Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Podcast: Episode 68 – Stop All The Clocks


This week Cammy and John dissect Gregor Townsend’s extended World Cup Training Squad, wonder what might have been if Big Vern had remained in charge and float rumours of a World Cup bolter.

We also get out hands in the ruck about a lack of any official announcement or tribute for Ross Ford following his quiet retirement from rugby and make plans for our own tribute in next week’s podcast with a unique opportunity for listeners to get involved.

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  • 294 – Hawaiian Shirts
  • 293 – Getting the Band Back Together
  • 292 – Womens 6 Nations Roundup
  • 291 – Italy v Scotland Review

We’re also looking for our listeners to get involved in the comments on this page and elsewhere on the blog:

“Hands in the ruck” – What’s had it’s hands in your ruck? Let us know in the comments and we’ll pick out the best ones.

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“Where’s Dougie Donnelly?” – It’s now mandatory to have a rumours section in a rugby podcast (apparently) so we’re looking for yours as well as news of any Scottish sporting media personalities you’ve spotted out and about. Have you seen Dougie Vipond down Tesco? Has your uncle’s brother’s aunt’s friend heard from someone down the pub that Jonny Gray is getting a new fence put in? Has your plumber been doing some work round Murrayfield and seen Richard Cockerill taking delivery of a new yoga mat? If so then let us know.

If you want to get in touch you can e-mail us on podcast[at], catch us on Twitter @ScotRugbyBlog or @CammyBlack or you can leave a comment below and we’ll pick it up there.

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About The Podcast

The Scottish Rugby Podcast brings you the best in informal chat and discussion about Scottish Rugby. Each week during the season we put out a 40 minute podcast suitable for all listeners, covering all the latest news and key analysis of the big matches. 

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46 Responses

  1. This podcast gets an official Neil rating of 3/10, to much Newcastle/ border bias & John is brown nosing way to much (have your own opinion !)

    3 marks for the Ross Ford comments & the possible info on surprise WC bolter though.

    I would like to see Rory be on podcasts more, gives well informed non-bias thoughts & is measured in his responses.

    1. Neil you no doubt think this is funny or banter. It trolling and a breach of the site rules. You’ve been given numerous warnings over the years but persist. Please consider yourself banned.

      1. No more baseless accusations?!

        For what it’s worth, I enjoyed today’s pod.

      2. Constructive feedback is fine. It’s helped a lot in developing the pod and working out what works. Insults brings the ban hammer crashing down.
        Others have criticised us for agreeing too much before but I’d rather be authentic rather than creating some fake drama. Leave that to the other podcasts.

  2. Nice pod guys.

    First I’ve heard about Will Jordan being Scottish qualified and I’d be very surprised if it came off. He’s very highly rated by Crusaders fans I know and they consider him the heir to Ben Smith for the all blacks. It would be a hell of a coup for us though, he tore up in U20s a couple of years ago – one of ABs best players.

    1. I suppose there are probably 3 things that will determine if it comes off:

      Has he been offerred a package from Glasgow that is enticing, both in terms of being 1st choice under a Rennie coached team as well as financially (circa 250k per year???)

      Has Townsend indicated that he will be in the Scotland team/squad

      Does he feel Scotish (enough) to forgo the opportunity to play for the ABs.

      The first 2 although in ‘our’ control are the most dangerous to get right because of the impact of squad harmony – which does make me think that if the kid is being touted as an AB bolter, its more likley he stays in New Zealand.

      1. Will Jordan is 21. Can’t see why he’d abandon an AB dream for Scotland because he doesn’t make the cut for this word cup. At that age, he’ll either be committed to playing for ABs or not. Personally I think it sounds like a bit of a stretch.

    2. I enjoyed the pod, but have a little sympathy for Neil here who does liven up the blog with his, um, idiosyncrasy. Hardly stinging criticism. And while on the topic of criticism, this time invited by the pod (!), I’ll venture a few names for the Ross Ford XV – Parks, Di Rollo and Southwell.

      1. Yeah I’m with Mr Rocket. Although it may be a cumulative affect I felt it was jest rather than a serious character swear laden assassination of the pod. It’s hardly Twitter on an old firm lets be fair.

        However even if I defend his right to criticise I enjoyed this week’s as I enjoy most so can’t agree with him. The Ross Ford special is I’m sure going to go straight into my top three pods ever.

        First two being the birth of “where’s Dougie Donnelly?” And of course the pods 10 year anniversary special which I’m not sure will ever be beaten.

        And I’m still to do more research but it is very possible that the verse quoted in 1 Corinthians 6 may have been in Levitcus too as it was requoted. So I may have to humbly admit that we were both correct. I will away and check and get back in touch….

  3. Not got time to listen until tonight – what’s Will Jordan’s qualification for Scotland?

    1. complete guesswork that he is Scots qualified – though there was apparently a SRU sanctioned video of his highlights in super rugby a few moths ago, which leads us all to believe he is eligiable and on the radar. Dont know enough about him to determine if its a gamble worth taking

  4. There was a good interview with Jason Humphreys on Warriors Weekly and they were talking about how the coaches pick a world cup squad, and considering the balance of the squad not just in terms of playing ability, but the social aspect, and a consideration will be how the 31 man squad will spend over a month in a foreign country.

    This is the often overlooked factor in Townsend’s continual selection of Ryan Wilson, because if you drop him all you have is John Barclay hiding in Japanese bins scaring Stuart Hogg.

    I had heard Shaun Stevenson was the rumoured incoming Glasgow 15 from New Zealand, currently playing with the Chiefs, fuelling further speculation due to the Rennie connection.

    1. I believe Shaun Stevenson has signed a new deal with the Chiefs until 2023.
      So the speculation can continue!

      1. I’ve also hear rumours of Matthew Morgan at the Blues, though I’m not sure how feasible that really is especially with Anscombe going to the Ospreys

      1. Excellent news. Our well-rested players will have a cracking shot at the 6N that year.

    1. Can we stop calling it the “British” and Irish Lions, It’s the Welsh, English & Irish Lions. Awful news from a Scottish perspective unless your a Scottish international and are looking to book your holidays early. Thanks for Ruining another Lions tour in advance Mr Gatland

  5. Good podcast, chaps. I really liked the 2015 vs 2019 comparison and the quick glance at the future. I remember thinking after 2015 we’d be in good shape as a lot of that squad would still be around. Though fitness and form (see Dunbar) is *not*guaranteed over 4 years, I really do think we’ll be in cracking shape in 2019. We’ve got some real point of difference players like Schoeman, Kebble, Carmichael, Fagerson jnr, maybe even Cummings, who could be fixtures by that time.

    One other minor comment – completely agree with your interpretation of Russell just playing better in the second half vs England, but historically throwing the playbook out the window *was* a common thing in the Matt Williams era!

    Lastly – interesting speculation on the Jordan and Christie fronts..!

    1. Cheers. Thanks for listening. John deserves a lot of the credit as he’d done tonnes of research whereas a frantic day at work meant I was having to research stuff live.

  6. Good summary – I particularly agree with all the 10 chat (Weir highlights included….).

    I disagree on a couple of points – Duncan Taylor was a great player, but there are no guarantees he will be the same man when he comes back – we have seen it too many times before after long injury layoffs. I would be very concerned about making him an automatic pick without at least a few games under his belt to show where he is. I’m fine with the France/Georgia games being used as a test, but Taylor (as well as a few others – Blade Thomson for example) really has to give a couple of quality performances before he gets a foot on the plane.

    I also think Blair Kinghorn deserves to be in the squad regardless of who else is picked. Yes, he isn’t a world class winger, but he’s decent, and I think we need a dedicated fullback to play in some games where Hogg is rested (and also if he is injured), rather than relying on utility players filling in. I think he doesn’t make the 1st team bench at the moment as others can cover, but he is the best backup option for injury/B games etc. I would take him over Seymour on recent form.

    Otherwise some very good analysis of the squad.

    1. I also really enjoyed the podcast. Good analysis.

      On Kinghorn, I think he is probably the odd man out. He isn’t as good on the wing as Maitland, Graham or Seymour and I don’t think there would be a discernible difference between him and said Maitland at full back. If Taylor travels I don’t think Kinghorn does.

      I completely agree on Taylor- he has become a legend/myth due to injury. If he isn’t fully fit- don’t take him. We have other options.

      Also, I think it would be a mistake to give him all the friendlies to get match fit. At some point I would like to see the team who will play Ireland starting one of those games. Johnson/Jones at the mo in the centres and as they hardly ever play together at Glasgow it would be good to see them get some time together in an actual match.

      Also, does anyone else think Horne (P) is on a shoogly peg? I haven’t done a full spreadsheet analysis of the squad (excellent stuff btw to those that do- they are great) but I do wonder whether he goes, again if Taylor is fit.

      Overall, our injury crisis has cleared. This the best squad Scotland have had in the professional era. Dare to dream….

    2. I think Kinghorn’s a better international winger than fullback. He didn’t look good against France or Wales.

  7. I think if we look at how much rugby Kinghorn has played for Scotland, he’s consistently scored tries from the wing (Ire, Arg, USA 2018, hat-trick Italy 2019), whereas at full back he’s struggled that wee bit more. On the basis of that you could argue he’s a better winger than FB. Still handy to have him cover 15 for a couple of pool games and probably a solid option off the bench/ O’Mahony decides to actually kill Hogg this time.

  8. Maitland has looked good in CC Final, try & made some try saving tackles to keep his team in the game.

  9. Really enjoyed the podcast Cammy and John. Thanks again.

    Well done for focusing on Ross Ford as well. Totally agree that he should get more of a fanfare.

    Having said that, I might be in the minority here, and I know it’s meant in good fun, but doesn’t it feel a bit uncomfortable to have a ‘Worst XV’. Clearly some players aren’t as good as others but they probably all dreamed of playing for Scotland. I’m guessing Ross Ford himself wouldn’t feel too comfortable with this kind of tribute? Maybe I’m just a bit sensitive as on one occasion I sat with my parents in the stands hearing a few supporters loudly having a go at my brother and comparing him negatively to their favorite while he was giving his all on the pitch for their own team. It was pretty hard for my parents.

    It’s not that long since Nick de Luca was opening up about how depressed/anxious he was because of all the criticism and how it affected his life and performances.

    We had a few great players in the last 20 years and probably a lot of others who would have played a lot better with better coaching, a more professional set-up throughout the Scottish game, and better players around them.

    Again, I know it’s meant in good fun. I genuinely enjoyed the podcast though and always look forward to the next one!

    1. Andrew as always a very informative and helpful addition to the conversation.

      I don’t know the answer but I think we should be careful with this and ur comments have merit.

      It’s often a fine balance between poking fun in good taste and going too far.

  10. Completely agree with Andrew McGavin. Naming a “Worst XV” in a podcast, or even on a blog, is over the top. It’s different sitting in a pub with your mates saying how bad so-and-so was, but putting it on the blog seems a touch more public. Would you (we) still be spouting off in the pub if that player was sitting behind you? Might even be worth editing that section out to avoid embarrassment. These guys put their bodies on the line for our entertainment and pride in Scotland, and if they weren’t up to it it wasn’t because they weren’t up FOR it.
    Rant over – another good podcast and thanks for raising the Ross Ford “issue”.

  11. Hi Andrew, Referendum and Merlot.
    I completely understand your reservations and I’ve been spending time thinking about how we tackle it and IF we should even go ahead. It was just a throw away suggestion made off the cuff during the pod. I think we’ve found a way to do it and in the wider context of what we have planned it should work without being cruel. That being said we do always edit stuff out where we think we’ve gone to far. The lads are pretty good at self censoring so luckily that doesn’t happen too often. Rest assured the whole thing is being tastefully done.

    1. Sounds like Kenny Everett. All done in the best possible taste!
      Looking forward to
      a) seeing how you manage to avoid the inevitable cruelty/slagging/trolling and
      b) joining in!

      1. Agree, insofar as joking around doesn’t need to be tasteful – when did taking the p*ss become prohibited? By definition professional sport is about trying to be better than others (or making them worse) for money. Mainly opponents, but also those challenging for the jersey. It’s a competitive career but other walks of life are equally or more brutal. Unfortunately during the span of Ross Ford’s career Scotland tended to lose, a lot. That’s because some of the personnel were crap, or did not perform as they could or should, relatively speaking. That’s not good enough for Scottish rugby and standards should not be that low again. Part of that is culture, so it’s a good thing if showing up and getting politely trounced by 40 points is viewed as not good enough, where it is laughably bad. Maybe picking out 14 players is too close to being cruel in today’s #woke world (maybe not), but if it was a Scottish XV with the most losses or worst individual stats during Ross Ford’s tenure is that awfully unfair too? Sometimes – losers whine about doing their best, winners go home and f*** the prom queen. Oh – and this is humorous blog / pod for fans who have mostly endured decades of pish. There is a marked difference in picking on people because of creed, colour or sexuality- picking on them because at time they were so bad they made you squirm (though a darn sight better than all of us) couldn’t be more part of the game.

      2. Kudos to Not Rocket Science for quoting Sean Connery in The Rock on a rugby blog!

    2. Perhaps you could run an under appreciated XV of people who got trolled when they were playing but who others actually think were better and undeserving of the flack they took.

      I always thought NDL was vastly underrated at Edinburgh and it was no surprise that Visser’s strike plummeted once NDL left the club.

      1. I think Vissers strike rate decline was more due to being available for international selection removing the volume of pro games he could play.

    3. Don’t post here often but an avid listener. Glad that you chaps will look out to try to avoid going OTT, one of the things I really like about the pod is that it is respectful of the players! Something lots of other offerings fail to do miserably

      1. Not really a check or balance as a Scottish team isn’t involved in the other semi.

        I’m not one for ref conspiracy theories but this is amateurism of the highest order. Let’s just hope there is a clear result so we don’t have to endure the inevitable fall out if not.

      2. A neutral referee is appropriate . Dont get the check and balance theory. Unless you mean they managed to get it half right , the Munster v Leinster game got a neutral.

        It is shamateur , we should not try and suger coat it. Glasgow will need to outplay them both.

        Just to balance my comment , I recall , Clancy in the past has favoured Glasgow in the 50/50 calls. It is not fair on the refs either.

      3. Rory, I dont get you checks and balances comment at all.

        There are enough neutral refs on their books to cover both semis.

        This smacks of one last hurrah for Lacey and it stinks.

    1. I’ll leave my opinions on Lacey’s character for the weekend but safe to say he shouldnt be put in the position when there are Welsh and Italian referees having a week off.

      1. Strange to run the risk of accusations of bias when they could send the Welsh officials to Scotstoun and the Irish officials to Wales for the play off game. By doing that the problem will never arise. By not doing that they run the risk of the league’s credibility being severely dented by an, accidental or otherwise, crazy decision from the ref at Scotstoun.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion