Category: Rugby World Cup

RWC Build-Up: Does Superstardom Await?

3 days to go and the mounting pressure and rise in exposure is inescapable.

RWC 2011 kicks off on Friday with Tonga unleashing the Sipi Tau against the hosts, NZ, and suddenly we are made aware of every movement by every team, every day. It will continue like this throughout the tournament and at a time when every top tier nation is looking for recognition and respect we can only expect more scrutiny than ever before.

RWC Build-Up: The Major Madness

Before every major event we get caught up in the madness of predictions. We follow speculation as if it were Gospel. We force ourselves to show blind faith, regardless of what common sense has been telling us for 3 years out of 4.

Suddenly people at the office you rarely speak to are talking to you about sport. That distant mate no one has seen for years is emailing you about fantasy leagues. You’re heading to the bookies when, normally, you’re that person that doesn’t buy a lottery ticket on Rollover day.

RWC Build-Up: Our Back-Three, According To The Best

Let me set the scene for you: Scotland play 2 EMC Tests with 6 back-three options. They play one game against Ireland with S. Lamont, Paterson and Walker. Then they play against Italy with R. Lamont, Evans and Danielli. Then they take out Walker and send the rest off to New Zealand.

My question for you is: What should Scotland’s back-three be?

Uh-huh. Mmmm. Ok. Right. I see.

Well forget all that, I’m now going to ask a few ex-internationals instead because –no offence!- I’m pretty sure we would all love to hear what Scotland and Lions greats Ken Scotland and Andy Irvine have to say instead!

Update

Am very excited at the news about Richie Vernon giving us an exclusive RWC tour diary, great work to the team holding down the fort while I am away. Apologies for the brief downtime of the site yesterday, traffic must have taken a bump but we should be ok from here on in.

Caught bits of the Aus v NZ and Ire v Eng games at the weekend in various Bangkok bars. Didn’t see all of the games so I thought I’d ask you: Australia looking good – or was it just a flash in the pan? Has Genia picked the perfect time to become the best 9 in the world? England’s defence looked solid (only saw second half), are they timing it right? It looked a bit like Ireland’s second team though, so is there nothing to worry about?

In the mean time check out reader Graham’s Rugby World Cup trailer, Lego style!

RWC Announcement

So the Scotland team are off Down Under and will be 11 hours ahead. You won’t be able to get your Twitter fix from the players and there won’t be press reports every second day.

Don’t worry! We have a way you can keep up with the Scotland squad and have your player fix…

We are pleased to announce that Richard Vernon, Scotland Rugby World Cup 2011 back rower, has joined Scottish Rugby Blog as a tour diarist.

He will be keeping us abrest of all goings on in the camp as well as letting you know about team preperations and group morale leading up to, and following, all the big RWC matches.

Our first post should be up on Thursday and regularly after that.

Keep following the Blog to see what the Scotland boys are up to!

RWC Build-Up: Al For One, One For All

With rugby, as with all competitive sport, you see players have to deal with setbacks. Sometimes these setbacks can define a player’s career. Sometimes, just sometimes though, a player can define his career by using those setbacks as opportunities.

The key is setting goals and being realistic about what you can, and importantly, need to achieve.

So when Dundonian Alasdair Dickinson told me “The shoulder’s OK so far!” I couldn’t help but feel a little relief for him.

RWC Build-Up: Team for Italy, Omissions For New Zealand

Just when I thought I had figured out the Axis of Anticipated that is Robinson and Townsend they go and mix things up! Here is the Scotland team to face the Italians at Murrayfield on Saturday, 5pm:

15  Rory Lamont (Toulon) 24 caps

14  Max Evans (Castres) 19 caps
13  Nick De Luca (Edinburgh) 25 caps
12  Graeme Morrison (Glasgow Warriors) 29 caps
11  Simon Danielli (Ulster) 27 caps

10  Dan Parks (Cardiff Blues) 61 caps
9  Mike Blair (Edinburgh) VICE-CAPTAIN 71 caps

1  Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks) 20 caps
2  Scott Lawson (Gloucester) 27 caps
3  Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors) 14 caps
4  Nathan Hines (Clermont Ferrand) 72 caps
5  Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors) CAPTAIN 33 caps
6  Kelly Brown (Saracens) 45 caps
8  Richie Vernon (Sale Sharks) 11 caps
7  John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors) 28 caps

Substitutes

16  Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors) 35 caps
17  Euan Murray (Newcastle Falcons) 38 caps
18  Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) 11 caps
19  Ross Rennie (Edinburgh) 7 caps
20  Chris Cusiter (Glasgow Warriors) 52 caps
21  Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors) 7 caps
22  Nikki Walker (Ospreys) 23 caps

New Facebook page for travelling fans

If your intending to travel out to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup then you need to make sure to regularly visit the new ScotlandRWC2011 Facebook page.  This has just been launched and will provide invaluable information for all Scot’s travelling to the other side of the world.

It has useful information on events, travel etc and will also contain up to date information on the Scottish Embassies which are being established in Invercargill, Wellington and Auckland.  The embassies will provide a safe haven of good beer, good grub and good craic for all Scotland fans.

A million thanks go to Colin in Wellington for this invaluable resource!

Going to NZ for WC’11?

Are you going to New Zealand in the next few weeks for the Rugby World Cup?  No doubt you have your flights booked, the kilt cleaned, match tickets secured somewhere safe and a camper-van booked to take you from Invercargill all the way to Auckland (presuming it doesn’t fall to bit’s en route).

As a travelling foot-soldier of Scottish Rugby you’ll know fine well that just as important as the game is the craic before and after games.  Part of the fun in travelling to any new city is finding new drinking dens where a spot of libation can be found.  Well, the good folks at Lion Nathan have agreed to put on Scottish Embassies in Invercargill, Wellington and Auckland through their Macs and Speights pubs.

More info will appear on the blog but also make sure you go to the facebook page – ScotlandRWC2011 where much more info for Scotland fans can be found.

 Also check out the Speights and Macs websites for specific info on venues:

http://www.macs.co.nz/brewbars/

http://www.speights.co.nz/Home.aspx