Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Podcast: Episode 96 – Person Of Finntrest


This week Cammy, John and Sandy take a look back at a bizarre week in Scottish Rugby and try to make some sense of it all. We also look ahead to the Six Nations and weigh up Scotland’s chances.

Elsewhere on the podcast we talk to Tom English about The Grudge, his book looking back at Scotland’s 1990 Grand Slam which has been updated and re-released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Scotland’s most famous victory.

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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:


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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.

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8 Responses

  1. Some of the thinking espoused during the Finn discussion is disheartening, basically because we’re not as successful as Barcelona, Finn is bigger than the team. Surely we can’t expect the coach to be beholden to the whims of his best player.

  2. Great pod, thanks! Interesting interview with Tom English and it was good to hear the finncident rounded up (good is maybe not the word) Not holding my breath to see him back for any 6n games though. On the bright side I’m glad Adam is getting a good run at it.
    I agree with the point about not having alcohol in a professional sporting environment but if they had made expectations around not drinking it’s a funny time to do it. Wasn’t that evening one of the first times the team has been together since the World Cup? I hadn’t picked up on the negative experiences of some of the players in Japan but it’s all making a little more sense now. Maybe they’ve game faces on but I’ve seen minimal smiles in the social media coverage of the camp.
    There’s no reason why they can’t replicate some of the traits of winning clubs like Barcelona but imo that kind of culture is more easily built when you are with the same people day in day out for a significant period of time. Not intense camps for a couple of weeks followed by competition. Probably translates well at Glasgow and Edinburgh and then feeds into the Scotland camps? Finn is clearly meeting those (naturally different) expectations at Racing 92.

  3. Thought it was a bit odd that Schmidt was being written off as not creating the right culture – the most successful coach in Irish history and one of the most successful coaches in 6N history (3 championships in 6 years).

    Also Tom English eulogised Telfer for bullying the 1990 team into being better, and was clear it was he was uncompromising and hard in them. He created a demanding culture that accepted no excuses, but his players were mentally resilient enough to grow in that environment. Then Toonie is criticised because some players didn’t have enough fun at the RWC!

    Sounds to me like Toonie is far more like Telfer in his expectations, but too many Scotland players lack the mental strength to compete at the highest level. Isn’t that something that has been discussed endlessly on this blog?

    1. Hi FF

      I think we have to accept that a lot has changed in the 30 years since Telfer was terrifying his charges into improvement. I’m also not convinced that he would be constantly barracking all of them, especially in private.

      Players are under more scrutiny than their counterparts of 1990, and are held to very different standards in their approach to games. I can’t imagine many of the 90 squad begrudging a man a fourth pint when there’s no game for a fortnight.

      The current batch have to live and breathe rugby, they won’t be heading back to their day job on the Monday after the match. There’s no let-up or distractions and eventually, it may wear some down.

      Maybe some have had it easy and been mollycoddled, but it’s up to the backroom staff to work out how to get the best out of them, be it by firing rockets or giving them a cuddle.

  4. Some wild unqualified speculation.

    Finn runs the attack on the pitch.
    Gregor is the attack coach.

    Empowerment necessitates a loss of control. You can’t tell people to be assertive decision makers and then dictate what they do. If you want to dictate their decisions you have to be accountable for the outcome. If you want people to be decision makers then don’t humiliate them for their choices, support them but discuss the process they went through to reach their choices.

    From the Twickenham remarks it sounds like Finn either wants to play through hands or kick to touch. It sounds like GT wants contestable kicks. I think Finn doesn’t have much faith in his team mates to recover contestable kicks and with good reason.

    It looked to me like Finn went wide in the World cup vs Ireland instead of contestable kicks but a lot of this was presumably called by Hogg. Perhaps he feels like he is being singularly blamed/humiliated by GT for his choices where as Hogg has been made captain?

    Laidlaw retires, probably the mediator who ensured everyone took a fair share of responsibility and no one singled out.

    While Finn is being slaughtered for his decisions, Dodson, who rode roughshod over employment law to sack his father is rewarded with a million pound pay check.

    While I agree that GT had no choice with the disciplinary actions. It could be that lacked awareness of how his criticism was effecting Finn then that is his management failure.

    more likely this is all nonsense.

  5. Just listened to this – I have to say John is talking mince.

    Players are adult athletes – Toony had every right to allow the players to have a few drinks after a hard weekend of Euro rugby – he rightly thought that players would do something they probably do every other day and self discipline themselves and only have a couple.

    Russell’s subsequent behaviour says everything about who should be shouldering most of the blame here.

  6. Just heard his drivel about the 10 jersey – never a good idea to let someone pi$$ed take part in the podcast Cammy.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion