Category: Pro Teams

In these pages you will find all our articles on Scotlands rugby Pro Teams gathered together, including Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors in the PRO12 league and in European rugby competition.

Tait Takes Over Falcons

Former Scotland and Lions cross-code legend Alan Tait is to take over control of the Newcastle Falcons following the departure of his long time partner in crime. Great to see another Scottish coach being given a chance to cut his teeth at the highest level of club rugby. Hopefully the policy of using the Borders as something of a feeder area for their academy that he and Bates seemed to espouse will continue under the new regime.

In other news:

  • Ian “Mighty Mouse” McLaughlan will be the new SRU President
  • Houston, Cairns and Cross have all signed new contracts for Edinburgh. Hoggy has an offer in but it is rumoured to be less than he’s currently on. Aren’t Cardiff in the market for a number 8?
  • Aberdeen Asset Management have also renewed their shirt sponsorhip of Edinburgh.

Sorry I’ve been a bit slack lately but hopefully we can get some coverage sorted of the games this weekend in the run up to the playoffs…

UPDATE: Tait has revealed a little of his plan for taking over at Newcastle here on the BBC.

Obama, Eat Your Heart Out

Every time you turn on the news these days you are bombarded with the word ‘CHANGE’. The politicians are all screaming it. Travel agents can’t get enough of it. Even the chief exec.’s of Rangers and Celtic seem to be on the streets begging for some spare. So what is set to change in Scottish rugby next season?

The answer to that appears to be the squads of almost every single ‘top level’ team.

Dragons Burn Edinburgh To Ash

Dragons 49  – 28 Edinburgh

Forget aerial ping-pong, there was try ping-pong on Sunday as Edinburgh went looking for four tries at Rodney Parade and got them – but forgot the part about not letting in seven in return. Despite a joyful attacking spirit from both teams, it was more a case of sloppy defence all round really with most of the tries resulting from errors, but the Dragons seemed to have more hunger for the result and a frightening ability to get round Edinburgh’s much larger wingers.

Teams for the Weekend

Glasgow Warriors team to face Ulster: B Stortoni, C Shaw, M Evans, G Morrison, DTH van der Merwe, D Parks, M McMillan, K Tkachuk, F Thomson, M Low, T Barker, A Kellock, K Brown, J Barclay, J Beattie.
Replacements: tbc

Friday night, Firhill, coverage on BBC Radio Scotland, kickoff 1905

Edinburgh team to face Dragons: J Thompson, M Robertson, B Cairns, J Houston, T Visser, P Godman, M Blair (capt), A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross, S MacLeod, J Hamilton, A MacDonald, R Rennie, D Callam. Replacements: A Kelly, K Traynor, S Turnbull/F McKenzie, S Newlands/R Grant, G Laidlaw, D Blair, S Webster/A Turnbull.

Sunday, Rodney Parade, live on S4C, kickoff 1705

Both teams will be aiming to keep themselves in the hunt for a playoff place. The Welsh and Irish teams are starting to creep back up the table as the games-in-hand iron themselves out, and after this weekend our boys face a tough run in for the last couple of games…

Rugby by the Bucketload

Well, it’s that weekend of the year again where the Heineken Cup knockout stages face off against the Melrose Sevens for domination of your rugby-viewing brain. You can watch live rugby from the Super 14, Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup from about 8am on Saturday till well past 10pm non stop (apart from adverts) on Sky Sports 2, while BBC 2 Scotland has coverage of the Melrose Sevens from 2-5pm. So much rugby, so little time! Still, some of the interesting bits could include:

  • The return of Ally Hogg and Marcus Di Rollo to our TV screens (/hearts?) in the Watsonians Sevens set up
  • Munster vs Northampton’s potentially “large ship v iceberg” clash at Thomond Park
  • The South African students endlessly praising Jesus in front of a bemused Melrose crowd after they have thrashed allcomers.
  • The slim outside chance of a Lamont vs Lamont clash in Toulon vs Scarlets – although looking at the squads there is no sign of Rory.
  • Trying to decide which non-Scottish team to root for, based possibly on the number of Scots on the pitch (Saints and Gloucester are prob worth a cheer on those grounds!).

And that’s before we even think about Leinster vs Clermont tonight at the RDS or Stade Francais vs Toulose on Sunday… enjoy your weekend…

Edinburgh Team for Scarlets

We’ll be back in the next few days with our teams of the tournament and other Six Nations round-uppery, but time waits for no man and the Edinburgh boys are straight back into the action this weekend.

Edinburgh: Jim Thompson, Mark Robertson, Ben Cairns, Nick De Luca, Tim Visser, Phil Godman, Mike Blair (captain), Kyle Traynor, Andrew Kelly, Geoff Cross, Scott MacLeod, Steve Turnbull, Alan MacDonald, Ross Rennie, Roddy Grant.
Replacements: Ross Ford, Allan Jacobsen, Jim Hamilton, Scott Newlands, Greig Laidlaw, David Blair, John Houston.

Murrayfield, Friday night ko 1930. Not on TV as far as I can see, this one.

Glasgow Team for Leinster

Glasgow Warriors team to play Leinster in the Magners League at the RDS tomorrow (kick-off 7.30pm): Stortoni, O’Hare, Murchie, Horne, van der Merwe; Jackson, McMillan; Welsh, Hall, Kalman, Barker, Turner; Eddie, Forrester, Vernon. Substitutes: Thomson, Low, Harley, Fusaro, Gregor, McCall, Kinloch.

So no Dougie Hall for penalty machine Scott Lawson then. No sign of Richie Gray either. Could there be a Hines at 6, Gray on the bench type shuffle on the horizon if Brown doesn’t recover from his head knock in time?

A Seat At The Table

Rumours are bouncing around the media this week that there is some secret SRU conspiracy afoot to block Italian entry to the Magners League, and so in return a counter-conspiracy to boot the Scottish pro-teams out of the Magners has been mooted by the Welsh press.

“Scottish teams Edinburgh and Glasgow could be kicked out of the Magners League by their Welsh and Irish counterparts, Scrum V understands” is the quote. Key word being could. I could be a millionaire by next week, Scrum V, but it’s bloody unlikely. Would you write about that?

Oops. I think I just dignified it with a response.

Glasgow Warriors 7 – 30 Cardiff Blues

It was essentially the Glasgow Warriors ‘A’ team out on show at Firhill on Friday, and the lack of strength in depth had to look worrying for Sean Lineen. Cardiff looked far more physically imposing and far better drilled against a Glasgow team hadn’t really played together before and looked like it.

In the first half, hope for the future Ruaridh Jackson had three chances to get some points on board for the Warriors but missed three kicks in a row and it only served to damage his confidence. He regressed into becoming a shell of himself as he repeatedly missed touch from penalties and looked pedestrian with ball in hand. His first penalty came from a Cardiff Blue holding on to the ball but he didn’t have the legs from near the half way line. On the other hand, after 11 minutes, Ben Blair for the Cardiff Blues looked composed in front of goal as he kicked his first in a run of successful kicks.

Glasgow had a few successful breaks in the opening 2o minutes, notably one from DTH Van Der Merwe who offloaded to Richie Gray who didn’t have the legs. James Eddie, wearing number 6, looked effective on the crash balls he received from scrum-half Mark Mcmillan but Glasgow didn’t have the support play to capitalise.

Glasgow’s game-plan didn’t prove to be effective as at some point it seemed to amount to high hit-and-hopes from Mcmillan or Jackson which would result in a loss of possession for the Warriors. Cardiff took advantage of being given the ball and spent a significant period of time in the Glasgow 22, with a try being prevented by the referee calling a penalty, and subsequently giving a yellow card to Hefin O’Hare. Instead of forcing the issue, Blues again relied on the boot of Blair to make it 9-0 before half time

The second half got off to a bad start for the Warriors as Cardiff’s Gareth Cooper put the ball over the line soon after the kick off. This sparked a continuing in the downturn in atmosphere at Firhill, as the fans began to take our their frustrations by shouting at the referee for missing high tackles, booing Ben Blair whenever he stepped up to kick at goal and screaming at hapless Ruaridh Jackson as he repeatedly missed touch.

On the 48th minute fan favourite Colin Gregor came on as a blood replacement for Mark Mcmillan, but he could do nothing to prevent a try from Casey Laulala which was again converted by Blair, bringing the score to 23-0.

When Mcmillan returned to the field he didn’t replace Gregor, but instead Jackson to put him out of his misery as he finished a performance which showed he has a lot of work to do before stepping into the shoes of Dan Parks, who will be playing for the Blues next season.

Tom James, the Cardiff winger scored a great individual try which further piled on the pressure to a Warriors performance that was losing any shape that it had to begin with. After the conversion the score was 30-0.

With the game out of sight, Glasgow began to bring on more club players, with Alex Dunbar and Paul Burke both getting a chance to impress. Glasgow also began to perform more fluently with Colin Gregor at stand off who was far more confident with the boot and was at the centre of a spell of lively and creative play by Glasgow. DTH Van Der Merwe was unlucky not to break through with another good break in the last ten minutes, as was Fergus Thomson who just didn’t have the legs.

On the 77th minute Gregor managed to kick the ball into touch which received mock applause from the Warriors fans who were delighted to see the ball actually go out. After the line out, Glasgow finally showed their worth with a nice run of play which ended in a powerful Max Evans burst past the try line. After scoring he made a “T” sign with his hands as a message to his brother Thom. Gregor managed to convert from between the posts.

Glasgow team v. Cardiff Blues

Magners League fixture kick off 7.30 P.M. at Firhill

15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Hefin O’Hare, 13 Max Evans, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Mark McMillan CAPTAIN, 1 Jon Welsh, 2 Dougie Hall, 3 Moray Low, 4 Tim Barker, 5 Richie Gray, 6 James Eddie, 7 Chris Fusaro (Heriot’s)*, 8 Richie Vernon

Substitutes: 16 Fergus Thomson, 17 Kevin Tkachuk, 18 Dan Turner, 19 Paul Burke (Ayr), 20 Colin Gregor, 21 Alex Dunbar (Selkirk)*, 22 Peter Murchie

Players to watch:

Rhuaridh Jackson: Sign of the future, next year he should be pencilled into this position at a more regular basis when Dan Parks will be playing for the Cardiff Blues. This is his chance to show that Parks won’t be missed too much. With versatility in hisability to play full back (as shown during his spell at Ayr) this also could count as an audition for him to show his value as a potential squad member for the Scotland Squad. He must start to show his potential fast, or Frazier Climo could be hot in his heels for both club and country.

James Eddie: A flanker in the Kelly Brown mould, he must be one of the players ear marked to contest to be a new member of the “Killer B” back row due to the departure of the aforementioned Kelly Brown. A very methodical, consistent player who gives outstanding effort, he has put in some impressive performances for West of Scotland. An alumni of the same school of former Glasgow Warriors back row rival, Stevie Swindall, who is now playing for Rotherham, Eddie could be the one who ends up eclipsing his former school mate in becoming an automatic starter for the Warriors.

Max Evans: What does it mean that he is playing this game?  We are none the wiser for his selection today. A player who has hardly been an ever present this season, he could be in the side to get his match fitness ready for the next 6 nations fixture, although some will debate the risk of playing him considering the spate of injuries Scotland have suffered in the last week. His selection at outside centre probably means he won’t be slotting in for Scotland as a winger in a direct replacement for his injured brother, allowing Sean Lamont to stay at outside centre, as was rumoured earlier this week. However, this match could also be a test for Evans, as his underwhelming performance against France probably still leaves a bitter taste in Robinson’s mouth.

And two you might not be able to:

Colin Gregor: Glasgow’s forgotten man, performs well whenever and where ever he is called upon. This is exactly the type of fixture that Gregor normally gets to show his talents, when his other, more recognised team mates are away on international duty. He was Man of the Match against Scarlets this season and he is able to step in at scrum half, stand off, full back and centre, but he is a victim of his own versatility.

Paul Burke : A very interesting call up who has been on fire for Ayr this season, especially in the British and Irish cup tie against Rotherham. He also made a difference when he came on in the recent club international against France. His career has been scuppered somewhat by injuries so far but he is now beginning to fulfill his potential and he could make a push to be a major player in professional rugby in this country.

And one Glasgow Warriors want you to watch:

Richie Vernon : As rumours continued in the Herald yesterday about Beattie’s future at the club, with hints that he could follow Kelly Brown out the door, the Warriors wouldn’t want to consider losing a player of Beattie’s standard if they didn’t have a replacement lined up. Warriors and the SRU clearly think they have something in Vernon and if he continues in the form he showed in the post Christmas fixture against Edinburgh, they will be proven right.

Edinburgh Team For Munster / Evans Update

Back down to earth with a bang for big Jim Hamilton who is dragooned straight into action, but the rest of the Scotland XV remain absent. With potential vacancies in the Scottish back division forced by injury, there could be a chance for some of these players to raise their hands, certainly for the 13 shirt assuming Sean Lamont is to be shuffled back out to the wing. Here’s the team:

Edinburgh: Ben Cairns; Mark Robertson, Nick De Luca, John Houston, Tim Visser, David Blair, Greig Laidlaw (captain); Kyle Traynor, Andrew Kelly, Geoff Cross, Jim Hamilton, Scott MacLeod, Alan MacDonald, Roddy Grant, David Callam. Replacements: Ryan Grant, Allan Jacobsen, Craig Hamilton, Fraser McKenzie, Mike Blair, Rory Hutton, Simon Webster.

Speaking of Mr Hutton (who has a place on the bench), I have a sneaking suspicion that A.D might have an exclusive piece for you later in the week…

This weekend Glasgow take on Cardiff at Firhill, Gregor will have some news for you on that I should think. Also in case you’d like an update on Thom Evans, here you are:

The injured Scotland players Thom Evans and Chris Paterson are continuing today to recover from the injuries they sustained in the RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Wales last weekend.

The pair remain in University Hospital Cardiff and both are described as being in “good spirits” by medical staff.

Scotland team doctor James Robson said: “Thom has been heartened by the many messages of support he has received from around the world.

“The surgeons are delighted with his progress. Thom and his mum met with the surgeons last night and Thom has opted to undergo a further procedure later this week, which will enhance the surgery that has already taken place and provide further stabilisation to his neck.

“This procedure is optional and Thom could have decided to have it done at a later point, or not at all. He’s decided to go ahead now and that should help with the whole recovery process.

“The same surgeons who performed the initial operation will undertake this procedure. Once he has settled from this procedure the expectation would be that he will be allowed to return home.”