Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


PRO14 Semi-final: Glasgow vs Ulster – the teams

Stuart Hogg and DTH Van Der Merwe
Stuart Hogg and DTH Van Der Merwe - pic © Al Ross

Scotstoun Stadium
Friday 17th May 2019
KO 7.35pm

Dave Rennie has picked arguably his strongest current team for the visit of Ulster tomorrow night in what will be Stuart Hogg’s last game for Glasgow at Scotstoun, but which he and the Warrior Nation hope will not be the end of the story.

Ulster will be looking to give Rory Best a winning sendoff at Celtic Park by snatching a win on the road, but for Glasgow the lure of a home final is now tantalisingly close and you would think the form book is on their side, just.

There’s no room for sentiment at Scotstoun with Scotland starters Ryan Wilson and Huw Jones sitting on the bench. Youngsters Tom Gordon and Kyle Steyn are rewarded with fine recent form by keeping their places in the squad, starting at Jones’s expense in Steyn’s case.

It has the side effect of giving the Warriors a very strong looking bench packed with both skill, experience and both Horne brothers.

If there is a worry, it is perhaps potential rustiness of DTH Van Der Merwe who is just back from injury, and the lack of second row cover on the bench – Rob Harley would presumably deploy here as required.

All eyes will be on Scotstoun come Friday night.

Glasgow Warriors: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Kyle Steyn, Sam Johnson, DTH Van Der Merwe, Adam Hastings, Ali Price; Jamie Bhatti, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Callum Gibbins (capt), Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: Grant Stewart, Oli Kebble, D’Arcy Rae, Ryan Wilson, Tom Gordon, George Horne, Pete Horne, Huw Jones.

Unavailable players: Bruce Flockhart (shoulder), Chris Fusaro (hamstring), Siua Halanukonuka (shoulder), Niko Matawalu (knee), Robbie Nairn (thigh), Matt Smith (shoulder), Tim Swinson (ankle) and George Turner (head).

Ulster: Jacob Stockdale, Robert Baloucoune, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Louis Ludik, Billy Burns, John Cooney; Eric O’Sullivan, Rory Best (captain), Ross Kane, Iain Henderson, Kieran Treadwell, Nick Timoney, Jordi Murphy, Marcell Coetzee.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Andy Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Sean Reidy, Dave Shanahan, Michael Lowry, Darren Cave.

119 Responses

  1. Very strong looking team from Glasgow and an incredibly strong bench. Turner and Niko are perhaps the only changes you would make if given a fully fit squad.

    A big opportunity for Steyn as I am sure GT will be watching this one closely and he will have his eye on that last backs place. On paper this team should be enough to beat Ulster but I think it could be tight!

  2. Feel this will be a much tighter and more nervy affair than the last time these two teams met. Feels like Glasgow really want this though. Hope I’m right!

    Steyn selected ahead of Jones and Grigg is significant and I hope the lad makes an impact that gets noticed by Toony and Co.

  3. We need to be careful, there is a good chance Schmidt will have been on the phone to Ulster telling them to target Scotlands key players in hopes of putting them out the WC, don’t be surprised to see Hogg being given a lot of rough treatment, The whole Irish officiating team adds to this conspiracy.

    If i was Townsend i would be telling our backrow to get stuck into Stockdale, Cooney, Henderson & Best (Legally)

    1. Wow. What a ridicolous remark.

      You do know we’ve got Scottish referees reffing the Irish game? Should we be expecting the same treatment to be dished out on them from the behest of Townsend (given there a so many more Irish internationalists playing?)

      Implausible in the professional era.

      1. You mean like Peter O’Mahony on Hogg in Six nations ? If they were going to be neutral they would not have an Irish ref for – Irish vs Scottish semi final. Unconsciously bias will occur.

      2. Nel’s Comment was obviously nonsense.

        However, a Scottish ref officiating the other game in no way balances out the stupidity of having an Irish referring team in our semi against Ulster. The scottish ref is neutral in a match between two Irish sides. An Irish ref is not neutral in a match between an Irish and a Scottish side. It’s really not that hard to understand – for the avoidance of any doubt, select a Welsh, Italian or South African ref to ensure no unconscious bias.

      3. Ne(i)l’s comment aside, I agree it is really unprofessional having Irish refs in this game.

        I am absolutely sure there would be no intentional bias (and actually they sometimes favour the team they aren’t associated with in situations like this as they are trying so hard not to be biased!), but it doesn’t look good and if there are any controversial decisions there will be a massive uproar.

        Having said that, I think Glasgow will put them away fairly easily.

      4. I cannot agree with Nel.

        But so is buying the concept that Scots refing an all Irish encounter is a parallel. Michael , how gullible is that postulation! No it is against custom and practice in any professional sport. How degrading for Rugby to endorse this.

        The Munster V Leinster game has a neutral referee, ours does not. An undisputable fact.

        Guiness PRO 14, Irish sponsor would an all Irish final be preferred ! Now that is not a fact based comment, but it is a more believable conspiracy theory .

        We have one pro side in the final , enjoy the moment and let’s all get behind them whatever side of the M8 you favour.

    2. Our two best defenses against any rough treatment are the home crowd being really vocal and our forwards being really on it from the start. Think the first 20 could be quite feisty. If we can keep our penalty count down then we should be in good shape.

  4. That’s a strong looking Glasgow team. If Ali Price keeps his form up I’m confident they will get the win.

  5. I think it is a very strong Glasgow and Ulster side – should be a tight game that I think we’ll edge. But it is not going to be a cakewalk.

    1. Ulster and Munster are the only sides to have done the double over Edinburgh this season.

      1. That they’re good sides, that’s all. This was before the Ulster game – I think a lot of people underestimate Ulster because they’re not one of the ‘fashionable’ Irish regions. Just pointing out that they’ve done the double over Embra this season, something only one other team has managed this season.

  6. I’m not sure why Rennie doesn’t like Huw Jones – I know he has been injured, but even when he is fit he isn’t being selected and they are picking inexperienced players over him.
    Is it an attitude problem – maybe doing a Hogg and being a bit too cocky? Hope whatever it is gets sorted out as he is world class when he is on form and needs some decent game time. I suspect he is regretting re-signing for Glasgow at the moment.

    1. This side is not big enough for the two of them and Hogg (12 tries in 36 6N matches) gets the nod.

      One last chance to get his tackles in.

      Jones (5 tries in 10 6N matches) will shine next season.

      1. Jones is 4 tries in 18 games (12 starts) for Glasgow. Not a bad return but nothing like his Scotland form. Which is strange given that he is playing with mostly the same set of backs for both club and country. Rennie used to play at centre and is a good coach of backs so you have to assume he is not picking Jones for a good reason.

      2. Perhaps Kyle Steyn is the next Sam Johnson & is being criminally underrated, he reminds me of a young J.Davies

        Rennie likes someone who can offer a strong crash ball option in the 13 channel to make space out wide.

      3. Nel, I think you are right, Rennie does like a hard runner in 13 but he’s also looking for the 13 to distribute and bring the wingers and full back in to the game as well. I think he sees it as a fault in Jones that he tends to go himself and doesn’t look for the offload. That’s great if you get the line break and can finish it off. Its also why Jones doesn’t / shouldn’t play at 12.

        Young Hoggy was the same but now he must have the most assists of any of the Scottish backs.

        Hopefully Jones can sort it out at Glasgow.

      4. Well said Al, i suppose the reason Jones done well at 12 for the SA team he played for was due to the game plan being different & therefore requiring a different skillset.

    2. Jones, in my view, is a “downhill skier”…happy slicing open defences but a bit absent and drifty when the work needs doing…might be attitude or confidence or skills/nous.

      1. Um did alright – Australia, Australia, NZ, England Twickenham, England Murrayfield, Saracens at Scotstoun, among lots of other non-downhill races.

      2. I don’t think you can say he did alright against England at Twickenham when he and Dunbar were running about like headless chickens in defence.
        I would continue on from Alanyst’s view that he is an incredible attacker with the ball in free flowing games but if you were to compare his recent performances to someone like Alex Lozowski in the Champions Cup final last week, Alex has a similar running and attacking ability to Huw but his defensive shift was absolutely monumental as he was driving back row players back 5 or 6 meters in dominant tackles. I have seen Huw do some unreal things in attack (namely in the England game at Murrayfield) but I would definitely not classify him as a test match warrior who would stand out in a tight match and it is perhaps this element that Rennie does not like about him.

      3. Well, lets do some comparisons – Jones, Grigg, Jon Davies, Ringrose for internationals in either of 2019 or 2018, whichever year they played more. Using Rugby Pass:

        Average Gain:
        Jones 14, Grigg 10, Davies 14, Ringrose 8

        Tackle completion:
        83, 79, 89,85

        Turnovers conceded/games:
        12/8, 3/5, 3/8, 14/6

        Penalties Conceded/game:
        1/8, 0/5, 4/8, 4/6

        So far so good for Jones, barring turnovers conceded.

        And now for Clubs in the same years:

        Average Gain:
        J – 26, G – 8, D – 7, R -5

        Tackle Completion%:
        69, 71, 89, 80

        6/3, 5/4, 4/5, 8/9

        0/3, 2/4,1/5,3/9

        So, his attacking brilliance is clear, his international record is comparable to Davies, but whatever the cause, his tackles seem to drop down to Grigg’s 70% benchmark at Glasgow…turnovers conceded are also about twice the others’…

      4. Hmm, so what is the sample size for Jones in the club games? How many of those were untouched by injury or formed part of a consistent run in the team? Doesn’t look that different to Grigg who plays in the same system ct Davies, Ringrose? Where on the pitch were these taking place? What was the risk/reward profile or consequences of each decision? One missed pass and one missed tackle for Scotland, and an absence (not poor performance) from Glasgow and everyone overlooks his attacking ability and talent on display. Nonsense. This isn’t baseball.

      5. NRS, feel free to have your opinion on his qualities or lack thereof, the data, I’m sure, won’t get upset.

        I shall retain mine, Rennie shall have his and his is the one that counts tonight (well, his and Lacey’s…)

        Enjoy the game

  7. Rennie seems to have made big errors so far: couldnt get the team in form at any of the right times last year; picked the wrong team against Saracens away in QF; mismanagement of Russell, Jones, Matawalu – seems slow to recognise strengths of the best players and initially prefers the work horses like P Horne, L. Jones. That said after not favouring Hastings, Matawalu etc. he’s come round and reckon the same will happen with H. Jones.

    1. He was rewarding form & we have been top of conferences 2 seasons in a row, thats pretty incredible, in takes time to build a team & those who adapted to his game plan first have been rewarded

      Its up to H.Jones to adapt & improve his game to fit in with Rennie’s game plan not the other way around.

      This has been demonstrated with Dunbar (someone most of us considered lions material) getting the boot in favour of Johnson

  8. Naiyaravoro makes Will Greenwood’s Premiership team of the season: ‘It is almost impossible not to pick Naiyaravoro in a fantasy team because you don’t have to worry about what he cannot do. He only has seven tries, making him the lowest-scoring winger I have ever picked in a team of the season. So why pick him? Big T is second in defenders beaten (94), second in metres made (1,427), second in number of offloads (27). He is top of the clean breaks roster (42). He’s a crowd pleaser, crowd puller and a lovely human being. He makes things happens and it takes five to stop him. Love him!’

    1. 55% tackle completion (24 missed) and 29 turnovers conceded in 18 games might make the coach think a little differently…

    2. How many tries has he created and how many of those clean breaks resulted in tries? It is frustrating that the published stats for rugby are so pants.

  9. Huw Jones is brilliant end of, Scotland’s backs will look worse on paper (stats) because they try more “stuff”.

    The Wales game where the stats showed H.Jones missed tackles, well he did BUT 1. there were “circumstances “2.J.Davies is the worlds best centre & 3.I’ll take the odd “missed” tackle when he produces magic regularly (which he does for Scotland).
    However given what Scotland have got I am leaning towards Steyn to start for Scotland as he gives a line straightening / hard ball carrying / space producing alternative

    1. I think Jones has shown that he can carry hard – two of his tries against England a result of just that, for example.

  10. TeamCam – most centres can “carry hard” however what Jones & Steyn bring are quite different.
    As I stated above H.Jones is brilliant, however what we haven’t had is a 12 of the world class quality of Sam Johnson (since John Leslie). So with brilliant runners like Hogg, Maitland, Seymour, Graham the likely starters we need a bit of strong running beef to keep the opposition “honest”

    1. Obviously I meant The Fear for Ulster, not of Ulster…!

      EDIT: Sorry folks, that Ulster try was on me.

  11. Absolute thrashing – hope they have kept something for the final.

    Not really got a bad word to say about anybody, great team performance.

    Giving away 3 tries not really a worry, 2 of them were when the game was already well over.

    1. Irresistable by Glasgow. Matt Fagerson deserved MoM.
      Some absolutely peachy tries. However, back down to earth quickly lads the only game that counts is the final. Let’s hope Leinster and Munster exhaust each other in a huge arm wrestle. Also the crowd applause for Rory Best-really special-as was Hoggy and his two bairns what a long way he’s come.

      1. Matt Fagerson undoubtedly Mom & my bolter for Wc…

        But how good has Hastings been the last 4-5 games, i don’t doubt Rennie when he says he has the potential to be better than Finn, he offers the complete package.

        Nice to see Seymour not just scoring tries but showing a bit of power in defense.

        I wish this Glasgow side was playing Sarries atm, would be a cracker.

  12. Awesome. Pleased for Hoggy and also the decency for Best. Does the result guarantee a full house at Parkhead?
    Glasgow have the form, irresistible tonight, surely it’s a script written. Hope that we can trust that’s the way to play to sort the regimented brilliance of Leinster (or brutality of Munster). Hopefully tomorrow is a horrible extra time affair!

    1. Apparently only 24,000 tickets sold so far so that is a lot to shift in a short period of time.

  13. Brilliant stuff.
    Matt Fagerson proved his worth but quiet mention for Rob Harley. Work rate and annoyance of oppo second to none. Would send him to Japan over anyone bar Hoggy!

  14. Tries in 5 consecutive games for Warriors for Seymour so people can stop banging on about his loss of form now.

      1. i agree on the leaner part – and i think it suits him better than say being physically a bit bigger which may marginally slow him down. His link play with Hogg especially has been exceptional.

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      3. I thought i left a perfectly reasonable comment here, why was it deleted ? what happened to free speech ?

      4. There’s no such thing, as this is a privately owned website (and even on the BBC website HYS there’s no such thing as half the comments are moderated for breaching rules).

        “Users are invited to comment at the invitation of the post author and the Scottish Rugby Blog but we wholeheartedly reserve the right to remove any comments, at any time, for whatever reason deemed necessary.”

        It would be nice if the regular comment area Zandbags could stop between the small minority of posters, as it would be a shame if we had to enforce use of an account in order to post comments – thereby making it a lot easier to permanently remove troublemakers from the comment sections – but making it harder for those who are not the issue to post comments quickly.

  15. I thought Glasgow were fantastic last night – Ulster are a pretty poor side but even so Glasgow have a ruthless streak that few Scottish sporting sides can come close to.

    The only thing that irked me about last night was off the field – Mossie’s bizarre MOTM to M Fagerson – Fagerson had a great game in the loose, but butchered every scrum that he was called on to tidy or pick up from, he’s a long way from being a top 8 – he’s a fantastic 6 in my eyes. On another note I find Mossie just so tediously bland now, little insight and more concerned with causing any offence to all parties.

    Cant wait for next Sat.

  16. Probably the most complete and professional performance I’ve seen from Glasgow. You could tell Hogg desperately wanted a try to finish in style, but it didn’t stop him doing the right thing and passing outside when he might have made it himself. Playing ‘heads up’ rugby and doing it in style. Leinster ran Saracen closer than Glasgow did, so would expect to face them in the final. So pleased I don’t have to sell my final tickets. Surprised it’s only 24,000, but hopefully people simply waited until they had Glasgow confirmed as a finalist.

  17. Rant – in the morning after Glasgow sauntered into the Pro14 Final the Scotsman publishes an article by Allan Massie on how far advanced Irish rugby is than Scotland’s because of our shambolic transition to professionalism.

    Now what’s he says isn’t wrong, but why piss on our parade this morning? Scottish rugby is in a good place and we should be looking forward and finally burying the ghosts of the past – including our woeful rugby pundits.

    He also says Ireland will be going into the RWC top of the NH pile, which is an odd thing to say given there is a chance they will be trophyless across international, European and domestic rugby.

    We’re still test minnows given our narrow playing base and general lack of £££ but it’s time to ditch the inferiority complex when we have so much exciting talent in the team.

    Rant over.

    1. I thought the exact same thing FF! In Massies (slight defence) the article was written before the result last night was known, a fact he acknowledges. I also disagree with the assessement that Irish rugby is pulling away. I’d say that we’re keeping up with them now, still a bit off closing that gap tbf but our results against there clubs, under 18 and under 20s internationals show that the talent level isn’t massively different. If anything at under 18/20 levels actually thing we have the better ball players, than Ireland and Italy but we always seem to be undersized.

    2. Glasgow’s result is a tremendous boost for Scottish rugby and vindicates the current plans for the future of the game. But their are still parochial attitudes around in Scottish and that I think is what Massie was too polite to say.

      1. Bad timing for the article, suppose he has to make a living but must be desperate if he needs to publish that at this triumphant moment. The results show Scottish Rugby is ascending from yet another trough and Irish Rugby is challenged to sustain its peak standards.

        He should analyse the wales who despite a GS 6N are not in the semi’s of the PRO 14. Understanding that would be helpful .

        Get the mirror out man.

      2. I’ve said it before elsewhere but I feel we should really be Ireland and Wales equal for the next 5 years or so. When you look at the age profile of both Ireland and Wales’ international squads they have so many talismanic players that set them apart that will be retiring in the next 24 months or are already past their best. Their incumbents are good but just not at the same level. While they are rebuilding we can build on what we already have.


        AW Jones

        Scotland + (Incumbents)
        Nel (Fagerson)
        Barclay (Ritchie)
        Laidlaw (Price/Horne)
        Maitland (Graham)
        Seymour (Kinghorn)

        Barclay/Maitland I feel are going to be our only real losses in the next 24 months and most of our star players are peaking and will be for some time (Russell, Hogg, Watson etc).

      3. This might be our squad in 2023.

        HK: McInally, Turner, Stewart
        PR: Berghan, Z Fagerson, Kebble, McCallum, Schoeman
        LK: Carmichael, Cummings, Skinner, Toolis
        BR: Bradbury, Crosbie, M Fagerson, Ritchie, Watson
        SH: G Horne, Price, Shiel
        FH: Hastings, Russell
        CE: Dean, Johnson, H Jones, McDowall
        WG: Blain, D Graham, van der Merwe
        FB: Kinghorn, Hogg

        Then we’ve got the likes of Bennett, Bhatti, Boyle, Darge, Davidson, Dobie, Erskine, Gordon, McFarland, Rae, Smith and Steyn to factor in.

    3. Massie does nothing but write about how rubbish Scotland is in all walks of life – he’s not going to change for the rugby.

    4. Ireland won this years u20 grand slam..Scotland finished last. Head to head played in Scotland..24-5 to Ireland.

      1. Tbh I dont think 1 years results at that level means much… we have finished above them in the u20 world championship 2yrs running but i wouldnt take too much stock from that either…I think u20’s shows depth more than anything which is why Ireland/Wales have 4 clubs and we only have 2 (and also why France and England tend to dominate). You really only need to churn out 3 international quality players a year to stay competitive.

  18. I would prefer to batter Munster in the final as opposed to Leinster, better traveling support & we need to teach Beirne a lesson.

    Leinster will probably win there SF though, either way lets hope they knock chucks out of each other.

  19. Is there no option to permanently expand Scotstoun stadium ? surely their must be someway, they would easily sell out 10,000 every week & could potentially reach 12,000 within a year or 2.

    If Scottish rugby are serious about growing rugby as a whole this must be looked at.

    1. No , It is in the middle of a housing scheme that thinks it is beter than the other schemes( how cruel of me) . The residents dont like being invaded. It is a multipurpose stadium. But there are other options. Not every game at Scotstoun is a sell out so you have that wrong. Enjoy what we have for now, the fans are fickle and will go elsewhere if the standards are not maintained and as we know , it is a cyclical thing.Besides , Scotstoun is poorly placed for public transport I like the idea of spending our money and the council benefitting in some way.

  20. Nel I couldnt agree more. There was a great atmosphere last night at Scotstoun and there is no doubt the larger temporary stands played a significant part in helping to create a properly enclosed stadium effect. Thought the rugby played by Glasgow was sublime. I’m sorry to see Hogg and Bhatti leaving. Cummings has developed into a terrific player and Price should also be Scotland’s number one choice scrum half. A magnificent night.

    1. In concerned we have not heard anything yet on who will be replacing Hogg, any rumours ?

      1. I think one solution would be to put Adam Hastings there in the big games, with Thomson or Horne at FH.

      2. Yeah let’s take Glasgows best FH and put him at fullback even though he is being developed to be direct competition to Russell for Scotland’s 10 jersey … Or not

    1. It’ll be a big test for Leinster. Sexton will need to have a stonker of a game for there not to be question marks over his place in the international team going into Ireland’s warm-ups.

      1. Who’s next tho? Carberry didn’t really stamp a claim yesterday, Byrne unlikely…

      2. The comment yesterday was that Sexton had only played 10 games upto yesterday …… undercooked? Suspect IRFU wanted this for WC freshness

      3. Carbery. He’s looked good in all of his internationals.

        Or then there’s Carty…

    2. I thought they looked intense but still off the pace. Remember, Munster are as one-dimensional in attack as they come. We’ll present all the physical challenges Munster did with the added bonus of attacking threats and creativity all across the field. Should be amazing.

      1. Pack’s gonna need to front up, though. Leinster have the advantage up front, it’ll need to be a massive game from Cummings and Gray. But we know they’re up to it…

        Who starts – Kebble or Bhatti?

      2. Do they, though? We’ve only been beaten up front by Sarries in the QF this season and monstered their all-international front row last time we met. I think there’s a lot of reputation at play, like when people rave about PoM or Stander or Farrell.

  21. On another topic, I give it two more seasons before Scottish rugby’s been permanently damaged by the 1872 rivalry.

    This is starting to be like the Old Firm.

    1. Sam. I think you’re new so giving you benefit of the doubt. This isn’t a message board. Keep topics relevant to the post. We don’t have a match report yet so chat about the game and final is fine. Anything else is off limits. There are plenty of forums around for general chat.

  22. I’d like to but the Warriors ultras have cheesed me off – fed up of them slagging off my team and then saying it’s all justified because Cockerill.

  23. Edinburgh fan but I’ve just been online to get my tickets to support Glasgow next weekend. Really hoping for a Glasgow win next week. Not having premier sports I’ve not seen either of the semis but was at St James’ for the European Cup final and thought Leinster looked a bit short of fitness (some commentators suggested they’d rested their top players for too long so might not be a factor next weekend). Admittedly Sarries defence was phenomenal which might have had something to do with it.

    I hope the Glasgow coaches have had a look at the cup final and seen the way Sarries pummelled Sexton every time he got the ball. Put him off his game and he was pretty ineffectual as a result.

    Finally, anyone able to suggest the best way to get to Celtic Park? Taking my 9 year old daughter so it’s a bit annoying it’s such a late kick-off and it’d be good to get parked nearby so we can drive home quickly afterwards but it’s been suggested parking’s not great in that part of Glasgow. I guess train might be ok if they have a decent frequency at that time of night.

    1. I also meant to say there were not many tickets left when I went online to get tickets.

  24. That’s a warning for you both. We’ll police the comments thanks. Play nice or find another forum thanks… and I don’t care who started it.

      1. I’m totally picturing Jack Nicholson’s confession in ‘A Few Good Men’…

  25. Apologies folks but I’ve been through a deleted a load of comments after things descended into a bit of a free for all. Some were blameless but I had to delete comments as they made no sense without context of other comments being made. Please play nicely and if someone’s acting up please leave it to us to police. You can also e-mail us directly if your concerned about anything. Comment policy here:

  26. I just watched the match again. It was even more convincing than I first thought. Ulsters late tries seem down to the number of substitutions Glasgow made. Hard to pick which try is the best. Tremendous!!!

  27. A few years ago I couldn’t imagine watching a Glasgow team put that many points on a top Irish team, where Stuart Hogg (although everything he did was class) wasn’t the main instigator of all our line breaks and counter-attacks.

    The performance of the half backs, combined with 2 centres working in defensive and attacking harmony with each other and 2 wings looking dangerous every time they get the ball fills me with so much hope for this weekend, but more so beyond into the ‘post-hogg’ age.

    Naturally a top class replacement would be ideal and Will Jordan would be that guy – but if it doesn’t happen I don’t think I am going to be too upset because I genuinely believe we have enough sum of our parts strength around the park and a coaching team that is bringing through a standard of youngster that is better than what was there before – see Matt Fagerson, Stafford McDowell, Scott Cummings, Kyle Steyn – and might I posit, Adam Hastings !!!

      1. My observation on this is that for whatever reason it was made it is made with a man with no understanding of Glasgow or Glasgow sports.

    1. I am not sure I get the Leo Cullen part , however I do not think Glasgow need another top class full back or even one that can qualify for Scotland. Glasgow just need a good, affordable professional that fits in with the others and TBH , we do not need to scour the world, the premiership has a good few IMO.

  28. Was just reminding myself about how young most of these players are. Our props are really young for the level they are playing at. How good are the Fagerson’s and Cummings going to be come the 2023 world cup? This core of this backline will be around for at least another world cup cycle too.

    Stuart Hogg (26), Tommy Seymour (30), Kyle Steyn (25), Sam Johnson (25), DTH Van Der Merwe (33), Adam Hastings (22), Ali Price (25); Jamie Bhatti (25), Fraser Brown (29), Zander Fagerson (23), Scott Cummings (22), Jonny Gray (25), Rob Harley (29), Callum Gibbins (30), Matt Fagerson (20). Grant Stewart (23), Oli Kebble (26), D’Arcy Rae (24), Ryan Wilson (30), Tom Gordon (22), George Horne (24), Pete Horne (29), Huw Jones (25).

    1. Look at Edinburgh. Kinghorn, Graham, van der Merwe, Johnstone, Dean, Bennett, van der Walt, Hickey, Shiel, Watson, Crosbie, Bradbury, Ritchie, Toolis, Carmichael, Berghan, Schoeman, Bhatti, Marfo, McInally and Fenton should all be around for the next World Cup. Then, you’ve got Darge, Boyle, Bundy, Erskine, Blain…

    2. Its an interesting question Al, it’s one i am sure people have probably raised with the previous generation only to find there form drops for various reasons & they up average players.

      I certainly think the Fagersons will remain class throughout the years, i fear Cummings may end up in the Swinson bracket – Good pro but not international quality

      1. You never know, all these players are just one really serious injury from disappearing off the radar.

        Just think some of these players might be a couple of years away from peaking. On that basis I hope that Glasgow do win the Pro 14, not for bragging rights, but for the boost in confidence some of these guys will pick up ahead of the world cup.

      2. Scotland right now has one of the pointiest pyramids of talent going around. It’s not going to get taller before it gets wider.

        Part of the widening is the solidification of Edinburgh and Glasgow as top 4 teams…so maybe some of the new crop are “only” decent pros. Excellent! Decent pros are exactly what we need.

      1. Thanks Rory – hopefully there’ll be something (good) to write home about after this weekend !

  29. Since no player rating have popped up…

    Bhatti – 6.5
    Brown – 7
    Fagerson – 7
    Cummings – 8
    Gray – 7
    Harley – 6.5
    Gibbins – 7
    Fagerson – 9
    Price – 8.5
    Hastings – 8
    DTH – 6
    Johnson – 7.5
    Steyn – 8
    Seymour – 8.5
    Hogg – 8

    1. Big question for me is will Rennie change the team? You could argue for Kebble over Bhatti, maybe Matawalu over DTH and perhaps Wilson over Fagerson or Harley and at stretch perhaps even Jones over Steyn. However, if he went same again I don’t there would be too many complaints. I also think it would be really hard for any of the boys that have stepped up over the last couple of months to miss out.

      1. Nel, I think I would do the same although I could completely understand if Rennie stuck with the same starting line up! If he does stick I’d be tempted to put Matawalu on the bench in place of Jones as a supersub! From memory he always plays well against Leinster!

      2. I’d be surprised to see any changes at all. The only potential one is Kebble for Bhatti and I think that will come down to who is viewed as the stronger scrummager to play against Furlong. Both have been very impressive in the loose though. I think that Wilson will also be on the bench, he is pretty much the ideal backrow cover as he can do a job in any of the positions and makes a bit of an impact when he comes on and his leadership in the squad is vital. I see him taking that roll for Scotland too.

        Going to be a hell of a game!

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