Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


What Will the 6 Nations mean for Edinburgh?

[Edinburgh, UK. 28 September 2019] Mark Bennett in action during Edinburgh Rugby vs Zebre in the Guinness Pro14 at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh. (c) ALASTAIR ROSS | Novantae Photography Photo Credit: Alastair Ross / Novantae Photography

Edinburgh have finished the decade on a high with a hard won victory against old rivals Glasgow Warriors.

Up next: what should be a straightforward home win against Southern Kings unless Edinburgh do that most Edinburgh of things and cock it up.

After that it will get a little harder in the shape of a trip to Bordeaux to try and put the seal on a quarter final place in the Challenge Cup. A win in France will in all likelihood make the game the following week against Agen a formality that will allow Richard Cockerill a chance to rest some players and give a start to those who will probably be heavily used over the next couple of months.

The Scotland squad will assemble two days after that game and those Edinburgh players selected will thereafter be sequestered for international duty, with perhaps a small number of allowances, until the 6 Nations finishes with the final whistle against Wales at The Principality stadium on 14th March 2020.

On the domestic front then that means that Edinburgh will have to play 4 games in the PRO14 with limited resources.

15th February 2020 – they will be away to Scarlets who will probably be similarly shorn of International talent. Perhaps even including Blade Thomson.

21st February 2020 – the day before the Italy v Scotland match.  At home to Connacht who may have lost a few but perhaps not as many as Scarlets or Edinburgh for that matter.

28th February 2020 – at home to Cardiff. They will probably be much the same as Connacht. This game comes in the 6 Nations break so might mean one or two who are on the periphery of the Scotland squad may get released as long as we aren’t in the midst of an injury crisis.

21st March 2020 – Away in Port Elizabeth against Kings. This is a week after the 6 Nations finishes but travel and rest protocols may mean that those who had heavy involvement in the Scotland team will probably still be absent from the Blue and Burnt Orange.

Edinburgh’s form and recent successes will mean a record number of players away on international duty. I reckon that the following players will definitely be selected-

Forwards – Jamie Bhatti, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist, Ben Toolis, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury.

Backs – Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn

Contenders may also include Henry Pyrgos and perhaps Matt Scott or Mark Bennett. They may both get selected on form but Scotland have a fair few choices at centre right now so I think it will only be one of them that gets the nod.

That leaves an Edinburgh 6N starting XV looking something like –








Mata/ Haining


Hickey/Van Der Walt

Van Der Merwe





Will that team keep the league challenge afloat? Only time will tell.

23 Responses

  1. I still think there’s a lot of talent in that Edinburgh squad and think they will consolidate their position during the 6N, what about Farndale, Blain and Murray Douglas? Are they still available for Edinburgh?

    1. Murray Douglas is back in OZ with Brumbies. Farndale I think is with Sevens although along with Ally Miller but that doesn’t preclude either being used. Blain will be available if required as will Jamie Hodgson. there are one or two others but I named what I thought was a starting XV and alternates

      1. Right, is Thomson there all season or is he also off at some point? Is Dean fit and ready for selection again?

  2. Thomson has a one year deal as far as I can tell. Edinburgh have stopped releasing lengths of players contracts. Chris Dean is still injured I think

  3. Really think that having Barclay there this season will have a big effect during the 6N. He’s the kind of leader that’s been missing and should help some of the younger / fringe guys with their confidence.

    Also Willemse, Groom and Sau are upgrades on the options last year and Carmichael should add a bit more dynamism to the pack.

    Tbh Edinburgh look in a much better place come internationals than Glasgow. A Glasgow team without Hastings, Horne, Gray, Johnson, Jones and the Fagersons really doesn’t look very inspiring at the moment.

  4. Based on Saturday nights performance before the Kings went down to 13/12 men, Edinburgh losing players to Scotland might not be as much of an issue as previously thought.

  5. I’ve not seen much of Hutchinson at Northampton, but of our Pro14 centres, Scott and Bennett are the form options. It would be a particular travesty if Scott is not at least in the squad as he has been excellent and is up there on a number of the league’s stats.
    Luke Crosbie has also been excellent. Granted he is in a very competitive position, but may be invited to train again.

    1. IMO Scott, Hutchinson and Huw Jones should all be in the 6N squad on form, despite little involvement in starting Scotland XVs of late. Bennett, Harris, Taylor, P Horne all possible too. Bigger squad than World Cup requirements so could be 5 or 6 in the mix.

  6. Centres for the 6N should be Johnson, Scott, Bennett, Hutchinson, Jones.

    IMO Crosbie starts @ 6 – its all about what game we need to play, we need the forwards to “get stuck right inti thum” – Crosbie seems to exactly the type of nasty belligerent hard aggressive fellow, I’d love to see let loose crashing into the Irish/English defence – creating time & space for Russell/Hogg/Jones/Graham to cause havoc. Watson or Ritchie coming on 25mins to go seems a no bad option.

  7. What the 6 nations will mean for Edinburgh – well, if Scotland tank, they’ll be losing their head coach.

  8. Leaked I made up this Six Nations Squad

    Props – Allan Dell, Jamie Bhatti, Rory Sutherland, Simon Berghan, Zander Fagerson, WP Nel

    Hookers – McInally, Brown, Turner

    Locks – Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist, Sam Skinner, Scott Cummings, Ben Toolis

    Backrow – Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie, Matt Fagerson, Magnus Bradbury, Ryan Wilson, Gary Graham

    Scrumhalf – Ali Price, George Horne, Charlie Shiel

    Halfbacks – Finn Russell, Adam Hastings

    Centres – Sam Johnson, Rory Hutchison, Huw Jones, Peter Horne, Chris Harris

    Back Three – Stuart Hogg, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Sean Maitland, Byron Mcguigan, Kyle Steyn

    [edited for bobbins]

    1. No idea if this is in any way legitimate but does look very much like a Townsend squad.

      Would be quite happy with it if it was the case, although we don’t seem to have enough players at the moment to have many contentious decisions. Horne and Graham over Scott and Crosbie seems like madness to me though. I’d pick Bennett over Harris as well but didn’t really think that was all that likely.

      1. Totally agree with the above changes – Horne Snr, Harris & Graham out, Scott (who can both both 12&13), Bennett & Crosbie or Thomson in. Scott really is the form 12 & no need to pick a 2023 World Cup squad yet, that’s nearly 50 matches away. Need to get systems & tactics right straight away (better defence, aggressive break down play etc.), choosing the actual players to execute it is not so urgent & arguably needs around 2 season’s worth of matches. Scotland need to start winning so I would go with the best players, regardless of whether they might be past their prime come the next RWC. Scott is definitely one such who should be in the here and now squad.
        Anyway, it’s all a bit of conjecture until the official announcement……

  9. Should add it’s great that Sam Skinner looks like returning soon. Just hope he now stays injury free & his form picks up from where he left it.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion