish father who formerly played for London Scottish. On the RFU website profile he states his proudest moment as winning his first England U18 cap.

      Just like Cameron Redpath, Fraser Strachan, Dan Lancaster and a host of others who’ve played for both countries at age group level, good luck to all of them with their rugby careers, no matter which side they declare for.

  16. TeamCam on

    If the Blues’s defenders hadn’t retreated behind the try line for DTH’s disallowed try then they were offside which should therefore be a penalty try and two yellow cards, right?

    Plus calling us back for a penalty when we were attacking, not penalising Blues for collapsing scrum, allowing Navidi off his feet over and over again and then penalising for holding on when Navidi is clearly not supporting his weight… JP Doyle having a freaking nightmare.

      • Ńéíł on

        Did seymour… make a break ?!
        must be feeling the heat from graham.

        This game has not been very enjoyable to watch so far… Glasgow seem to be missing something.

      • TeamCam on

        He did, but didn’t give what probably would have been a try-scoring pass.

        They are missing something, but I think JP Doyle’s baffling and capricious refereeing is certainly amplifying the errors we make.

      • TeamCam on

        How the hell did we let them get a bonus point?! Lost my feed at 21-7, but it looks like we just collapsed after I stopped watching. Sorry, lads, that’s on me…

  17. Ńéíł on

    Fair play to glasgow, the performance was average but they showed great leadership and nerve to take control of that game in the end.

    Thought Grant Stewart stepped up alot, very tough throwing conditions so a couple of misses were to be expected, Never seen a rugby player that akward in front of camera though.

    19 points hopefully is enough but if i was Rennie i wouldnt so much be telling them to get the win which is unrealistic with there massively injured squad, but just having fun playing the brand they are known for and try to get the 4 try bonus. 1 point should guarantee them a spot right ?

    2 scottish teams in quarterfinals probaly, what a great time to be a fan.

  18. Fraser on

    Not a great performance by Glasgow, and doesn’t give them a lot of momentum for next week, but 5 points is 5 points.

    I agree Grant Stewart had the best game I have seen from him which is a big positive. The forwards in general did well at the set piece, driving mauls and so on.

    Negatives – that was a pretty weak Cardiff team and Glasgow made hard work of it. Thought Thompson was pretty anonymous at 10.

    To be fair, Glasgow were also missing quite a few first choice players – 2 more after the first 10 minutes or so!

    My quick calculations show only 4 teams can finish in second place on more than 19 points so 1 Scottish team is guaranteed to go through.

    Ulster/Toulouse losing seems unlikely, and Glasgow will struggle to beat Saracens away, so Edinburgh beating Montpellier is the most realistic chance for both Scottish teams to qualify.

    If Edinburgh lose, bonus points in round 6 could be very important.

  19. Rob on

    Who is Glasgow’s Defence coach? Their defence seems to have gone backwards these last few weeks. Need a big improvement

  20. Daihard on

    Well done Glasgow and to a poor Caerdydd side who were playing for pride and made a nuisance of themselves.You really cannot complain, you would have taken 5 points before the game, the weather was wet and windy , just like me after a few pints of Brecon Gold, ha ha.

    The weather and JP Doyle was a problem for both sides you know , yet Glasgow always looked the better side and Caerdydd had very few international standard players out to face off against your stars. This was a huge improvement on recent matches for Glasgow . I thought JP was kind to Caerdydd, no one down here would have been surprised if he had pulled yellow on the rucks. Cymru will outsmart your rucking once again in March and Gauzere will be every bit as weak in backing off when challenged by Gats.

    Yes I am a bit bitter that the mighty Cymru dont have a side going through and you have a chance of 100% of your nations teams in the last 8. The format needs to be reviewed and changed. It is ridiculous that we dont have a side in the last 8 ! yn drueni bod yr Alban yn mynd drwodd.

    Cymru am byth

      • David on

        I think he’s joking after the English and French had the rules changed to try to stack qualification in their favour (unsuccessfully, it would seem)

      • Scott M on

        I may have missed the mark Stu2 but I think Daihard was being sarcastic about asking for a format change r.e. English Clubs throwing their toys out the basket.

  21. Stu2 on

    Glasgow were lucky they were only playing Cardiff yesterday – at no point in the second half did I feel comfortable that they could repel a Cardiff attack – their defence is neither tight or fast enough – nothing is on Glasgow’s terms.

    Some of the mauling was fantastic though and that 3rd try was a technical masterpiece.

    But there are serious worries in this Glasgow side and its difficult to put your finger on them – but after the last month even that win yesterday wouldn’t ease the fears of their fans.

    Rennie mentioned there were some backrow call offs during the week – this must be the only reason for Fusaro still stinking up a match day squad – he’s too small, technically poor and his wee angry man routine is laughable now. There are plenty of adaptable backrowers in the team not to need a specialist 7 on the bench.

    Wilson’s penalties in the first half were shocking – if you are going to spend a game cheating at least be good at it – he’s not, but no doubt it will not stop Toonie picking him.

    Stewart had a good match at last – but he’s too small and I am not sure what natural filling out he can do that will make him a good pro hooker.

    I cant see Gibbons or Fagerson being available next week – it’s vital Gray is fit and steps up to lead next weekend.

    Wasn’t impressed with Thomson, apart from his smart goal kicking and Price just makes too many wrong decisions with the added delight of whinging all the time.

    • Stu2 on

      The back 3 were poor yesterday – I know Hoggy is probably getting little sleep at the mo – but he was particularly brainless yesterday – I get the horrible feeling he’s just going through the motions. Seymour did make a couple of breaks and is still the best winger we have coming in off his wing, but Graham must be the front runner now. DTH whilst gives you tonnes of effort really is quite poor defensively – like a lot of wingers they get confused when actually having to make decisions and he made quite a few poor ones yesterday – Niko is a much better option next week.

      Rather that trying to win next weeked at Sarries they should just go for 4 tries – that should be enough to guarantee qualification.

      • FF on

        LBP won’t guarantee progression. That will leave them in 19 and if Ulstet and Toulousr win as expected they’ll surpass that total. So it’ll be one of Glasgow and Edinburgh for the last place and if Edinburgh get a BP they also have a better points difference and would progress.

        Either way, Glasgow will know the Edinburgh result before they play so can adjust their approach depending on what Edinburgh achieve. Hopefullyedinburgh will have done the heavy lifting for Scottish rugby and eliminated Montpellier – much more likely than Glasgow getting anything from Sarries.

      • Fraser on

        While I agree with a lot of what you say, I don’t buy the “too small” argument. There are plenty of top class players who have proved that size isn’t everything. Sure it can help, but technique and skill is generally more important and a good small player will beat a poor big one 9 times out of 10.
        Hogg’s kicking had a few blips yesterday, most of which can be blamed on the wind (not the restart that went out though), but I thought he did well otherwise in attack and defence.
        Gibbons is for me the heart of the team, and if he is out they always seem to struggle.

        By kickoff next week, Glasgow will know what they have to do to qualify (If Edinburgh win they are already through, if not they will know how many points they need to overtake them).
        4 tries away against Saracens is a very big ask, they should try to win the game, kick their penalties and at least stay within 7 if they can. If the tries come then they can look for the bonus point but it would be a bad idea to start with that in mind.
        Even if Edinburgh win, Glasgow still need to maximise points to try and get an easier quarter final (they are likely to get Saracens away again at this point). Admittedly Toulouse and Leinster aren’t going to be much easier!

      • Fraser on

        Yes, Edinburgh and Montpellier can both theoretically end up on 21 points, so if 2nd place in that pool is on 20/21, 20 might not be enough for Glasgow.
        Again, they will know the situation before kick-off.

      • Merlot on

        Assuming Toulouse, Leinster, Racing 92 and Ulster all win – which is probable as the other teams in their pools cannot progress – then those four qualify with Toulouse on 21 (or 22) and Ulster on 22 (or 23). Only one from Pool 2 can qualify – either Exeter or Munster, not both.
        So the last runner up to qualify is either Glasgow, Edinburgh or Montpellier.
        If Edinburgh beat Montpellier, Glasgow go through irrespective of what they do against Saracens.
        However, if Montpellier win then it’s either Glasgow OR Edinburgh. Glasgow will need to get one BP more than Edinburgh get on Friday night.

  22. Stu2 on

    Fraser, I think you’ve answered the question – plenty of top class players compensate for their size – Fusaro isn’t a top class player. Watching him trying to clear players out is getting embarrassing now.

    • Scrummo on

      You’ve said Stewart is too small yet he’s taller than Fraser Brown and listed at 109kg, around the same weight as McInally. Also he still looks a touch soft round the edges so will have some conditioning to do if he stays at pro level.

  23. Andrew McGavin on

    They looked edgy to me and after 20 minutes I had little confidence they would win, let alone get the try bonus point. So all credit to them for being so clinical with the driving mauls and finding a way to get the bonus point win.

    Whatever it takes to make Glasgow ‘click’ it’s just not quite happening and these new injuries won’t help.

    Is the Glasgow weather a factor? Two seasons running we’ve faltered when it starts to get wet, windy and cold. Our style of play requires pinpoint accuracy and speed so is far likelier to be impacted by adverse weather than, say, Leinster or Munster.

  24. Merlot on

    I have just noticed that it is entirely possible – if not probable – that Glasgow qualify in 2nd place in pool 3, only to face Saracens again in the quarter-final!

    • Ńéíł on

      Hopefully by that point they will have all there bigs guns back and firing though, we were missing Hogg and Fagerson, G Horne was not starting also in that game they lost 3-13 at scotstoun, Definitely a winnable game but only really when we have everyone available.

      The amount of players glasgow have injured atm is ridiculous.

  25. Sotonsaltire on

    Dare I say that not taking any of the kicks on offer against Sarries could come back to haunt Glasgow. A losing BP in round 1 makes next week a lot more comfortable (if not providing certainty).

    I heard an interesting comment over the weekend that the English clubs are becoming like the French and chuck it to focus on the league. Even an average Leicester should be difficult to beat at home but you fear that they will just go through the motions and Ulster will win.

    On Ulster, they are only still in it due to Russell having one of his extremely poor performances. Racing should have won and Glasgow would be in a far better position. Still a liability and he doesn’t even play for us any more!

    • Virverax on

      Finn Rusell wasn’t at his best for Racing against Ulster, but to state that he cost Racing the game is a bit of an overstatement -putting it mildly- more like absolute bobbins. Poor defence in the outside channels and some credit to Ulster for great attacking play not to mention some curious refereeing decisions were all factors too.

      • Sotonsaltire on

        My point was:

        He was poor- neither of you have disagreed with that.

        He missed three pretty straightforward kicks and then was replaced as kicker before being substituted. In the context of the game had he made those kicks Racing would have been in a dominant position.

        I am no Russell hater, simply stating he didn’t have a great game and at times remains a liability.

  26. Ńéíł on

    Hopefully the weegies come down to Edinburgh to support them this week if they are not off to Saracens, they always add a good atmosphere.

    • Rosco on

      Agree Neil, if good numbers of Glasgow supporters come across it would be great for the match, Glasgow’s cause and Scottish rugby. Come on Edinburgh!!!

    • Jock in Paddyland on

      Presumably he’s confident about London Irish crawling out of the Championship again. I wouldn’t bank on them staying up for long though.

      • Blake Westwood on

        Jock, what I will give London Irish credit for, is for a championship side they have an almighty pack.

        Before Du Pleisus moved to the warriors, London Irish were starting a front row in the championship which included; Gordon Reid, a highly experience prop with 30+ international caps, Saia Fangia’a (31), another highly experience international player with 30+ caps for Australia and a pivotal member in super rugby winning sides and Du Pleisis who was pivotal to Saracens winning many premierships and European titles not so long ago.

        That front row, even without Du Pleisis who they have replaced with 31 year-old Saulo who has been capped 40 times by Fiji and played for Toulon, would stand up to most teams in the champions cup, so they must absolutely destroy the championship clubs at scrum time.

        And they’ve got plenty of international talent in that pack elsewhere with; Paulo (28 caps), Cowan (17 caps), Ioane (17 caps), Cilliers (6 caps SA) and Schatz (2 caps Aus) as well Luke McLean who has got almost 90 caps at full-back for Italy.

        Apart from McLean they have little talent in the backs but with the talent in their pack they really should’ve never been relegated in the 1st place

  27. Ńéíł on

    I think for this weeks european games would like to see the exact same side that beat toulon and would back them to beat montpellier at home, looking forward to Graham vs Nandolo.

    For glasgow just hoping they can provide a set piece strong enough to give the backs some half decent ball.

    1. Kebble
    2. Stewart
    3. Du Plessis
    4. Gray
    5. Cummings
    6. Harley
    7. Wilson
    8. Ashe
    9. Horne
    10. Hastings
    11. Matawalu
    12. Mcdowall
    13. Jones
    14. Seymour
    15. Hogg

    16. Bryce
    17. Allan
    18. Rae
    19. Swinson
    20. Smith
    21. Price
    22. Horne
    23. VDM

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