Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Podcast: Episode 201 – Cinq… Quatre… Trois… Deux… Un

On this week’s podcast we review Scotland’s performance in their loss to England in the opening round of the TikTok Six Nations. We also bit farewell to Big Band Bob as he departs Glasgow to possibly terrify French rugby instead.

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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. 

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50 Responses

  1. Cotter didn’t have any problems with the players? Townsend has problems with all the players? There’s where the problem lies.

    1. What angers me is that has always been known , even before he was appointed from Glasgow.

  2. Hogg great today and Toony please please please select Hutchinson for the Summer tour …

    1. Saw the highlights and ask the question ‘Why does Hogg draw and pass for Exeter?’ or ‘Kick into space for the winger rather take it himself’

  3. Dear Toony: Please do not select Hogg for the summer Tour. He deserves a break, we need to see what a side without such an overbearing character can do. Please, Toony.

    1. All our lions have played enough rugby in the last 2 years. Very few returning lions stood out this 6N.Rest them.

    2. Tenc are you for real ? Scotland rugby is in a critical way, and your happy the carry on with more of the same rubbish. Something has got to give , and we can’t get rid of the players . Townsend has to go! We are the financial consultants for Scottish rugby and if we don’t hand over the readies then we will beat the old school tie brigade. We have power as one .

  4. It is no better or worse than it has been since his appointment. What makes you think I am happy with Toony? Not that that was the point of my comment but as you mention it, he has survived worse, what has changed.

    1. SAS : I am long since finished complaining about Townsend. The SRU have protected him for this long. Ask yourself :

      1) Why was he appointed, what we see today was predicted by many , including me when he was appointed.
      2) Why did he remain, do you think any other nation would tolerate being beaten by the USA, being eliminated from the RWC.

      I doubt he will be out for the summer tour.

      by the way, I am happy to pick over the bones of the rot with you all day long but my point was leave Hogg at home. He has his own interpretation of ‘As one’ IMO. I think you are barking up the wrong tree if you think I don’t agree with you on Townsend.

  5. Finn Russell was great for Racing this weekend. Why are you stifling our talent Gregor?

    1. Finn had a great game last night, was alert and fast and covered the whole park. It was clear that he was a team member and was thoroughly enjoying his rugby.

      1. Huw Jones likewise for Harlequins revelling in a backline with pace and passing ability.

        It was out of position at 15 which will probably come as some relief to GT as far as Harris’ position goes but with Steyn showing up so much better at 13 than his Scotland position of wing, the Glasgow selectors may need some ‘guidance’ on that one.

      2. Surely not , would that be the same Huw Jones scored two tries (out of position at full back) this week, rejected by Scotland, rejected by Glasgow, Playing for Current Premiership Champions and sitting nicely in the top 4 this season ! I thought so .

        The question for me is will it be in 4th Spot. Either way the 3 contenders are full of Scots, some of whom have been overlooked.

      3. Maybe Huw Jones isn’t out of position at 15, after all he played there at Glasgow and had some good games in that position. We could certainly do with some competition/back up at FB as a bit short there in terms of SQ players, especially as Maitland now seems consigned to club rugby. Probably needs some more consistent time at 15 but his running ability might be better suited to a role which usually sees more space than at 13.

      4. I thought Huw Jones at 13 was excellent, won the curry cup there. It was his tackling that was criticised. It took more than one to stop him. He looks to have bulked up. It is Hutchinson that is overlooked IMO. Everyone is raving about one match Redpath, don’t get it myself. Redpath playing for a side that has dropped to relegation contenders while Hutchinson and Dingwall are key in the strike force of top 4 Saints. Nice to have him capped , but he wasn’t going anywhere else , not really.

      5. I stand corrected. He really had no credibility whatsoever as a 13 when we capped him and he scored a rapid amount of points in a short period of time. It only goes to show how deluded I was. Fake it till you make it Huw.

      6. Tam tok…. i think full of Scots is a bit of a stretch.

        Leicester….Scott n Henderson (who has not played all season)
        Saracens….to be fair they have a few, Maitland, Taylor, Christie, Hunter-Hill, and Swinson.
        Harlequins…Jones and Steele
        Exeter…Hogg, Gray and Skinner.
        Northampton… Hutchinson
        Sale….Ashman and Mcguigan
        Gloucester….Harris, Hastings, Davidson and Craig
        London Irish… Rowe, White and Dell
        Wasps…. Hislop
        Bristol… Kerr and Eadie
        Newcastle…. Graham
        Worcester…. VdM, Sutherland and Macallum
        Bath… Redpath, Bayliss and Rae

        As you can see most have 2/3 max, although to have over 30 Scottish players in the English prem is pretty good representation ill give ya that.

      7. It was strange that L Irish didn’t once target HJ with high balls… not really their style but you would have thought they would test him none-the-less..

      8. Nomad you’ve missed quite a few who are SQ.

        Hurd and Whitcombe at Leicester.

        Roebuck, Warr and Gourlay at Sale.

        Smith at Newcastle.

        Dodd, Miller and Owlett at Worcester.

        Millar-Mills at Wasps.

        Clayton at Bath.

        Chapman at Gloucester.

        Dingwall at Northampton.

        Hidalgo-Clyne at Exeter.

      9. Thanks Nomad, that is more players than even I expected and is very helpful. But I am not sure it backs up your point or kills mine TBH. It depends how you read it the next few weeks.

        The 4th spot is likely to be one of Exeter (3 scots), Northampton (1), Sale (2) or Gloucester (4). (Based on your listing)

        Northampton have one game in hand and Gloucester have 2 .

        With the relegation still not clear the 4th place battle is likely to be exciting as the bottom 4 will need to fight till the last game.

        Exeter and Gloucester have large number of SQ players and the game or games in hand may not be such a benefit as it seems on paper.

        With players from all unions back from international squads the likes of Exeter and Saints will benefit.

        I dont think I am stretching it, I suspect it is a bit too early to consider we may not have proportionally more scots in top 4 sides that the remaining 8.

        I dont think that is a stretch. Quite the reverse.

        Oh and not that it makes a big difference but SHC may still be a Chief. (he is according to Wikipedia) That would be 4 at Exeter.

      10. Scrummo… that’s fair… I didn’t know most of those were SQ… n I hold my hands up I totally overlooked hidalgo -clyne.

  6. It feels like lost of people want to comment what they think, but leave it to the reader to work it out. Either way there is not a lot of positivity around.

  7. Hogg, Graham, Jones, Redpath/Hutchinson/Johnson, VDM, Russell Price
    Properly coached and in a contented ,happy dressing room that back line should be doing damage to most (if not all) international teams.

    1. Well it might just be the pandemic but we don’t seem to play all international teams regularly anymore. The All Blacks haven’t been back since we run them close.

      As long as we stay top 8 I am happy , if we could be consistent top 6 that would be a result for a Scottish head coach. Not likely to be this one, anytime soon.

      I suppose one day we will look back and thank him for expanding our playing base in order to build a critical mass . But that is just a suppose.

  8. The Townsend bashing on this blog (the comments, not writers) is so boring. I’m not a huge fan of Toonie, and the 6N seemed to confirm his limitations as a coach, but come on stop going round in circles with the same miserabilist sh*te.

    Good to see Jones on scoring form for Quins. Expect he’ll be taken to Arg primarily in that position if we’re keeping Kinghorn at 10 (and all the lions rested as expected). Him and Smith seem to be the only scots who’ve had game time in that position this year other than Hogg.

    English pundits are all raving about Hutchinson as well. Have long thought he should be given a run to try and sort our kinda stagnant midfield and seems he’s in line for a run out in the summer as well. Him and Bennett could be lethal together.

    Could field a very exciting team this summer with some of our big names out. Jones, Mclean, Bennett, Hutchinson/Redpath, Graham, Kinghorn/Hastings, Vellacott has the makings of a really fun backline.

    1. Hutchinson looks to be having a great season so far and looks an obvious candidate – for most anyway – to add a bit more edge to our back line. Has played 12, 13 & 15 so should appeal on the versatility front too. Maybe we should pursue hooking in Dingwall too – if you’re named after a Scottish town, surely that should clinch your loyalties 😀

  9. My Tour team for Argentina:
    Captain: Jamie Ritchie
    36 Player Squad. 20/16

    A lot of the the Six Nations squad as while bringing in youth will be a part of this tour, we really need to win all games and bring back confidence, with the world cup only a year away the team really needs to gel.

    LH: Schoeman, Kebble, Bhatti
    H: Turner, Ashman, Matthews
    TH: Berghan, Nel, Walker
    L: Cummings, R.Gray, Skinner, J.Gray, Gilchrist
    BR: Ritchie, Bayliss, Darge, Crosbie, Fagerson, Muncaster
    SH: Vellacott, White, Horne
    FH: Hastings, Kinghorn, Thompson
    C: Redpath, Hutchinson, Bennett, Steyn,
    BT: Mclean, Rowe, Graham, Maitland, Smith, Jones

    Match team:

    Jones – Graham – Bennett – Hutchinson – McLean – Hastings – Vellacott – Fagerson – Darge – Ritchie – R.Gray – Cummings – Walker – Turner – Schoeman

    Redpath – Kinghorn – Horne – Bayliss – Skinner – Berghan – Ashman – Bhatti

    Richie Gray is the best lineout operator in the URC this season, madness not to utilise this, for a little less grunt in the loose.

    1. Good squad.

      Given it’s potentially 4 games (with Chile), I think we’ll see a slightly larger number with Bradbury and Tuipulotu added.

      Richie’s good in the lineout but far too undynamic for test rugby these days. His pace has completely gone and he makes zero impact in the carry. Given we’re lacking go-forward already, I don’t think we can afford to carry him just for the lineout. I’d rather Sykes or Hodgson was brought along.

      Similarly I don’t think Maitland will go. Nice to have him as a break-glass option for bigger games but not a summer tour. Give the spot to Blain or even Freddie Owsley to see what they can do.

      Really need to move on from WP Nel but can’t see many better options. Maybe chuck Murray McCallum in and tell him to sink or swim. That or revisit the Kebble at 3 experiment. 6N proved that we desperately need one of them to stand up and start challenging/pushing Zander by the world cup though.

    2. Neil: Yes nice selection: I agree we should take Richie Gray , for that reason alone , he robs lineouts. What could Horne or Vellacott do with a stray lineout steal. Gilco , borderline for me if you take Richie. No room for Duhan ? I think a bit of Argy Bargy is right for him.

      Maitland will not be welcome. Toony would not have enjoyed being rejected for the 6N. I wont be coming to hold tackle bags , I think even I would have been annoyed that he did not see passing his skills to the next generation as a benefit to Scotland. Mind you , I would have loved being a fly on that wall.

    3. Yeah agree good squad.

      Is Alex Craig injured? Would like to have another look at him at lock.

      1. Need beef- Tuipulotu, Hodgson, VDM (he’s had a month off) Craig, maybe Richardson (if Fagerson not fit),

  10. really saddened to hear about Tom Smith – fantastic player and a great watch

  11. aye sad to see one so good , gone from us – what a prop
    “When will we see yer likes again”
    Sympathy to the family

    1. Tom Smith is in my opinion, the greatest Scot of the Professional Era. He was never one to speak much, he did very few press interviews, like all great forwards, he did his talking, on the pitch.

      If ever there was a man who deserved to wear the number one on his back, it was Tom Smith.

      A sad evening , but what memories he gave us. Our thoughts are with those close to him.

  12. Tom Smith, a truly great player and by all accounts an all round great bloke. A sad loss to the world of rugby and as a whole. Thoughts are with his family and friends.

  13. A legend for Scotland and The Lions, RIP Tom
    From a personal perspective the Tom Smith try v Fiji Sydney 2003 where I endured shouts of “Go Fiji” the entire match and enjoyed the try by roaring like a wounded buffalo.
    Happy memories, thanks Tom

    1. Awful loss for Tom’s family and friends.
      One of the finest players ever to wear navy for us and red for the Lions. RIP, Tom Smith.

  14. The Passing of Tom Smith had me trawling you tube for some footage of Tom in his prime. I stumbled back across the Lions 97 footage , with Tom in the room for the Everest speech.

    He was also present when creamy made the “honest player” speech – and I do wonder how many of our current “stars” could do with watching that , and looking in the mirror, as mr T suggests. Too many excuses trotted out.

  15. Under this new 3 year rule it looks as if Zach Mercer is eligible for Scotland.
    Have to admit not knowing too much about him but isn’t he meant to be good?

    1. Don’t think Mercer would qualify. He and his family is all from England or NZ and having familial roots in the country is one of stipulations for switching. Did spend a lot of his youth here though so maybe counts as an edge case.

      He is very good, although not exactly what we need at the moment. Think Dempsey would have more impact.

    1. Yeah, residency doesn’t qualify you for switching countries. Have to have either been born there or had a parent/grandparent born there.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion