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Podcast: Episode 190 – Scotland 6 Nations Squad Review

On this week’s podcast we take a look at Scotland’s Six Nations squad and try to make sense of it all. We get into a debate about scrum halves, try to make sense of some key omissions and ask whether any of it really matters given the depth of the squad.

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14 Responses

  1. Really enjoyed the discussion on versatility. I think the key is to have first-choice individuals make a shirt their own, and we pretty much have that in the backs, apart from some variation at 14. However, when picking the bench, the point is to consider how not 1 injury requires a reorganisation, but what happens with 2.

    So, if both Johnson and Harris got injured, you need players on the bench that cover 10 and 13, with Finn moving to 12. If Finn and Hogg get injured, either one of 11/14 can cover FB with 10 and wing cover on the bench or there is both 10 and 15 cover on the bench. If both wings are down, at least one centre can move out, whether from the XV or from the bench, while the other replacement goes into the centre.

    This is why Kinghorn has played himself onto the bench this season by showing that he can cover 10/11/14/15. Yes, he’s not a good a 10 as Hastings, but he’s a much better wing or FB than him and an adequate 10 cover. I would be very surprised if he doesn’t make the 23 every match day during the 6N. He is the jack of all trades and master of none, but at least he’s a pretty decent pro player at more positions than anybody else around the Scotland set-up.

    1. I still don’t understand who would cover 13 in this scenario of a 6:2 split? Hogg or Kinghorn are the only remote possibilities-and Kinghorn has certainly never played there at senior level and last was about 8 years ago against Munster I think!
      We go 6:2 at our (extre)peril-I’ve seen it come back to bite with 2/3 back injuries too often.

      1. I’m assuming a 5/3 split throughout the 6N. I can’t remember us going with a 6-2 split in the 6N, though that’s not to say it hasn’t happened.

      2. You have 13 Cover depending on your 12 in a 6:2 Split, Redpath, Tuipolotu & Hutchinson are all very competent is either centre slot, or you have Steyn at 14.

        (Nick Haining if your feeling frisky)

  2. Ok but if Johnson is 12 who covers 13? He’s never played there unlike the other 3 inside centre ossibilities you’ve quoted.

    1. I think if you want 13 cover in a 6:2 split you either have Redpath, Tuipolotu or Hutchinson at 12, or Kyle Steyn at 14 in place of Graham.

      If your sticking with Johnson and Graham then it would be safe to go 5:3.

      Hogg could do a job at 13 i think, in his limited time he excelled there in attack at least, but it’s not something i would risk in modern in rugby.

      1. I think Hogg’s defensive responsibilities at 13 would leave many of us hiding behind the sofa.

  3. Biggest strongest pack possible please.

    Schoeman, Ashman, Fagerson
    Skinner, Gray
    Fagerson, Bradbury, Ritchie

    Darge and Watson both on the bench as our answer to the bombsquad.

    Cummings arms still too thin.

  4. I think you’re right that Kinghorn’s versatility has got him in ahead of Hastings, but surely this is for a bench spot alone? I cannot see Kinghorn starting a 6 nations game at 10, so what happens if Russell is injured midweek? Do they get Hastings straight into the squad with a very short space of time to learn the calls etc? Even if the coaches were never planning on putting Hastings in the 23, surely it is still worth having him in the squad so he’s up to scratch with the moves and systems just in case.

    A few others have suggested it and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 6:2 split on the bench. Whilst our forward pack has come on leaps and bounds, we still don’t have the power of England/Ireland/France in that department so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Scottish bomb squad with the likes of Darge and Bradbury/Fagerson there to add some final 20 ballast.

  5. I still can’t get my head around the logic of omitting Hastings. If Finn gets injured then Hastings not only gets called up to the squad, but is more than likely starting 10 for the next match. That being the case, wouldn’t you want to make sure he had as long as possible running the plays, learning the calls and generally getting back into the groove of playing with his international teamates?

    1. What are you basing the fact Hastings would start ahead of Kinghorn on? Townsend has stated he thinks Kinghorn is the better 10 right now. (I would personally start Hastings ahead of Kinghorn)

      1. I said ‘more than likely’, rather than stated as a fact. I’m guessing this is probably for the same reasons that you would also start Hastings – i.e. Kinghorns his lack of experience playing 10 in international rugby. His only outing of note was in the autumn against Tonga where I think it’s probably fair to say he had a mixed bag. Ultimately, you don’t experiment in the 6 nations if you have any aspirations to compete for the championship. If this was the last game of the championship and we had nothing to play for then I could see him getting a start perhaps, but not in the very first game.

  6. Reading that Maitland has been called in to Scotland squad. VDM and Kyle Rowe are currently Ill

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion