Under Andy “Build A Score” Robinson Scotland have improved. Split hairs if you want, but things are certainly looking better than they did only three years ago. Even the most pessimistic of supporters (i.e. any Scotsman) has to admit that.
As Welsh legend Gareth Thomas tells all in America there have been a few revelations on our own soil. Brace yourself for the Scottish rugby version of the New Years honour list…
Your faithful team of Scottish Rugby Blog pundits sat at a virtual round table, quaffed mead, gnawed meat from the bone, kicked the dogs and generally caroused their way through the highs and lows of this years Six Nations. Then Al threatened to get Excalibur out and everyone went back to their little corners. Camelot is a silly place…
Scotland Team to face Ireland: Southwell, Lamont, De Luca, Morrison, Evans, Parks, Cusiter, Jacobsen, Ford, Murray, Hamilton, Kellock, Brown, Barclay, Beattie
Replacements: Lawson, Dickinson, Gray, MacDonald, Blair, Godman, Danielli
Rory Lawson and Nathan Hines will count themselves unlucky, although Hines is ruled out through injury. Still, I would have liked to see a bit more inspiration on the bench given the difference between a wooden spoon and second bottom is negligible to us as a nation with plenty oak in the cutlery drawer but the difference to younger or non-regular players (Gray, Jackson, Cairns) between having played a bit in the 6N and not having played could be considerable in their development… Hope you all enjoy the game, I am fortunate enough to be winging my way there at the weekend and seeing what Croke Park and Dublin have to offer.
Oh, and exiled Number 8 and former Lion Simon Taylor has signed for Bath, who now have two Scots on the books following the news of Mark McMillan’s move there next season.
Ireland: G Murphy; T Bowe, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, K Earls; J Sexton, T O’Leary; C Healy, R Best, J Hayes; D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell; S Ferris, D Wallace, J Heaslip.
Replacements: S Cronin, T Buckley, L Cullen, S Jennings, E Reddan, R O’Gara, R Kearney.
Would any of them make it into the Scotland team? Woops, I meant that the other way round. Any Scots you would pick ahead of this lot? The Scotland team announcement has been delayed until tomorrow.
Scotland 15-15 England
Usually in recent years it has been the case that Scotland are thumped by an England team, or manage to doggedly grind out a win against them with penalties despite their try line having been under severe pressure for most of the match (similar in style to the recent wins in ’06 and ’08, or the win against Australia). So the result on Saturday was an odd one, and yet in some ways curiously satisfying.
Sorry I’ve been a bit slack folks, I put up a preview of the Scotland England match at:scrum.com Fanzone.
Come on the boys! Score-wise, what do you reckon? I think it could be close. My gut says it will be a slog but still winnable. If both teams play some rugby I wouldn’t like to think what could happen….
Phil Godman was last seen limping about during Edinburgh’s very impressive victory over the Ospreys on Sunday (anyone spot Clancy whistling up 20 seconds before time?!), but no word on troubles with any other Scotland players. So in the meantime here, lukewarmish off the presses and in the interests of fair reporting, an injury report on players in England’s EPS who may not feature against us next weekend: