Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


John Hardie signs for Newcastle

John Hardie - pic © Al Ross
John Hardie - pic © Al Ross

Exiled Scotland Flanker John Hardie has committed his rugby future to Kingston Park – and the Northern Hemisphere – by signing a new two-year deal with Newcastle Falcons.

Hardie, who has 16 caps for adopted country Scotland, pitched up at Newcastle following a training spell at Clermont during which he struggled for fitness having been out of the game since Edinburgh decided not to renew his contract.

This exclusion in turn came off the back of a disciplinary suspension at the capital club for alleged cocaine use, so for player and fans this new contract hopefully spells an end to what has been a troubling period in his life and the resumption of a settled and successful career focused on rugby.

Having secured a trial period with Newcastle, Hardie started for the Falcons in their Premiership victories over ‘Quins and Bath during November and has quickly become a key part of their pack alongside Gary Graham and a handful of other current and former Scotland players at the club.

Hardie’s next focus may well be on getting back into Gregor Townsend’s thoughts for the Scotland Six Nations squad. Before the rise of Hamish Watson, Hardie was a pretty vital cog in the 2015 World Cup team (he missed out on the miserable 6 Nations that year as he wasn’t yet in country). He did rate a call up as a replacement to the 2018 6 Nations squad but didn’t feature. Like many others, his last cap was the ill-fated loss to Fiji in Suva in 2017. Josh Strauss eventually came back from that, though Tim Visser did not.

Can the Hard Horse?

22 Responses

    1. He is Sas but just ignore him he wants the attention.

      Glad to see Hardie back into form, while i guess he is probaly not making most peoples first choice 23s atm i reckon if Watson gets injured he will be our first choice openside over a Barclay or Ritchie. I reckon if Barclay/Bradbury are still injured and Wilson is off form that Hardie might slot into that no.6 shirt for the six nations.

    2. We re-signed over a dozen players in the last month – did they get articles all to themselves too?

      Hardie just needs to breath and stay upright for some to have in the Scotland team.

  1. If he is the player he was when he broke into the World Cup side then he is totally in my mind as player in blue for the next few years. Watson is the holder of the 7 shirt but Hardie could certainly do a job if he is out or off the bench or even at 6 in the Barclay mould.

    However by the end of his time in Edinburgh he looked kind of shot. I tend to put that down to just how much rugby he played over 2/3 years and the body on the line way he played. I think he was just broken physically and perhaps menataly.

    I hope that one good thing that might come out of the enforced break he has had is he can recover and get back to the player he was. He looked pretty decent in his duel with Watson at Newcastle last month.

    1. Shoehorning him into 6 is just daft, he’s not remotely suited to the role – especially in view of the dearth of proper carriers in the Scotland pack.

      1. Thought he played 6 with Watson at 7 and few times in 2016 and it worked well… against Ireland Mabey ? with Barclay on the bench. think we won that one also.

  2. Think after an early injury (Wilson?) we had a back row of Watson, Hardie, Barclay a couple of years ago against Australia. Looked fine.

    Hardie was also outstanding in the 2016 6 nations. He’s a top player. I thought he was shot but maybe not. Stays injury free and he’ll be in the 6 nations squad I reckon.

  3. Not sure where to put this but been hearing a rumour around Murrayfield that Edinburgh are close to signing James Lang from Harlequins as of next season.

    1. Be pleased with that but hopefully not another Heathcote who looked promising down South only to fade away after a spell in the capital.

  4. Speaking of back rows, worrying how long Thomson has been put after his concussion pre Autumn Internationals…would love to have seen him in 6 nations, but limited opportunity now to prove fitness.

    1. Same with Matt Scott from same match..

      two potentially very important players to the matchday squad in some capacity.

  5. does anyone know when the 6N squad will be announced? See France & Italy have already named theirs.

  6. Its what Cotter did several times with him and Barclay as I recall. And of course Watson is a decent carrier. It does mean you need a good jumper at 8 though.

    In fact who was our last genuine 6 anyway? We’ve either gone with two turnover types or two 8s to my mind. In fact what exactly is a 6s job in 2019?

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion