Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Podcast: British & Irish Lions Tour Special – Ep 6

Hogg Press Conference Lions
2021 British & Irish Lions Tour To South Africa British & Irish Lions Press Conference, South Africa 1/7/2021 Stuart Hogg Mandatory credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

In the first of two podcasts this week Cammy, Craig and Jonny review the Lions Second Test against the Springboks. We chat referees, discipline, mauls and more as we try to work out what went wrong at the weekend and how the Lions can put it right.

The second podcast will be out later in the week where we’ll be previewing the Third Test, once both teams are announced, as well as reviewing the action from the first week of the FORSOC Super 6.

We broadcast the podcast live and you can watch and join in on the night. You can also choose to watch or listen back afterwards by one of our video or podcast channels:

YouTube –

Apple Podcasts:


Alternatively search for Scottish Rugby Podcast on your favourite podcast app or smart devices such as Amazon Alexa.

Each week we will put out a 40 minute podcast for all listeners covering all the latest news and key analysis of the big matches. If you want an ad free version of the podcast as well as a weekly bonus episode taking a deeper dive into the main talking points you can sign up to our Patreon from £3 per month. This also gets you access to our super secret social media group where you can chat to other fans of the podcast.

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

61 Responses

  1. Cant wait for the third test – IF Finn is fit and him and AP play. All set up for the Scotland halfbacks to be heroes. Maybe even a redemption story for Hogg if he gets game time second half. Much better this way than a dead rubber with mercurial Finn out to lead the Harlem Globetrotters. Tense wait for the team!

    1. I’m not really expecting Gatland to pivot to a different strategy. Instead just change out some personnel and double down on approach so far, with hope that better execution is enough to scrape a win. Personally I doubt it will be enough, but pivoting would also be a huge gamble to take at this stage and we’ve seen so far there is almost zero appetite for risk.

    2. Surprisingly, a number of the journalists in the Telegraph have Price and Russell as the starting half backs in their team for the third test. We can hope.

      1. His Racing 92 attack coach Mike Prendergast said: ‘I texted Finn after the second Test saying I hoped he would play the decider. He said he is raring to go and would love to.

      1. What is the point on starting Price with Biggar then bringing Russell off the bench with Murray. Stop trying to hedge your bets Gatland and commit to something!!!

    1. VDM keeping his place will cause fireworks… fair enough dropping Hogg (although I don’t think Williams will do much better) but good to see them acknowledge how poor Watson was.

      Price regaining the starting 9 shirt fully justified also.

      Harris unlucky to be dropped as he did little wrong and got no ball.

      Can’t believe Daly is still on the bench when he has been shocking – a versatile potato is still a potato.

      Owens was poor last week, not sure how he is starting. Sutherland dropped as expected.
      If Sinckler gets banned then Fagerson may feature.

      Great to see Russell in the bench – hopefully he gets more than 15 minutes to show what he can do.

      Feel very bad for Mish (also Henderson and Beirne) – has deserved more game time and Curry wasn’t great last week.

      Overall team not as bad from a Scottish point of view as expected. VDM to score the winning try from a Russell cross field kick in the 83rd minute!

      1. This is a game where size is everything and DVdM has it all. I think this is HW’s issue this test series. I am gutted for him as he will be remembered for that unfortunate tackle. Yes Henderson and Beirne are very unlucky, Both have done nothing wrong IMO. I cannot dee Daly having another shocker and great to see Finn getting a test spot. I dont see a problem with the side. If Liam Williams rises like a salmon and holds the bombs, perhaps questions will be asked.

        Looking on the bright side we know what strategy every side in the Autumn and 6N are going to adopt with Scotland, but that is a problem for another day.

      2. ‘Curry wasn’t great last week’ – and the week before as well. He hasn’t had a good tour.

  2. A bit of an odd team this one in my opinion, I can only assume that Bigger will be told to get it out wide otherwise VDM doesn’t make any sense. Great to see Finn in the bench for “it’s Finn what Wins it” The back 3 of the scrum isn’t working for me either

  3. Classic Gatland being conservative and not committing to a half back pairing who can play heads up rugby. Price and Biggar are almost as incompatible as Murray and Russell.

  4. Interesting selection – Owens needs to have a better game this week as he also seemed “off” (not seen much in the way of vitriol his way compared to some other players). Actually feel for Jamie George as think he’s had very few chances and has the capability to be a right pain in the erse to opposing teams.

    Sutherland’s form has sadly deserted him at the wrong time so no surprise he drops out. In my head I always wanted to see a Curry, Watson, Simmonds back row of utter jackelness / madness but maybe too lightweight (and off the wall) against Springboks.

    Hogg seems to bear the brunt of a lot of fan’s ire but objectively he’s made mistakes although am not sure Williams form has been massively better this tour. Yet to see Daly do anything of any note and other than versatility of positions, seems an odd one for the bench.

    As with Sam’s comment above, 9s & 10s are mixed up – Murray doesn’t fit with Russell as well as he will with Price but will confess am a Russell fan so would love him to have The Game and silence plethora of doubters … while of course acknowledging he could quite as easily put Kolbe in for a winning interception :)

  5. The only logic I can think of for Owens starting is that they have clearly felt the needed to bring in Wyn Jones and with so little minutes so you want a form of security and familiarity next to him, that is the only thing I can think of as Owens was terrible, I actually often think Owens isn’t actually that good, both hookers, he and LCD, have been incredibly lucky George has played so little across 2021 as he is by a country mile better than both.

    Watching it back Duhan actually did manage the battle in the air the best of the 3 he did a lot of tap back work, he just had crap support, he is also one of the few in the side likely to beat a few and drag a few with him and does have incredible tactical use as someone who can do 8 work and allow someone like Conan to work in wide channels, and rotate with the 8 as he often does for Scotland.

    South Africa without Faf, Du Toit and Vermulen should be beatable, Lions just need to make sure the game is fast, and that isn’t going to mean pace of rucks, simply the game, it can’t be allowed to last 2 hours this week or they are screwed.

    1. Is Faf injured? Or, has he been removed because he is very close to getting a ‘red’ card?

      1. He is injured bud.

        If teams were removing players who were close to a red in the game just gone you’d be lucky to get a 7s game on the go.

  6. Bizarre team. Does not fill me with confidence. Retaining the back 5 in the pack is unforgiveable. That is where the game will be lost. Biggar and Aki in midfield. The boks will be quaking.Another dire performance to back up last week. Thank Christ this is gatlands last game.

  7. Gotta love Gatland Bingo ! VDM Wow. Owens really?? Please, please let VDM get a brace. Feel sorry for George and Henderson on this tour tbh.

    What time is hearing for Sinckler? Might be all eight Scots pleay in tests on this tour.

    Cmon Finn. I think he will take of Aki, if he doesnt see red with some of his erratic tackling technique and Daly will come on with Finn

    Who is gonna do the kicking is anybodies guess once Biggar is substituted

    1. Post Biggar, kicking is presumably Russell who’s pretty accurate within his range, but Daly available if they fancy a long range crack.

      As far as I know none of the other backs have a kicking record at international level.

  8. Scot watch…

    Sutherland’s omission expected given Jones is fit.

    Fagerson not done yet-depends on Sincklers availability.

    Watson should be starting but not a good bench option for 6 or 8.

    Price getting his deserved place back.

    Russell I think was always Gatlands preference for the 22 shirt.

    Harris unlucky but if a big body is wanted at 12, its him or Henshaw at 13, so fair enough.

    DVDM lucky in a way after some errors but at least he’s been in the game and Kolbe hasn’t scored. Watson has been totally anonymous and Mapimpi has scored a few on him.

    Hogg had his chances and didn’t do enough. Hogg/Williams a bit of a 50/50 so he gets a chance. With no centre, Hogg not really a bench candidate.

    1. It is ok to say ‘Hogg has been dropped’, if you feel sensitive , just say ‘not selected’. There is no justification needed. His undoubted talents are surplus to requirements for this test and he should be thanked for his efforts this far. It is just not his type of rugby. He will be upset and come back as he always does.

  9. Pinball’s omission from the 23 is a shocker. Not sure who is going to play openside if Curry is injured – or is just as ineffectual as the last two games (I was going to say hopeless but that seemed mean). Pretty sure Simmonds has played there but not since he was 14.

    1. Just read the BBC sports on the team for the 3rd test and what surprised me was the response comments from the Welsh and English readers about Mish not being selected. They are completely shocked and feel he has been hard done to.

      1. What are folks thoughts about the reason behind Mish’s disappearance from the Lions after 1st Test? Some have thought of a fallout and some blame his tackle in 1st test. Thoughts?

      2. I think Gatland never really fancied him because he’s not a 6 ft 4 lump and also not an option at the lineout. I guess the tip tackle gave Gatland an excuse to leave him out. The omission of Beirne is equally baffling. Gatland has essentially dismissed the two form backrowers from the most recent 6N.

      3. I can’t believe how much Stephen Jones’ nonsense about Mish being too small has permeated around the analysis of this tour. At 6’1″, he’s exactly the same height as Tom Curry and 2 inches taller than Kwagga Smith.

  10. Poor looking Lions team – 6 Welshmen starting, they have been crap for 18 months, don’t let 2 grinds against 14 men in this year’s 6N fool you. Aki is a limited lump. How on earth does Curry continue to be picked ahead of H.Watson. The 2 Hawick players can have no complaints about getting dropped though. Hogg is all style and no substance. Strike running, sleeve tats and bleached hair will only get you so far.

    I’ll certainly be cheering on the Boks,

    1. It has gotten him pretty far to be fair…

      European Championships, Lions Tours, League titles, 6 Nations player of the tournaments, European player of the year nominees.

      How far would he get if he had dark hair…..

    2. Why will you be cheering the Boks?!
      Aki will bring a bit of confrontation and he plays with Henshaw for Ireland.

      If the forwards show up we can do this.

    3. BLB: Come on , get behind the Lions. I am , they can do this , the selection is not perfect but it is better, maybe even good enough IMO.

      You are not a Hogg fan, you are not alone, but don’t you get it! If the Lions lose, some will argue they should have picked him and if they win, well, they got it right and you can really drive the point home. You are arguing against yourself man. Come on , the lions must win.

      You are right about Curry v Watson, our man has been overlooked, You are wrong about AKI and Henshaw albeit Aki can be a penalty machine. As for the other stuff, enough said already. Come on, lions to win.

  11. Oh well done DVDM , first season at international level, all 3 lions tests plus one against Japan. Now that makes him and Ally Price the most capped (test match) Lions in our current scotland squad.

    1. That is quite an achievement. Will Finn Russell be our current squad player with the most test caps for the lions now. Assuming he is capped on Saturday ?

  12. I would’ve been tempted to pick Williams on the wing but we’d probably lose too much pace doing that.
    After the last test they were only going to compromise defensive solidity with a max of one ball in hand attacker in the back 3 and VdM gets the nod over Hogg.
    Glad to see Finn in the 23.

    Boks will be full of it but we can beat them.

    1. My two penn’orth:

      Owen and Curry are both very lucky lads indeed. On the other hand, George and Mish can both count themselves as being more than a little unfortunate to miss out.

      Price deserves his starting slot but I fear that the pack won’t be able to give him much of a platform.

      Biggar will do what Biggar does, which won’t win the Test unless the pack manage to gain the upper hand. I can’t see that happening.

      Finn will probably get to take the field in a Lions Test but I suspect that the Boks will be a couple of scores clear by that point.

      Harris did little wrong and he can console himself that his omission is down to a tactical change. I’d have been tempted to keep in the 23 as cover for 13 and wing.

      The man who will provide that cover, Daly, should be sitting at home right now. He’s as good as a man short at wing and FB and not much better at 13.

      No complaints re. Hogg’s absence. Likewise Anthony Watson hasn’t done anything to merit his retention.

      Adams deserves his chance, but Williams is there only because Hogg and A. Watson have been poor and Daly can’t be trusted to tackle a cheese sandwich.

      I’m sticking to my previous prediction of the Boks by at least 10.

      1. No we can beat them.
        Biggar is decent, he’s somewhere between Finn and Farrell.
        Finn is there if we need to roll the dice.
        Yes Harris did nothing wrong but the Lions have looked a bit disjointed at times (hardly surprising) so I’m sure some selection has been reversion to familiar partnerships- Aki and Henshaw. Aki is also confrontational.

  13. First an foremost I want a good game of rugby to breakout at the weekend, if they serve up that dross we had to endure last Saturday I’m not sure I can bring myself to care about the result. We need running rugby regardless of the result. Come on Lions put on a show.

    1. If Biggar plays anything like he did last time, that’s not going to happen at least until he’s off. I’m really hopeful that he picks up a slight injury (like a hamstring tweak) in the first few minutes so that Finn and Ali can actually have a go at these Saffers.

      1. This Lions tour really has brought out the worst in fans. Imagine an athlete working his entire life to get to the pinnacle of his sport then some moronic rugby “fan” hopes he gets injured just so he can watch someone who was born a little closer to him play. Pathetic.

        So much for the “as soon as the pull on the jersey, they lose their nationality and become Lions” ethos.

      2. Scotty: That is fair but a wee bit unbalanced. I dont know about others but I was proud to see our lads selected, and chuffed they made it to the test. As a nation we will be all the better for that, look how far we have come in a few years.

        However some fans are disapointed they never got to show themselves at their best, it never quite worked out. Sensing the loss that other nations never saw just how good we can be. Yes maybe even let down in some extreme cases.

        Fans feel that pain as well and I feel no shame in sensing that empathy.

        Wishing anyone injured, is , as you say, pathetic and not befitting the values of rugby. That is a concerning matter. In a game this physical, we get attitudes like that coming through. I have no truck with that.

      3. Get off your high horse Scotty. No need to get personal calling people you don’t know pathetic morons.

        Of course I don’t want to see anyone get badly hurt, that would be moronic. But people get little niggles here and there all the time in sport. It’s not like that kind of injury would have any lasting effect. Would I rather Biggar gets subbed off after 15 minutes without this slight injury? Of course I would, but it would never happen.

        It’s not that I just want to see all the Scots on the field either. I’ve no issue with the other Scots not picked (with the exception of Curry over Watson). The reason that I’d much rather see Russell on the pitch as soon as possible is that Biggar has already had 2 tests at “the pinnacle of his sport” and has served up boring, unimaginative rugby that hasn’t allowed any of the backs outside them the opportunity to show what they can do “at the pinnacle of their sport”.

        From a fans perspective these first two games haven’t been a great advert for rugby. If Biggar stays on playing more expansively and we witness an entertaining spectacle for a change, I’ll be more than happy. I just don’t see that happening based on the evidence so far.

  14. Rugby Union Weekly and Danny Care paint a picture of Finn coming on with the Lions trailing by 6 points with 20 mins to go and producing a piece of Russell magic to win…If only, but it’s difficult to see that scenario happening with the players around him at that point in the game…

    1. If we are hopelessly behind at Half time, bring on Finn. Who can forget the second half in the twickenham 38 – 38 draw 2019. We were without Hogg that day as well. Just finntastic. Kick passing to Adams and VDM. I can see that .

  15. Whilst Hogg and Sutherland can have no complaints about being dropped the imbalance in how other individuals have been dealt with whose performances have been equally poor is somewhat galling. In the SA A game and in at least two halves of the tests the performances of a numbers of the forwards has been way below acceptable levels. Lawes , AWJ, Owens, Curry and Conan have been MIA or outgunned by their opposite number for long periods of these games. The Lions breakdown work has generally been poor. Yet they retain their place and the backs have been used as sacrificial lambs for the dire performance last week.

    1. I think Gatland’s obsession with playing AWJ will end up costing the Lions the series. I really feel for guys like Beirne, Mish and Henderson who have been deprived of Lions test caps because of Gatland’s favouritism. Jamie George has also been hard done by as I’m not sure what Owens has done to warrant a starting place (Oh that’s right – Gatland said he’s in because of the Wyn Jones combination). Murray is another Gatland favourite who is lucky to be on the bench. I’d have gone Davies – although his box kicking isn’t a strength he can snipe and get quicker ball to Finn than Murray will.

  16. Totally agree with Scotty’s comments.This is their “Olympics”.Bloggers should show some respect-imagine what it must feel like for parents/wives/girlfrieds/family if they come across some of the acrimonious drivel that appears across a number of sites.Oh and the journalists and so called “expert” ex-players are just as bad.
    This is getting every bit as bad as it is (I understand) in football.

  17. LOL just watched Squidge’s latest report on the 2nd test, he doesn’t often highlight an individual players faults but basically lays into Connor Murray. shows that it was the difference between him and Price that was the key factor in losing the aerial battle. Murray still getting in the way of his back 3 taking balls just glad he didn’t break anyone’s eye socket this time.

    1. It was also interesting how Hogg being “out of position” for the try could have been alleviated or even prevented if Lawes had listened to Dan Biggar who was yelling at him and even pushing him to move to the other side of the ruck meaning the whole defence could have shifted out one (also from Squidge)

  18. While I am on a rant, criticising referees is unacceptable. There is no game without a referee and they need to be encouraged not criticised. Erassmus will be rightly made accountable. However for me it needs to start on the pitch , play-acting, back chat etc. it has to go and that directive needs to come from WR IMO. Start , by getting back to the 10 meter rule, and re-enforce the values of the game , or we will actually lower the standard of refereeing as they will not volunteer to give up their day , for 30 morons that feel it is ok to put their frustration onto the referee.

  19. How the hell anyone can want the Boks to win just cos Hogg was dropped is beyond me.
    Talking of our Welsh friends, Bok fans make them look modest, self effacing and great company at any rugby game between your country and theirs.
    And that’s hard to do.

    I hope we stuff them and Williams has a Stormer.
    As for Hoggy he was excellent in the 1st test but had a poor day under the bomb in the 2nd. If we win the series he’ll have been part of it and he’ll be back.

    Let’s do it.

  20. Absolutely . Apart from Fagerson 7 Scots will have played in test match. A remarkable turn around in 4 years. All credit to the players as they have deserved it

    Agree with a lot of posters in relation to nationalities. How must George, Henderson, Navidi ( I know he was a replacement) etc feel.

    Personally i hope for a lions win, especially after the ridiculous antics of Erasmus and the shocking time wasting tactics of his team in the last test. They are rapidly becoming the Leeds united of rugby , a reference possibly lost on younger posters ,In a few months all the Media, Forum rubbish will be a thing of the past and Scots will have been an Integral part of a series winning lions tour.

    1. George being dropped is the baffling one to me. TBH, unless Mish was starting or it was a 6-2 split on the bench he wasn’t going to be in the 23.

      Curry is a very lucky boy, and Ritchie will be breathing down his neck for the next tour.

  21. I’ll be shouting at my telly in support of the Lions as a team on Saturday. Naturally I’m hoping that Price and VDM give me something extra to shout for, but it is all about the team – playing a decider against a brutal, one-dimensional and cynical team that rejoices in playing the ugly and ill-tempered rugby they’ve long been associated with.

    If Finn gets game time, that will be seven of our eight tour members that near future tv and radio commentators – some of them through gritted teeth – will refer to as having earned Lions Test caps.

    Great experience to bring to the Scotland squad for the AIs and 2022 6N.

    Mon the Lions!

  22. I don’t wish the Lions ill. But I do want Biggar to pick up a mild non career threatening injury in the first 15 mins…

You might also like these:

Craig is joined by Jonny and Iain to look forward to Glasgow's huge URC final in Pretoria, after the win against Munster and skirt around the latest news of the week.
Craig is joined by Jonny and Rory to look back at the disappointing end to Edinburgh's season and Glasgow's march towards the semi finals.
Gregor Townsend has named a largely experimental squad for the summer tour of the Americas. It's not a question of who misses out, but rather who is actually going, writes Rory.
Iain is joined by Jonny and John to discuss the penultimate round of URC fixtures as well as the recent Scottish Rugby Writers' Awards

Scottish Rugby News and Opinion