Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Podcast: Episode 78 – World’s Fittest Prop


Cammy is joined by Iain and Rory to look over Gregor Townsend’s World Cup squad and try to make sense of it all.

We also chat to Scottish Daily Mail Rugby Correspondent, Rob Robertson about his play about the life of Bill McLaren which is on at the Heart of Hawick theatre from 10 to 13 September. Rob tells us about his inspiration for writing the play and the invaluable input from the McLaren family.

Tickets for the play are available through the following link:

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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. 

We broadcast the podcast live so you can watch and join in on the night. Get involved and submit a comment via YouTube, Facebook or Twitch. You can also choose to watch or listen back afterwards using one of our video or podcast channels:


Alternatively search for “Scottish Rugby Podcast” on your favourite podcast app or smart speaker (eg Amazon Alexa). The podcast is part of the the Sport Social Network. You can find more about other rugby podcasts available on the Sport Social Network on their website.

If you would prefer an ad free version of the podcast as well as a weekly bonus episode taking a deeper – and some times swearier – dive into the main talking points you can sign up to our Patreon from just £3 a month. This also gets you access to our super secret social media group where you can chat to other fans of the podcast and rugby in Scotland.

Scottish Rugby Podcast

26 Responses

  1. Thanks for the minimal knob jokes. I listened to the rugby pod yesterday and there’s only so many one person can take…

    1. I stopped listening to the rugby pod because I was sick of listening to them bragging about how much cash they all have. Plus if I could erase one player from Scottish rugby history it would be Hamilton. Never interested in Scotland and not shy about saying it.

      Is Fridays squad out yet?

      1. I listen occasionally but it’s an endurance event.
        Haven’t seen any sign of the team yet. Curious to see how much cotton wool and bubble wrap is being deployed!

  2. Found your tone on the squad etc was measured and reasonable and understood the decisions that were made. There is a lot of hysteria here about certain omissions which will be used as a excuse should we fail in Japan. We won’t fail by these omissions we’ll fail by not executing the plan well enough.

    Up to this point we have the least injury crisis we’ve ever had. Our form hasn’t gone in the same direction to be fair and maybe we would have done better with injuries. But we should be in great shape for this World Cup.

    It’s not like The Scotland Football National Team who would regularly omit serial scorers of goals because they don’t work hard enough which was ridiculous. We are not in the “Our only threat is Visser” era anymore. This is a good squad and some decisions could go either way but nothing is ridiculous.

    The ones who miss out will get their time again. I think putting people into tomorrow’s match that aren’t in the squad is a good idea to avoid too much exposure to key squad members, give them game time for Scotland which is always valuable and to get them a bit more time in systems in case they are needed in a match environment.

    1. I think the hysteria is much too strong. This is a rugby forum , not loose women.

      The emotion (better word) is NOT about omissions it is all about the inclusions.

      *Players who have been injured and yet to demonstrate they are not just physically fit but match fit. (Ie they can replicate their stand out skills , once again, in a match situation, not just fill a jersey)
      * That this match situation is test matches (away from home)
      * Cronyism. If we don’t like it , what is that doing in the camp.
      *Harmony and calm leadership is very important and not to be underestimated.
      * A press spokesman that couldn’t answer a straight question with a straight answer.

      What is success for this side ? Quarter finals ! We are top 8 so it is really all about winning, three games in the pools.

      Maybe you are correct , It cannot be that hard, can it !

  3. On the discussion about international eligibility and the 3- and 5-year rules, I’m not sure you got it completely right.

    The date of the change from 3 to 5 years is 31 December 2020. This means that anyone who has completed their 3 years by that date, i.e. started it by 31 December 2017, can qualify by residence. Only if they either started their residence period after 31 December 2017 OR are not captured by making their debut by 31 December 2020, will they need to wait for the 5 years to be completed.

    This means that Jean Kleyn only had to complete 3 years’ residence to qualify for Ireland, and is what Sam Johnson did earlier this year. My understanding is that Kebble, Gibbins, Van der Merwe and Van der Walt…among others, but these are the four main players being discussed…could qualify by residency and be capped during the Autumn Internationals in 2020. The only one that this is tight for I think is Jaco, who only signed for Edinburgh on 17 November 2017 and would have to make his debut almost immediately. If memory serves me correctly, his debut was in SA so even then it might be ruled out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see if the scheduling of some of the AIs in 2020 be very tactical and it is likely that there will be a whole raft of players across the northern hemisphere getting captured in that series.

    Schoemann will definitely have to wait 5 years, but has indicated that he is willing to!

    1. Really don’t want to see a load of residency players appear for Scotland, it’s bad for the world game. Think we only have Nel and Johnson in the RWC squad and only Nel was a project player. Once they’re in they’re one of us but no need to go overboard.

      James Lowe is likely to play for Ireland next year and he gave a very unguarded interview (read the 42) where he was on about seeking opportunity and finding it ‘weird’ he might represent Ireland. Nothing against the player but it cheapens the international game and Ireland shouldn’t need to do it.

    2. The players would also be eligible for Scotland 7s and if they play in one of the December 2020 World Series tournaments they would also be captured by Scotland prior to the change of regs. Possibly not a route for Kebble though!

  4. South Africa just beat Japan 41-7 in Japan and wing Kenki Fukuoka was taken off injured in the 4th minute.

    1. Looks like the thug Mafi got injured as well, not clear if it is serious or not. Mafi is probably their best player and is the number 8 we wish we had.

      Write up by Rich freeman in Kyoto Times says Japan made a lot of handling errors and mistakes and SA physically overpowered them.

      1. He is waiting to stand trial in the new year in Dunedin for ‘injuring with intent’ after beating his fellow team mate Lopeti Timani last July. He faces up to 5 years in jail if convicted.

        The details of the case are quite shocking. Allegedly, Timani used inappropriate language in front of his sister whilst at Mafi’s family home. Mafi and his cousin beat timani in their home, bundled him into the boot of their car and were driving him somewhere to continue the attack when Timani escaped. Timani claimed to fear for his life – the images of his swollen face are shocking to imagine they were inflicted by a team mate.

        Mafi is likely to be jailed, had his contract negotiations with Melbourne Rebels terminated and after a short period of limbo was bailed out by JRFU who gave him a contract at Sunwolves.

        Clearly rugby values comes some way below RWC success at home.

      2. Makes sense to put Ryan Wilson in for that game. I hope no one is seriously injured as a consequence.

      1. Sounds like Timani was the one to blame for using a derogatory word to his teammates family, not saying it didint go to far but seems like the guy needed to be taught a lesson in culture.

        I would not call Mafi a thug for that, there was disrespect shown towards his sister.

      2. That is an absolutely ludicrous position. I can only imagine that you’re putting it forward to get a rise out of people, which is really rather tiresome.

      3. Im not justifying what Mafi did to be clear, be there is obviously two sides to the story or else he would already be behind bars. I think there is a more accurate word for him than thug.

        I grow tiresome of you in particular trying to make me out to look bad.

      4. Neil you are a wind up merchant. It really is boring.

        Mafi is awaiting trial FFS but his court date is in the new year. He’s very likely to get a custodial sentence. Thug is literally the dictionary definition for Mafi – he is a violent person and soon to be convicted criminal.

      5. Uh huh FF. I am done with this discussion, the typical bandwagon of people have arrived to attack people with a different viewpoint … shocker.

        Have a hard look at yourselfs.

  5. The Richie Gray out of contract theory was interesting, however I am not convinced. If you are out of contract at the end of the year , exposure in the RWC is surely the best way to raise your profile and get some offers in the pipeline for next year. Exposure , agents knocking doors, tried and tested formula IMO. Worked for Dave Denton in 2015 RWC if you recall.

    However the counter argument is Toulouse want to retain him , but no evidence of this ? or he feels he will not get game time in Japan , which is back to the theory GT considers him 5th or 6th choice. So maybe the boo boys (myself included) still have a point, a point further re-enforced by the bazaar Danny Wilson interview.

    I like the theory, what is more , I would like to believe the theory, however it is clear, there more to this than we are being told (rightly or wrongly). I would need to hear a lot more than what was said in the Podcast to move me .

  6. Managed to catch this and the previous podcast whilst laid up with a virus, so thanks for the light relief. The jingos were like a soothing massage for my thunping head…
    All entertaining and covering the salient points of the day as usual. One point though – concerning Wilson. As a stand alone comparison: 65% success when he plays, versus 35% when he doesn’t is a staggering difference. In other words, all else being equal (which it invariably will not be) when Wilson plays we are almost twice as likely to win as when we don’t. Even the 65% as a standalone figure is pretty good in terms of the last 15 years of Scottish rugby.
    Changing tack slightly – as usual there is a clamour to get every one of the great new hopes in the starting 15, but as you highlighted, something that stands out from history is that World Cup success is built on experience. I would back Wilson and also Horne senior to be in the match day squads. They are generally underrated by Scotland supporters anyway, but provide cohesion, experience and work for the players around them. Horne in particular suffers from a negative mindset bias – every mistake goes on the ledger, but it doesn’t matter if he plays Farrell off the park, or plays a key part in a high percentage of our best performances; that will be instantly forgotten. I’m not sure we have a player better-fitted for softening up, and winding up, Sexton than Wilson.

    1. Great post Matto. Put Wilson and Horne in the Starting line up winning percentage goes up to 80%. They do stuff we know not of.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion