Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


European Rugby 2019: Teams for the Weekend

European Rugby Champions Cup
European Rugby Champions Cup - pic © EPCR/Inpho used with permission

Agen v Edinburgh Rugby

Date: Fri 15 November 2019 
KO: 20:00 
Venue: Stade Armandie

Not the first XV this, but it’s a tasty looking back row and a chance for the likes of Charlie Shiel and Sam Thomson to get some experience. It does suggest that Cockerill is not viewing the Challenge Cup as the highest priority this season, which is a shame as a full-strength Edinburgh could have had a tilt at the title.

The backline is a chance for James Johnstone – so impressive last season – to get back in the mix, which he hasn’t been able to do yet with Scott and Bennett in fine form.

Agen: 15. Loris Tolot, 14. Timilai Rokoduru, 13. Jordan Puletua, 12. Alban Conduche, 11. Benito Masilevu, 10. Thomas Vincent, 9. Xavier Chauveau; 1. Morgan Phelipponneau, 2. Loris Zarantonello, 3. Corentin Chabeaudie, 4. Adrian Motoc, 5. Pierce Phillips, 6. Gauthier Maravat, 7. Jessy Jegerlhener, 8. Romain Briatte (c).
Replacements: 16. Fernandez Correa, 17. Malino Vanai, 18. Dave Ryan, 19. Andrés Zafra Tarazona, 20. Laurence Pearce, 21. Hugo Verdu, 22. Raphaël Lagarde, 23. Julien Jane,

Edinburgh Rugby: 15. Damien Hoyland, 14. Eroni Sau, 13. James Johnstone, 12. George Taylor, 11. Jamie Farndale, 10. Simon Hickey, 9. Charlie Shiel; 1. Jamie Bhatti, 2. Cameron Fenton, 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Sam Thomson, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. John Barclay, 7. Jamie Ritchie, 8. Nick Haining.
Replacements: 16. Mike Willemse, 17. Rory Sutherland, 18. Murray McCallum, 19. Lewis Carmichael, 20. Ally Miller, 21. Dan Nutton, 22. Jason Baggott, 23. Dougie Fife.

Referee: Joy Neville (Ireland)

It being the diddy cup, the Edinburgh game is not on TV but will be available as a live stream via the EPCR Website. Go here to register and watch.

Glasgow Warriors v Sale Sharks

Date: Sat 16 November 2019
KO: 13:00
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium

This is the start of Dave Rennie’s last European campaign with the Warriors and with Jonny Gray still being rested, they feel a little underpowered up front but unlike Cockers he’s putting out pretty much the best he has fit and able to play.

It’s a huge chance for Scott Cummings to assert his authority at the highest level (comments about his wrists notwithstanding). Will this pack stand up to what looks like a big pile of South African beef coming up from Sale? It seems like the (not Natal) Sharks are missing a trick by not signing Cornell du Preez.

Huw Jones is shut out from the 23 entirely as Rennie turns to those who have done their best work for him (Johnson, Grigg and Steyn).

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, 7. Callum Gibbins (c), 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Alex Allan, 18. D’Arcy Rae, 19. Tim Swinson, 20. Chris Fusaro, 21. Ali Price, 22. Peter Horne, 23. Kyle Steyn.

Sale Sharks: 15. Simon Hammersley, 14. Marland Yarde, 13. Cameron Redpath, 12. Luke James, 11. Byron McGuigan, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Embrose Papier, 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Rob Webber, 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4. Bryn Evans (c), 5. James Phillips, 6. Jean-Luc du Preez, 7. Ben Curry, 8. Dan du Preez.
Replacements: 16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Valery Morozov, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Matthew Postlewhaite, 20. Jono Ross, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Robert du Preez, 23. Chris Ashton

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Exiles in action

Elsewhere in the Challenge Cup, Alex Dunbar starts for Brive vs Stade Francais, while Blade Thomson and Scott Steele face off for Scarlets and London Irish. Jake Kerr is on the bench for Leicester Tigers while new signing Luke Hamilton starts at Number 8 for Bristol.

In the Heineken Champions Cup, Greig Laidlaw is on the bench for Clermont v Quins. Richie Gray is on the bench for Toulouse at Gloucester, who field new signing Chris Harris at 13 and former U20 Alex Craig on the bench. There are also 3 exiles on show for Racing 92 vs Saracens in Finn Russell, Sean Maitland and Duncan Taylor (bench). Rory Hutchinson displays his continuing versatility for Northampton, starting at 13 this week).

An all Scottish officiating team led by referee Ben Blain will take charge of Bordeaux-Begles vs Wasps (CC), and one led by Mike Adamson will also take charge of La Rochelle v Exeter Chiefs (HC), where Stuart Hogg starts at fullback.

26 Responses

  1. Jones left out of Glasgow 23 for Sale match. They really need to put him out of his misery and let him move on otherwise Scotland will lose him to the form wilderness for a long time.

    1. Quite agree, we don’t have enough talent that we can just waste somebody like Jones. Needs to be loaned out elsewhere if he’s not going to get picked for Glasgow. Grigg is ok, but Jones has way more upside in my opinion.

      1. Definitely agree. He’s the highest paid player in the squad. If he isn’t in the plans he needs to leave for the good of the club and himself.

  2. I assume if Glasgow win – Rennie’s selections are justified.

    However its my opinion that Grigg is by a considerable distance 3rd best 13, he is a solid player & has a big heart but simply too small (and not a genius) to be a top level option.

  3. Glasgow really don’t look like having the standard of outside backs they should have. Who knows what’s really happened to Huw Jones but it seems to me that Rennie just completely took against him early on and has no interest in developing him as a player and finding his form/potential.

    Not finding a genuine replacement for Hogg seems like madness – Seymour is not even close to being the winger he used to be, never mind fullback!

    Think they are in for a tough couple of years. G.Horne, Hastings and Johnson are a plus at least.

  4. Thanks for the write-up.

    The mention of Cornell du Preez…is he without a club then?

    Rennie comes across as a man without a personality. Maybe that’s just around the media. Things will not go well for Glasgow this season as everyone knows the boss is away soon. He should go now. Would love to know what he communicates to Jones and justification for marginalising him. His biceps looked ripped in his cameo at Dragons so it’s not a lack of training effort.

    If anyone is interested, John Hardie is playing for Newcastle in the second division. A pity his star fell so abruptly.

  5. Don’t know how he did but Gray came on for second half against Gloucester when Toulouse were 20-9 down. Won 25-20. If GT doesn’t bury the hatchet and pick the guy time it’s time to go too. Has to show learning from mistakes.

    On that note, Rennie clearly must have looked at last year’s performances against Saracens and Leinster and thought you know what our midfield was so incisive and forwards so dominant, I’ll just stick with that.

      1. Smells like the same way Russell and Dell were asked to join the Lions – asked ‘to train’, bungled explanation by Danny Wilson, Russell understood his reasons.

    1. Just checked the Toulouse website. In terms of game time he is 4th out of the locks available.

      Richie Arnold : 441 mins
      Iosefa Tekori : 399 mins
      Florian Verhaege : 160 mins
      Richie Gray : 157 mins

      Keep in mind that Tekori is turning 36 next month. So Gray obviously isn’t playing that well.

    2. I think you’ll find Richie Gray had a newborn baby and didn’t want to spend too much time away from his young family.
      I think he would have gone if Gregor had guaranteed him a place but with Jonny, GG, Toolis, Skinner and Cummings, there was no way he could.

  6. I think we need stronger ball carriers throughout the Glasgow side..

    Add in Mcdonald, Gordon, Mcdowall & Steyn in midfield, Jones needs to be in 23…

  7. A few more Scots featured/will feature this week:

    – Callum Hunter Hill ALSO starts for Saracens against Racing 92 (joined by Will Skelton) – he might be a bolter for the wider 6N squad if he can keep his place in the 23 when Maro PLC. and Kruis5 Ltd. return to (industrial) action.
    – James Lang scored a try at #13, while Glen Young also started as Harlequins lost in Clermont – for whom Greig Laidlaw wore the #21 shirt.
    – Tom Dodd (#8) and Isaac Miller (#2) started for Worcester Warriors as they overcame Enesei-STM in the diddy cup (a second XV, so no Weir or du Preez).
    – Josh Strauss started for the Barbarians as they were defeated by Fiji.

    In the Championship, London Scottish fielded James Malcolm, Phil Cringle, Lewis Wynne (C) and Bobby Beattie (interestingly, at #13) last night against Cornish Pirates, and won 25-24; Wynne and Beattie scored a try apiece, whereas Malcolm was yellow-carded.

    Alun Walker and Elliot Millar-Mills started for Ealing – Nathan Fowles, of Embra fame, was on the bench – as the side edged past a Doncaster Knights side with SQ prop Robin Hislop starting at loosehead.

    Fraser Strachan (#13), Grayson Hart (#9) and Jordan Onojaife (#4) are all starting for Bedford Blues in Nottingham tomorrow.

    Newcastle welcome Coventry tomorrow. John Hardie and Gary Graham are starting – intriguingly, Graham will play at #8…

  8. Re the Glasgow game, very unusual to see only 1 of the tight 5 replaced during the game leaving Brown, Fagerson, Cummings & Hartley to play the full 80, no surprise Sale got late momentum & shows little faith by Rennie in his bench options.

  9. Heriots 17 – 32 Watsonians (1BP).

    Watsonians go top. Two tries for Lomond MacPherson, who outshone his opposite number, Edinburgh wing Jack Blain. Joe Reynolds was MotM at #12 for Watsonians; he also scored a try, as did Angus Guthrie and Cal Davis. Heriots’ tries came from Rory McMichael and Scott Riddell. There were yellows for Michael Liness (Heriots #16) and Finn Hobbis (Watsonians #17).

    Watsonians didn’t play at their best, but they grew into the game; they were definitely on top during the second half, but it took them until the last play of the man advantage to capitalise on Liness’s yellow. Heriots suffered from an abundance of unforced errors, such as a Stuart Edwards touchfinder that crossed the tryline. They weren’t awful; the first half ended 17-17.

    1. Sam if you would like to write up a round-up of the Super 6 games please do get in touch, but this is the post for chat about European Rugby please try to keep it on topic if you can. R

    1. Watched most of that today.
      Not flawless, but a very impressive display by Finn today, in receipt of quick ball from a dominant pack.
      Note to Scotland coaching team : quick ball from a dominant pack. Two objectives to pursue there as a platform for success in 6N 2020. Easier said than done of course, but there’s the challenge for us at Test level if we want to get the best out of Finn or G. Hastings at 10.

    2. So they are all on form at club level against international peers ! Interesting is it not that they cannot ‘execute the game plan properly’ in the international jersey.Is there anyone left out there who can not join the dots ?

      1. I thought Maitland and Russell played well enough at the RWC. Taylor was nowhere near fit and shouldn’t have been in the plane but such is his influence I think most people backed the risk.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion