Category: Rugby World Cup

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

RWC Build-Up: Cometh The Hour, Cometh The Men

Despite the Scottish cessation of activity at the weekend there was still plenty of rugby being played. We saw Australia show how antiquated South Africa’s rugby may have become in just a few short years. We saw Wales expose England’s lack of skills throughout an entire XV. We saw the French recline and accept gifts from Ireland.

Watching these games will be invaluable to Scotland because they framed some obtrusive issues that many in sport -particularly in England- have danced around. These issues give us cause, not only to look at our future opponents, but to assess ourselves as well.

RWC Build-Up: Longing For Los Pumas

I don’t think I would like to play cards with Andy Robinson.

Sure, when we see the glass box on TV, filled with what looks like all the shiny-headed men in Scottish rugby, it always appears like Robinson is losing the plot. Probably about a breakdown.

Behind the eyes, though, I see cool calculation. I bet he’s the gambler who only plays when he has the hand.

RWC Build-Up: Our Neighbours Prepare

Some things in life are hard to predict.

 Insurance was invented because of this. Sports gambling is so exciting because of this. Being French is only comprehensible when you accept this and throw conventional thinking out of the window. Indeed nothing is harder to predict than French rugby.

So when I decided I was going to assess the preparation of our 6 Nations rivals I had to get the perplexing Gallic questions out of the way first. I had to consider the preposterous and the perplexing.

 I needed help.

No surprises…

The problem with World Cups is that you have to make sacrifices to attend.  A trip to the other side of the world doesn’t come cheap and to fund this you have to give up on the small pleasures, such as warm up games.  However the rugby god’s saw fit to reward my commitment to the cause by dishing up a couple of tickets to Saturday’s game so I could see first hand just what was being prepared for the main course in a few weeks time.

RWC Build-Up: Looking At The Game, And Only The Game

At the moment I am beset on all sides with the reality, the spin coming out of Murrayfield and probably some early onset moaning from supposed experts. I have purposely not read any newspapers this morning, but I have watched the game again, re-read some stuff that went out live during the game and have endeavoured to see most of the official comments. So let’s look at the coverage of Scotland 10-6 Ireland.

RWC Build-up: Selecting The ‘Home’ Nations

When I was much younger I remember being excited by watching the Scotland team play with its ‘exotic’ stars. I knew very little about the politics or any assumed insult to purists. All I knew was that the ‘Kilted Kiwis’ had a cool nickname and they all seemed to be that little bit sui generis.

Playing Past the Present

With the EMC tests looming and the daily press releases telling us how our players are “harder, faster, stronger” than ever before whilst the players assure us the group has never been so tight-knit, I must ask: how will the warm up games pan out?

The reason I ask this is that everything in training, we have been told, is geared towards rugby specifics.