European Rugby 2019: Round 2 Team News

Edinburgh Rugby v Bordeaux-Begles

Date: Fri 22 November 2019 
KO: 19:35
Venue: BT Murrayfield Stadium

With the nominal second-string picking up a bonus point win (just) over at Agen, Cockerill restores a large international contingent to the first XV for the visit of a powerful looking Bordeaux-Begles side. Maybe they’re not as completely focused on the PRO14 as they are maintaining. A decent win here puts them in prime position going into the break with the head-to-head matches against struggling Wasps to come.

Darcy Graham and Nic Groom are unavailable so that aside it looks like the first choice backline on show, and a hefty looking pack. Stuart McInally is back in training – as is Hamish Watson – but neither are ready to play just yet. With Nick Haining picking up a 2-week ban for striking with the head, Bill Mata starts his first game since the World Cup in a back row well-shuffled from last weeks unit but no less useful looking for it.

Edinburgh Rugby: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Eroni Sau, 13. Mark Bennett, 12. Matt Scott, 11. Duhan Van Der Merwe, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Henry Pyrgos (c); 1. Pierre Schoeman, 2. Mike Willemse, 3. Pietro Ceccarelli, 4. Ben Toolis, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Magnus Bradbury, 7. Luke Crosbie, 8. Viliame Mata.
Replacements:16. Cameron Fenton, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Simon Berghan, 19. Murray Douglas, 20. John Barclay, 21. Charlie Shiel, 22. Simon Hickey, 23. George Taylor,

Bordeaux-Begles: 15. Romain Buros, 14. Santiago Cordero, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Ulupano Seuteni, 11. Blair Connor, 10. Matthieu Jalibert (c), 9. Maxime Lucu; 1. Thierry Paiva, 2. Adrien Pélissié, 3. Lekso Kaulashvili, 4. Kane Douglas, 5. Alexandre Flanquart, 6. Beka Gorgadze, 7. Cameron Woki, 8. Scott Higginbotham.
Replacements: 16. Clément Renaud, 17. Ravai Kovekalou, 18. Zakaria El Fakir, 19. Jandré Marais, 20. Marco Tauleigne, 21. Jules Gimbert, 22. Ben Botica, 23. Seta Tamanivalu.

Referee: Christophe Ridley (England)

Edinburgh Players Unavailable: Darryl Marfo, Dave Cherry, Jamie Ritchie, Ruan Steenkamp, Hamish Watson, Darcy Graham, Jack Stanley, Nic Groom, Damien Hoyland, Rory Darge, WP Nel, Fraser McKenzie, Chris Dean

Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors

Date: Sat 23 November 2019 
KO: 15:15
Venue: Sandy Park
Live on BT Sport

Which feels stranger: typing “15. Tommy Seymour” or the fact that “15. Stuart Hogg” doesn’t follow the word “Warriors” in the team lists? There’s no mistaking the key talking point of this game, with Scotland’s full back facing off against his old club and sure to get plenty of stick from old muckers like, well, Ryan Wilson.

Hogg told the Rugby Pod (the flash one) this week that he’s finally playing rugby “with a smile on his face” which he hadn’t been for a few years, which begs further questions about the environment he was in before. He seems to be loving life down in Exeter and would like nothing more than to show the ex he’s moved on. No sign though of fellow Scot Sam Skinner, who is still on the injury comeback trail.

Glasgow, on the other hand, will be looking to show they have enough about them without the likes of Hogg and Russell to still mount a credible European challenge in Dave Rennie’s last season.

They still suffer from something of a makeshift feel looking at the team, but there is a steely spine of quality there in the pack from Brown through Cummings to Fagerson while Horne and Hastings are often worth the price of admission alone. Whether it can stand up to an Exeter pack including Jacques Vermeulen and Sam Simmonds and where Don Armand only makes the bench is a different question.

Huw Jones fans will again be disappointed, but they can always buy a cushion.

Also, it’s worth taking a look at our old friend Jamie Lyall’s piece on Ratu Tagive’s journey to get where he is today, finally earning some game time. It’s a good read (via Rugbypass), and explains a lot about why he’s taken so long to come to the fore.

Exeter Chiefs: 15. Stuart Hogg, 14. Jack Nowell, 13. Henry Slade, 12. Ian Whitten, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Joe Simmonds, 9. Nic White; 1. Alec Hepburn, 2. Jack Yeandle (c), 3. Harry Williams, 4. Dave Dennis, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Dave Ewers, 7. Jacques Vermeulen, 8. Sam Simmonds.
Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Ben Moon, 18. Marcus Street, 19. Jannes Kirsten, 20. Don Armand, 21. Jack Maunder, 22. Gareth Steenson, 23. Sam Hill.

Glasgow Warriors: 15. Tommy Seymour, 14. Ratu Tagive, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Samuel Johnson, 11. DTH van der Merwe, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. George Horne; 1. Oli Kebble, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Robert Harley, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Ryan Wilson (c), 7. Chris Fusaro, 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Alex Allan, 18. D’Arcy Rae, 19. Kiran McDonald, 20. Tom Gordon, 21. Ali Price, 22. Peter Horne, 23. Kyle Steyn.

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)

Exiles in Action:

Challenge Cup

Luke Hamilton and Alex Dunbar (Brive v Bristol Bears), Blade Thomson (Toulon v Scarlets), Duncan Weir and Cornell du Preez (Castres v Worcester), Jack Owlett (Wasps v Agen), Jake Kerr (Cardiff v Leicester). Ben Blain referees Pau v Calvisano.

Champions Cup

Greig Laidlaw (Ulster v Clermont), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Rory Hutchinson and Mitch Eadie (Benetton v Northampton, ref Mike Adamson), Richie Gray (Toulouse v Connacht) , James Lang (Quins v Bath), Finn Russell (Munster v Racing), Chris Harris and Alex Craig (Montpellier v Gloucester).

Tags: , ,

89 comments on “European Rugby 2019: Round 2 Team News

    • TeamCam on

      Gordon’s had one good game, and whilst he was admittedly excellent, I think Fusaro has more than enough credit in the bank.

      • TeamCam on

        Fusaro is more than an angry wee man. He’s an intelligent and powerful player whom I respect. He’s no Hamish Watson – who is? – but he’s worthy of far more than your childish put downs.

  1. Matto on

    Great try. Dominant tackle (Bradbury I think), turnover, quick ball, drawing defenders, slick passing, out to Kinghorn, acceleration, slide, try!
    Live stream on EPCR website. I think it’s just one cameraman zooming in and out, so take your seasickness tablets.

    • TeamCam on

      Bradbury is consistently breaking the gainline, too. I’d argue he’s having a better game than Mata, and I’m a massive Mata fan. VdM Jr. looks good, too. Just need a bit more composure.

      Also, I’ve got to say that I think the ref’s having a good game.

    • TeamCam on

      I stand by my comment that the ref had a good game, but it seemed to me that the Bordeaux try came from illegal rucking (the player didn’t appear to go through the gate). That said, I think Edinburgh ‘lost’ this game rather than Bordeaux drawing it. They just seemed a modicum of composure short of dominating.

  2. Stu2 on

    What a pathetic performance that was – thought they could stroll the game.

    No brains, no brawn and skills that would shame a mini side.

    Embra’s half back are killing what could be an excellent back division.

    Awful stuff.

    • Sam Laycock on

      That’s crap Stu2, this was a decent performance from Edinburgh, line speed and tackli g were good. Bordeaux are a serious team with some excellent players and the loss of Crosbie and Barclay told in the latter stages.

      Ref was OK but got no help from his touch judge, Bordeaux were offside a lot including being in front of the kicker from every restart which led directly to two kickable penalties.

      • Stu2 on

        I disagree – the Bordeaux are playing away in the Euro diddy cup – and are Embra not a serious team?

        Embra’s game management is terrible – they are like rabbits in headlights when their initial gameplan goes out the window – then they resort to kicking, which when VDW does it is like watching a wind up toy kick. Woeful kicking and then with the worst box kicker in the game at 9 you can see where Embra get nowhere at times.

        Stop apologising for pish performances.

  3. john martin on

    I reckon need Hickey to play (or a 10 who can produce something different consistently) – Pygros kicks 1/2 the time & produces fairly slow ball, by the time it gets to the game-breaker Bennett or VDM or Kinghorn the defenses are set & ready. There’s an argument for Shiel too. Agree with Sam L – Crosbie was a real miss

  4. john martin on

    Re Huw Jones – the SRU should let him go ASAP, a happy, fit, confident Huw Jones is a real fillip for the 6N. He’s wasted @ Glasgow

  5. Scotty on

    The Ruck are reporting that Huw Jones is heading back to South Africa to play Super and Currie Cup rugby.

    Here’s hoping Glasgow do something with the freed up wages and it doesn’t just go to the blazer boys in the SRU!

    • Campbell B on

      Huw Jones may need to go back to SA , great way of life. Unless he gets an offer from Pat Lam, he should go . Shame on us. I think it would take someone like Lam and the quality of life at Bristol to lift him.

  6. Sotonsaltire on

    I have always been pro Rennie but our options in certain positions look pretty threadbare. Granted the SRU have given Cockerill more investment in rehabilitating a very bad Edinburgh side but are we not in danger of tipping the scales to the extent that Glasgow will be poor and then need restructuring? Rennie must take some responsibility for that. I am not a fan of announcing he is leaving 7 months before the fact.

    Huw Jones needs to be let go if he isn’t being picked. Too expensive and ruining the guy’s career (unless of course he is the one causing the problems- this we do not know).

    Hogg’s barb earlier in the week that he wasn’t enjoying his rugby was aimed at something- Rennie?

    Glasgow are missing options in the second row and back row (front row is ok as everyone is fit but that won’t last). We have one 10 and no fullback.

    I expected an absolute tonking today both upfront and in slick back play. I will be watching in hope but this is a team that looks a bang average pro14 side.

    Is Danny Wilson the answer? Found out at international level and shunted sideways? Regardless I hope he is looking at the side and working with the SRU on strengthening the side. a successful Glasgow side is a must from a fan base perspective and there have definitely been a few empty seats at Scotstoun this year.

    • Sotonsaltire on

      A shellacking as predicted. Absolute suicide in the second half.

      Average pro-14 side. Thanks Dave and the SRU

    • Tam on

      I would not listen to a word Hogg says . He just wasn’t getting it his own way . His exit should have been an opportunity. The pitch is great , the fans are brilliant, we have a good crop of players with age on their side but it feels like it is just not working. If anything we have too many choices at times. Yet the concept of team work is lost.

      • Tam tm on

        Sorry brother Tam are you talking warriors or the national team here!! Interesting how many points reflect to and fro the different teams. We desperately need some maturity amongst the on field decision making amongst all pro team and national squad players . Just think how solid we would be and how opposition teams would have to use a bit more thought in how they may take us.

  7. Busy Little Bee on

    Half time in Exeter. A few musings.

    Matt Fagerson has a big head.
    Tommy Seymour has a small head. By the way why are people saying Tommy is not the answer at 15? I don’t see why not, excellent back 3 player still.
    Nick Grigg is like a little rhino, a ball of muscle. Let’s remember that the maligned Grigg was part of out last 2 very successful games v England. Due a bit more respect and Huw Jones whilst eye-catching ball in hand has flaws in his game.

    Is Hogg overweight? I wouldn’t worry about his remark about playing with a smile on his face again, he likes a cliche without applying brain first. Exeter are scrambling for the receipt as we speak.

    • Stu2 on

      It’s ridiculous that Jones gets pelters for his defence when Grigg falls off so many tackles in a game it’s embarrassing.

      Comedy second half from Glasgow – like schoolboys trying to continually run out of their 22 and two half backs who should have been given a slap and told to kick the bloody ball out.

      G Horne probably played himself back to third choice for Scotland there – really immature performance.

    • Tam on

      Hogg is not the only man in town at Exeter. Plenty of bigger fish. He should save his breath, he will need it to explain himself to his new boss. But on the upside it will be the same home truths his old boss challenged him with . Couldnt tackle his pint of beer.

      • FF on

        Hogg is their star recruit and I don’t think there are any ‘bigger’ players at Exeter. It’s
        not really a club built on start players though and I think the culture is something that made it the right fit for Hogg.

        Not really sure why so many Scottish ‘fans’ seem to have a
        vendetta against him. He’s one of our most important players for Scotland, he’s come through the ranks at Glasgow and was part of Scottish rugby’s greatest achievement in the pro game. Why the bitterness?

      • Tam again on

        FF: It is an opinion , not a vendetta, wrong word but I understand you do not approve, but I will not apologise for upsetting anyone and having an opinion.

        I disagree strongly, and suggest there are other big fish at Exeter. Some who have just returned from the semis and finals and at least one fellow lion. I doubt they will agree they are less significant than their ‘star’ recruit.

        I think this highlights my biggest fear for Scottish rugby, our perochial attitude. Unlike you I see, ALL our players are key . By singling out a few as ‘stars’ we undermine the others and that is a hinderance IMO .We need to think differently, we need to broaden our minds.

        Let me re-enforce this point . 23 others shared in the greatest achievement in Scottish Pro Rugby, it was not unique. When was the last time YOU or anyone, talked up the man who scored the first try in 2015 Final ?

        The man I refer to, is Rob Harley , 212 appearences, aged only 29. By comparison and just to get true perspective , Hogg at 27 , gained only 121 Glasgow caps. Just a thought to ponder.

      • The Emperor's new clothes on

        Well it is an opinion. Slam dunk with Harley BTW, lovely shot. Two hundred and twelve not out, that is an achievement to be proud off.

  8. Andrew McGavin on

    What were Glasgow thinking in the first 20 minutes of the second half?

    Brainless tactics and inaccurate execution. When will we realise we need to control possession and territory? Exeter are lethal in the opposition 22.

    The commentators kept giving Exeter the credit and they did play very well in the second half but we handed it to them on a platter. We needed control and field position to get the first score in the second half or at least prevent them getting their tails up. So disappointing that we don’t seem to learn these lessons.

    Am I being too harsh?

    On a positive note: Ali Price’s speed from the tap was really impressive.

    • TeamCam on

      I’d like to know if it was tactics from the coaching team, tactics from the players or simply inability to execute, because the first 40, whilst not exactly vintage Warriors, was how we should have won. It seems as though Rennie et al. haven’t learned from the last two European campaigns.

      Looking at the stats, it’s astounding that we didn’t win. We made more metres, made more metres per run, had more possession, had more territory, beat more defenders, conceded fewer penalties… And that’s with a major reshuffle of our back line early on. It’s not like the Exeter pack were making tons of metres, either. The apparent change of tactics in the third quarter appears absurd.

      • Ben F on

        Teamcam /Andrew you are are being too harsh IMO.

        ‘Planning , tactics , field positon and control’ , I think we could overanalyse this.

        Glasgow came second and the reasons we came second come from the words of that mighty philosopher himself Mike Tyson –

        “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.

    • Sotonsaltire on

      No you are not being too harsh.

      I think the problem is quality of player.

      Edinburgh have players queued up for certain positions and Glasgow have journeymen starting. SRU have messed it up with ‘project Edinburgh’- pouring money in to the team and a new stadium whilst Glasgow get Danny Wilson.

      No super 6 team in Glasgow, lack of investment in the Warriors (or the wrong investment in an expensive coach and and a marque player he doesn’t pick) will result in the warriors sliding back into a half filled stadium and a lack of rugby interest in the city. Shame.

      • Sotonsaltire on

        It’s not a conspiracy. The sru needed to replace Nakarawa, Strauss, Russell, Hogg and didn’t.

        I think it is plain to see that the investment has been in the edinburgh side and money will be needed for the new stadium. My point is i am disappointed as a Glasgow fan to see the team head backwards which is the case at the mo and it will undoubtedly affect attendances at Scotstoun. Rightly or wrongly people prefer going to see a winning side. Compare this performance to two years ago against Chiefs away when we ran them much closer and didn’t look like schoolboys.

      • Sam Benedict on

        “Edinburgh have players queued up for certain positions and Glasgow have journeymen starting.”

        Oh, please.

        Edinburgh might have a few flankers but also rely on players Glasgow let go. If Pyrgos, for example, were still at Scotstoun, you’d be calling him a journeyman. Bennett was considered surplus to requirements with Jones/Grigg/Dunbar while Bhatti was turning out for Ayr last autumn. Edinburgh might have had more signings but it’s not like they had the core of a Champions Cup-winning squad to work with

      • The Emperor's new clothes on

        Aye Salstonsaltire. It looks like the Weegies have ‘Hud their Tea’. back to Ibrox and a fish supper with salt and vinegar afterwards.

  9. CSC on

    Hastings cannot control a game when he is under pressure and he often kicks to no good effect. He still needs time to develop, but not as a bolted on starter.

  10. Scottie on

    Men against boys second half. What’s going on with coaching? Seems Glasgow know better than the accepted coaching standards and are happy to be disproved. Why? They were blown away second half but contributed to their own downfall trying to play out against a much bigger and stronger unit. Matt Fagerson is NOT a #8. Far too small in this arena. He needs to be used elsewhere but a marauding #8 is required ASAP.

    We need to know more about Hoggs comments and Huws rejection. Somethings aren’t aligned as we’re led to believe. This is to the detriment of the national game and we can’t afford it.

    • Stu2 on

      M Fagerson is a 6.

      Why play him out of position when Wilson is in the same backrow.

      Rennie couldn’t pick his nose.

      • Stu2 on

        Indeed Scottie, Grigg scored a fine try but fell off so many tackles it rather puts paid to the nonsense about him being the better defender than Jones.

      • Gaffer on

        Have to agree with Scottie. Men against boys in the second half. Exeter ‘s dominance and the win looked inevitable. The statistics don’t lie. Glasgow had enough ball/territory/etc to put the game away first half but failed. You just know a Leinster or Munster would have converted those statistics into points then parked the bus second half. But no we know best. Don’t want to be the harbinger of doom but that’s Glasgow finished in Europe for another year as we have failed to show any difference in our approach from previous. Ultimately not sad to see Rennie going on this evidence but like many others i cant see Danny Wilson improving matters.
        We need an improved conveyor belt of home grown talent ( perhaps super 6 will do this in time) and some big signings. We have seen Nakarawa , Russel , Hogg and Jones (possibly) go without adequate replacements.

      • RuggersB on

        I find Fagerson playing continually at 8….head scratchingly bizarre….never an 8….clearly a 6 or 7.
        A good young player…who needs to be playing to improve but ..i really find Rennie’s selections and man management floats between strange and infuriating.
        How many top class players have gone backwards during his short reign?
        I dont know much about Wilson…but it’ll be a skill to do much worse than Rennie.
        Aus can have him.

        Read Matt Sharratt being looked at as attack coach for Scotland and H Jones looking for move back to Stormers.

  11. Tam tm on

    I would love to see more of a conservative game In the 22 from Glasgow – reflections of Scotland out there today. Don’t attempt things when there not on especially when your in the game. Control the bloomin game don’t be afraid to slow it down every once in a while then go! Who’s coaching these guys!!!!

  12. JohnMc on

    Sort it out, Warriors.
    A first half against Exeter away that shocked the APL big guns and favourites for the tie. Followed by a muppet-fest. Total shambles of a second half.
    And Edinburgh, not so clever either, chucking away a clear route to a win against a good Bordeaux side.
    Not the end of the rugby world of course for Warriors and Gunners supporters, but by God it’s painful supporting our two clubs at times.
    The talent and experience are there in both sides. What’s wrong with the collective mentality and game discipline on the field?

  13. Bazz on

    We have the following centre’s at Glasgow:

    Johnson, Grigg, Horne, Steyn, McDowell, Jones, Kelly.

    I wouldn’t demand Huw Jones gets picked unless he justifies it but if he’s not getting picked we need to loan him out…both for Glasgow and Jones. When he re-signed for Glasgow a year ago he had rejected their initial offer of £230,000…and is presumably on more if he opted to stay.

    Surely the coaching staff had seen enough of him at that point? An absolute joke to spend that much money on someone that you don’t have enough faith in to select. I can’t decide where the fault lies…the SRU or the Glasgow coaching staff…or both.

    Despite the advantage of only having to operate 2 pro clubs we still seem to run on tight budgets and make bad financial decisions which leaves us over committed in some areas and under committed in others.

    While I’m annoyed with the performance, this game was lost when the team was announced.

  14. Busy Little Bee on

    Agree that Rennie is a total conman. What did he tell the players at half time. He just sits there in his dugout looking confused and glum, staring down unmoved at something on the table, is he playing chess or something like that, i’d love to know. There are no security cameras in the dugout so he knows he can skive and play board games without getting caught. He looks exactly as Nigel Short used to look while playing a match. I would sack him at the end of the season.

  15. Highland Bear on

    Judging by some of the comments here Warrior Nation are turning on the coaching staff and team. Not good for remainder of season which could turn toxic.

  16. Alanyst on

    No shame in losing to Exeter away.

    Glasgow playing like Scotland is a worry. Will we ever learn to keep things simple and play %ages?

    Make your tackles, get in the opposition half, finish chances, don’t screw up.

    • Merlot on

      Have to agree with you, alanyst. Away to a team looking to improve on their runner-up tag, with a few new stars in their line-up. Always an uphill challenge.
      That being said, why Glasgow kept trying to play out of their own half rather than kick for territory is a mystery. Exeter defence up the field was immense and won them the game, but Horne, Hastings or Seymour (all experienced internationals now) should at least have tried to relive the pressure.

  17. Lochinverboy on

    It’s the hope that kills you. Great first half and perhaps should have been ahead more. Top in possession carries etc, at Exeter of all places. Then comes the world cup deja vu. Stuck in our own 22 as Exeter come out blazing. What would Munster have done, Edinburgh? Get a platform then kick. No we went back to daft sevens, multiple phases with ball in hand, never getting over the 22. Each phase accelerates a mistake and of course the knock on happened. Scrum, score and we are chasing it. In employing 2 attack coaches back to back, our forward play has suffered, nor have we replaced Russell and Hogg. Seemingly that money is being used to beef up Edinburgh and to fund the new stadium. As far as I know, it’s Hastings who is still far from the finished product with Horne as replacement and no Full back to speak of as Jackson is well past peak. We have Steyn, Hughes, Nairn all not getting game time. All big fast aggressive boys. Surely, it’s time to give one a try. And then we have our marque signing Jones. Losing Dunbar and his recent inactivity suggest something is not quite right. We desperately need grunt in the forwards, compare us with Edinburgh. And let’s use our backs properly. Acceptable first season, much better last season, until it came down again to grunt. I’m the happiest optimist on the planet but surely Rennie knows, given his experience, what is required to rectify these issues. It’s such a puzzler.

  18. Not rocket science on

    Rennie should leave immediately. Let’s have the transitional season now and see if Jones can be saved. Embarrassing second half, bizarre picks (not justified by pointed comments from Rennie beforehand about performing in training). Pretty clear the guy will fail in Australia – clearly doesn’t have the brains or personality for a difficult job.

  19. Sam Laycock on

    Struck me today that arguably Glasgows first choice back 3 of Matawalu, Seymour and DTH, could have been fielded in 2012.

    Additionally they could, at some point this season easily field a back row of Harley, Wilson and Fusaro which could have been seen in 2011.

    There’s a real stale-ness to the squad it’s not just the fans that need a marquee signing I think the players need one too. Otherwise how much longer will they be able to hang on to guys like Johnny gray, Ali price, G Horne, Hastings or the Fagerson?

    Rennie seems to be ideologically opposed to having any star players. I’m not sorry to see him leave.

    • Rory Baldwin on

      Everyone complains that Glasgow are underfunded compared to Edinburgh, but I think a lot of folk are overlooking the fact that many of the Warriors’ established stars and younger stars came through the club which means that the wage bill will have been inflating disproportionately year on year so to keep guys like Jonny Gray or even George Horne would be a lot more expensive with every cap earned/round of negotiations. Now they are supplying more internationals, Edinburgh will have this issue over the coming years.

  20. Wingforward07 on

    Big shout out for Finn Russell. If you haven’t seen his nutmeg try for Racing – where have you been hiding? Stuart Barnes has him pencilled in as potential Lions fly half, and Lawrence Dallaglio named him ‘god of the week’ on The Ruck podcast. Stephen Jones and Owen Slot however reckoned the nutmeg was down to luck and not skill. I feel the opposite has never been more true and there isn’t a more exciting player to watch on the world stage at the moment. Lions fly half? Sadly I think Biggar, Anscombe or Farrell are more likely to be Gatland’s pragmatic choice…

    • Rory Baldwin on

      In two years given an injury free run Finn will be a more complete player. There are very few standoffs in world rugby can do what he can *now* in attack, and if he can sand away some of the rough edges of rash decision making it might actually be an easy choice. Even for someone as pragmatic as Gatland.

      • Wingforward07 on

        True enough – there is a mini highlights reel of some of his plays from Saturdays game. It was a mixture of ‘good’, ‘hesitant’ and ‘bad’. In fact he tried a similar grubber earlier in the game which ricocheted off a defender. A typical mixed bag, but with the good probably outweighing the other.

      • Fraser on

        Playing at Racing is really showing what Russell can do with the right players around him – unfortunately with Glasgow and Scotland he didn’t/doesn’t have enough of them.

        Not that Glasgow/Scotland don’t have quality players in a lot of positions, but Racing is stuffed with real class and also the type of players who can read the game, react and keep up with Russell when he does turn it on.

        Similar to the Barbarians-England game last year when he was outstanding.

        You have to think that with an exciting Lions team around him, he could absolutely shine and has the potential to blow away the other British 10’s.

        Unfortunately, since Gatland is in charge again, my hopes of an exciting Lions team have been well and truly dashed!

  21. pytelium on

    Finn is extremely talented going forward but one area he needs to improve on is his tackling..he frequently records 40% to 50% missed tackles per game..this is well above average for top class international out halves. Also his number of tackles is on the low side. If he can improve this area of his game and eliminate those wilder
    moments he can become number 1 world out half.

    • Tam again on

      If that is an accurate statistic , lets see what the Scottish tackle statistics read like ? I would have Finn near the top of table.

      You cannot go saying that kind of thing. Finn Russell is a ‘star’. He was ‘key’ in scottish pro rugby’s biggest success. I disagree, I am not amused.

    • Alanyst on

      Neutral here:

      69% for Racing in 2019 (118 made, 53 missed)…according to rugby pass…as a benchmark Farrell is at 87% for Sarries and Biggar at 92% for Northampton.

      He’s not often a dominant tackler, but it seems to me he regularly gets a half-tackle in before the man is brought to ground by the second man in. Not sure if these get counted as “missed” or not.

  22. Stu2 on

    I think we need Kevin to confirm that – seems suspiciously low to match your claim.

    I have never been bothered by Finn’s defence – he’s brave and never shirks contact.

    • Stu2 on

      Show your workings then.

      The suspicion you plucked them out of thin air is confirmed by the 10% range in numbers.

  23. pytelium on

    rivals comp TO TC MT
    ire 6N 1 7 6
    wal 6N 2 7 1
    engl 6N 2 7 4
    ita 6N 0 5 3
    ire RWC 1 3 3
    sam RWC 2 6 2
    jap RWC 5 9 4
    sar HCC 4 0 3
    mun HCC 2 13 5
    total tackles 19 57 31

    to = turnovers conceded
    tc = successful tackles
    mt = missed tackles…35% in those listed here

    I never suggested Finn was not brave,merely that his defence could be looked at.

    • wingforward07 on

      I guess the other aspect is context. For a flyhalf defence is generally supported by back row etc covering across the field, so if he misses or half tackles these tackles might be completed by others… any hoo

      • Merlot on

        That may be true wingforward, and could explain up to half those missed tackles. But you’d still want the proportion of missed tackles to be below one in three.

  24. Neil on

    Glasgow need to bulk up there pack massively and add class/flair back into the backline.

    1. Kebble
    2. Brown
    3. Fagerson
    4. Gray
    5. Cummings
    6. Fagerson
    7. Gibbins
    8. Ashe
    9. Price/Horne
    10. Hastings
    11. Matawalu
    12. Steyn/Mcdowall
    13. Jones
    14. Van Der Merwe
    15. Seymour

    16. Stewart
    17. Seiuli
    18. Halanukonuka
    19. Mcdonald
    20. Wilson
    21. Horne/Price
    22. Horne/Johnson
    23. Steyn/Mcdowall

    • Sam Benedict on

      Steyn doesn’t have the distribution to play at 12.

      Seymour; Steyn, Jones, Johnson, van der Merwe; Hastings, Horne; Kebble, Turner, Fagerson; Cummings, Gray; Fagerson, Brown; Ashe
      (Stewart, Seiuli, Halanukonuka, McDonald, Harley, Price, Horne, McDowall)

      • Sam Benedict on

        You need someone to get the ball to Jones AND the other outside backs. I’d put Steyn on the wing for that reason, he’s another carrying option. Johnson’s done nothing wrong at 12.

      • Neil on

        Sam have you considered that the fly-half can do that ?
        Johnson has not done anything wrong but he does not appear to pair well with Jones.

  25. Scrummo on

    Glasgow fans have had it good for awhile but my the toys are out the pram now.

    Lots of green eyed glares cast at the previously mocked Edinburgh too.

Comments are closed.