Category: World of Rugby

News from around the game, ie outwith Scotland.

Pro Teams for the Weekend (Weather Permitting)

Assuming the games go ahead as the freezing weather continues (a couple of Magners games have already been called off), here are the teams to take the field in Dublin and Edinburgh respectively.

Glasgow Warriors to face Leinster: Bernardo Stortoni, DTH van der Merwe, Max Evans, Graeme Morrison, Thom Evans, Dan Parks, Chris Cusiter, Jon Welsh, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Alastair Kellock (capt), Richie Gray, Kelly Brown, John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie.
Replacements:
Fergus Thomson, Kevin Tkachuk, Dan Turner, James Eddie, Colin Gregor, Ruaridh Jackson, Rob Dewey.
(Probably on BBC Radio Scotland, Friday night).

Edinburgh team to face Cardiff: Chris Paterson (capt), Jim Thompson, Ben Cairns, John Houston, Tim Visser, Rory Hutton, Greig Laidlaw, Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford, David Young, Jim Hamilton, Scott MacLeod, Alan MacDonald, Ross Rennie, Roddy Grant.
Replacements:
Andrew Kelly, Kyle Traynor, Craig Hamilton, Scott Newlands, Ross Samson, Nick De Luca, Mark Robertson.
(Live coverage on S4c, Saturday from 6pm-ish)

Can’t say I’m not a little intrigued to see what Hutton can do, given what is a massive opportunity for him… but I wouldn’t expect miracles straight off the bat. Highlights of both games are also on STV as usual on Sunday. Given the lack of games this weekend they will presumably pad by talking about either the upcoming 6 Nations or perhaps porridge: ie the new Scott’s limited edition packets that are to feature Ross(y), Mossy and Thom. Hopefully this will help boost the sport at breakfast tables everywhere, especially during the current wintry spell. Speaking of, um, spelling, can someone tell me when they changed the spelling of porridge?

UPDATE: The Leinster vs Glasgow game has been called off due to late weather complications: more info on the BBC. Glasgow want to sue people given the cost of getting to Dublin has already been undertaken by the team after advice that the game would go ahed… Most of the weekend’s scheduled GP matches are also off, with just a few top flight rugby fixtures still hoping to go ahead including Munster, Leicester and Edinburgh.

O2 Rugby Competion

News has reached my ears of yet another rugby competition from O2 (sponsors of England) and once again you can have the chance to win some, um, England goodies. Anyway if you are on the O2 priority list (whatever that is) and have an English wife/girlfriend/cousin who would probably quite like a trip to Rome, you can click here to play the O2 Rugby Game. Where is Murray group offering us the chance to win a trip to Dublin? At least STV do have a competition somewhere (unknown) to win tickets to the France game. Guess you’ll just have to watch the highlights show and write down the address though, buggered if I can find it.

John Beattie Snr Talks About Gouging then I Rant a Bit

Interesting blog post from the big man about life-time bans for eye-gouging:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/johnbeattie/2009/12/the_insanity_of_eye_gouging.html

Some of the comments following his article are enlightening (not to mention some of the stories recounted frightening). It is interesting too how some people (PDV, that loon from Stade) still seem intent on downplaying it or sidelining gouging as an issue – a 24-week ban is anti-French, really? Stade Owner Guazzini should be fined into 2020 by the IRB, till the only pink thing he can afford are those little 2p sugar mice, as should the South Africa coach have been before him.

“”The ERC wanted to make an example of a symbolic player of Stade Francais and of the French team which has never had a disciplinary problem. It’s not normal that a private organisation in Ireland prevents a club employee from working, from playing. It is we who pay him.” says Max. I assume he meant “a French team”. Fair enough Max, if you don’t like it then you can bugger off out of the Heineken Cup too (sorry Hugo, you’d be collateral damage). It’s another example of the French clubs (following what I have just decided to call Tincugate) playing by the rules when it suits them and railing against interference when it doesn’t. We’d miss the French flair for sure, but I’m not sure I would want to be part of a game where people thought that what Dupuy did was okay. Watch this and see if you agree:

One of the BBC commenters suggests 6 months for a first attempt, then a life ban for a second one. Sounds fair to me. Although he was raking rather than gouging by the look of things, Dupuy did it twice in the space of 30 seconds after checking to see if he was being watched. Abhorrent is a good word.

Compatibility Issues for Euan Murray

Rumours are circulating that Euan Murray may be set to confirm a new-found unwillingness to play his rugby on a Sunday, which would rule him out of selection for the tournament opener against. In the past he has been uneasy on the matter or injury has ruled him out, but both Saints and the man himself (that’s Murray, not God) are so far unwilling to comment on the matter. While Murray is undoubtedly one of the top props in the world, this puts Andy Robinson in a bit of predicament going in to his first Six Nations in charge of Scotland. Can he pick someone else (Moray Low, Geoff Cross) without them feeling they are only a place-holder until there is a game on the right day for Murray? You have to hope that anyone who is put in for that match against France will remain there throughout the tournament if they play well enough. But then again Murray does give us an edge in the scrums. Or will Robbo put the foot down and leave him out altogether a la Simon Taylor? Robbo vs God, it’s an interesting battle. Still, at least those folk who rail against Six Nations games at any time other than 3pm on a Saturday can claim him for their side.

There is an old interview done pre-last Six Nations where Murray talks a fair bit about his faith on the Scotsman site that also offers an amusing (in hindsight) Six Nations preview and even some measured debate in the comments.

UPDATE: this has now been confirmed, Murray will indeed be unavailable for selection for the opener vs France on Sunday 7th Feb.

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Is This The New Scotland Home Strip?

No sign of this anywhere else so it may be something of an exclusive, but blog reader and NYC based Scotland fan David H wrote in with a discovery he made on a US rugby website selling what appears to be the (as of now unannounced let alone unreleased) new Scotland home strip:

Maybe since it’s a US-based company they didn’t get the memo to not sell it yet:

New Scotland Strip

It looks very much like a blue version of the new away kit, which interestingly the site does not sell.

Thanks for the heads up! I quite like the faded bit under the arms, very web 2.0. I still hope they pair it with white shorts like the good old days, but I doubt it. Thoughts, anyone?

Scottish Teams Top Table

http://www.magnersleague.com/matchcentre/table.php

You might not see the likes again! It was also good to see Sean Lamont having a decent game against Glasgow, no doubt Andy Robinson would have been watching. Worrying to see Moray Low and Thom Evans leave injured but hopefully neither is too serious. As for Edinburgh annihiliating Connacht, that was brilliant and glad to be able to watch some highlights on the telly too! Sorry for the brevity but I had a busy weekend of partying with Aussies who have taken steps to explain AFL to me. Without much success.

Also if you are interested in some rugby in Edinburgh check out the comments in the previous post, Queensferry RFC are looking for players…

Oh and I just noticed the Argies are being let into the Tri Nations which was in danger of becoming overblown – hopefully this will turn it into a more rounded competition though it may be hard with the timezones…

New Scotland Rugby Away Strip

It seems a new Scotland away kit has quietly sneaked out

New Scotland Alternative Strip (link fixed now thanks Giorgia)

It’s pretty similar to the old one apart from a) they got rid of the stupid patchy bits that made it look grey and the piping and b) they took the Murray logo off that horrible roundel. Although the Murray logo is still pretty rubbish (and too big, does their designer not know about whitespace?) it is much better than it was.

A new home kit is due to be announced in time for the autumn. Could it be back to basics all round – if so can we have white shorts back too please?

Don’t forget to watch the new highlights show tonight at 5.30pm on STV!

Scotland Lose Shirts From Their Backs

Kit manufacturer Canterbury’s European trading arm has gone into administration, resulting in the collapse of kit sponsorship deals with both Glasgow Warriors and the national side. Edinburgh kit is supplied by Rhino, so they should be unaffected. Canterbury and the SRU were due to unveil a new away (or “change”) strip this week, so I guess we will never see what the new shirt would have looked like. The parent company Canterbury of New Zealand remains unaffected, so it is possible that the national side’s deal may be revived with them given it is still a pretty high profile team. Glasgow will be on the hunt for a new kit provider though.

Scotsman Story

Scotland’s Chance to Beat New Zealand in a Rugby Related Matter

http://www.olympic-rugby.org/friends.html

As you can see from this page, the Kiwis are sorely slacking in the petition signing stakes, languishing in 27th place with Scotland having only 7 fewer signatories in 28th. We are ahead of Wales though, and we’d like things to stay that way. So if you haven’t already signed the petition to get Rugby 7s into the Olympics, head over now (you can use the big ol’ button to the right) and make us proud! Tell all your friends and get them to sign it too, and make sure your country is down as Scotland…We might even overtake such rugby behemoths as Sweden, Hungary and the Ukraine!

A Scot With Killer Instinct?

Not rugby related, but good luck to Andy Murray as he kicks off his Wimbledon campaign today. Al played his brother once in a junior tournament in Inverness we think. Humpings all round. Back with Lions etc tomorrow. Heard rumblings in the Sunday Times that ex-Bristol man Richard Hill and shatterer of our World Cup dreams Marcelo Lloffreda are interested in the vacant Edinburgh post… also the SRU are re-creating the Director of Rugby to supervise development and hunt for Kiwis with Scottish grannies, but hopefully not interfere with the national team.