Scotland Snooze

A quick post on last night’s bore-fest against Japan.

Free entry, a free programme, minimal queues to grab a beer and a sunny evening.  The perfect recipe then to see a strong Scotland side warm up with a convincing victory over a Japan select?  Well not really, as despite all the potential it was really a bit boring. 

Eight Summers of Exile

The revelations of the last few days that the SRU don’t want to tour the big southern hemisphere nations because it will stifle our developing players has, understandably, been met with disdain from some quarters. Robbo says “as far as our overseas tours are concerned I do not believe it would be beneficial for us to play a series of three Tests against the individual SANZAR countries at the end of our season. What I believe works for us, from a performance perspective, is a mix between SANZAR and Tier 2 unions as that gives us the opportunity to develop players which is part and parcel of touring”. Meanwhile, a great number of Scottish fans will be saying, “WOW! Look at him spin!”

Transfer Shuffles & Prop Injuries

Seeing as there is nothing left for the Scottish teams to think about now the season is done, here are some transfer tidbits as attention turns to next season for the pro-teams and everyone else gets to thinking about the summer tours.

Scotland A Squad Features New Faces

…As well as a few old ones. Ally Hogg continues the rehab of his playing career and he will be one of the old heads relied on to guide the younger players through the tournament. I would also look for hooker Fergus Thomson to make a big push here for senior selection in the autumn too, cementing his end of season form for Glasgow, with hulking winger Rob Dewey also on the comeback trail.

Interesting to see the two junior Blair brothers as the only real candidates at 10 in the absence of Ruaridh Jackson, although there are a couple of other fresh(ish) faces in the backs selection like former Watsonian Bryan Rennie and Bath youngster Jack Cuthbert.

Scotland A squad

Forwards: G Cross (Edinburgh), J Eddie (Glasgow), C Forrester (Glasgow), C Fusaro (Heriot’s), Roddy Grant (Edinburgh), Ryan Grant (Edinburgh), A Hogg (Edinburgh), A Kelly (Edinburgh), S MacLeod (Edinburgh), F Thomson (Glasgow), K Traynor (Edinburgh), S Turnbull (Edinburgh), R Vernon (Glasgow), J Welsh (Glasgow)

Backs: A Blair (Edinburgh), D Blair (Edinburgh), B Cairns (Edinburgh), J Cuthbert (Bath), R Dewey (Glasgow), J Houston (Edinburgh), G Laidlaw (Edinburgh), M McMillan (Glasgow), B Rennie (Exeter), M Robertson (Edinburgh), C Shaw (Scotland 7s and Glasgow), N Walker (Ospreys)

The End of the ‘Amateur’ Season

Sorry for the belated piece, guys; I’m currently playing rugby in Canada and have been enjoying, *ahem*, what North America has to offer. That is a report for another day, though…

So the Premier 1 season is done! Over! Finito! And what a surprising and refreshing season it has been for Scottish Club Rugby. With all the grumblings about the proposed changes to structure and format for the top divisions and whether it is what ‘amateur’ rugby needs, and a rumoured step away from an allegedly ailing cup competition perhaps it is a good time to reflect on the positives of this season.

Ospreys 20 – 5 Glasgow Warriors

Breathe it all in Glasgow fans….this is probably the highest we’ll ever go.

Osprey’s were a class apart from Glasgow in the Friday night semi-final fixture in Swansea. Although the Warriors effort was phenomenal in the first half, when the teams came back out, Ospreys class began to show and Glasgow looked like boys against men.

Scotland Squad For Argentina

The only new face is Jim Thompson, although it’s good to see Alex Grove back challenging for the centre spots. The Scotsman touts rumours that he may be set for Edinburgh which would be interesting as they already have Houston, Cairns and De Luca all competing in the midfield. Cairns has (again) missed out here though. Big Nathan has been granted compassionate leave to return to Oz, with the option of joining up at a later date – we wish him and his family well.

Scotland squad for Argentina tour:
Backs: Blair (Edinburgh), Cusiter (capt, Glasgow), Danielli (Ulster), De Luca (Edinburgh), M Evans (Glasgow), Godman (Edinburgh), Grove (Worcester), S Lamont (Scarlets), R Lawson (Gloucester), Morrison (Glasgow), Parks (Glasgow), Southwell (Stade Francais), Thompson (Edinburgh).
Forwards: Barclay (Glasgow), Beattie (Glasgow), Brown (Glasgow), Dickinson (Gloucester), Ford (Edinburgh), Gray (Glasgow), Hamilton (Edinburgh), Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Kellock (Glasgow), S Lawson (Gloucester), Low (Glasgow), MacDonald (Edinburgh), Murray (Northampton), Strokosch (Gloucester).

Glasgow Will Face Ospreys

Edinburgh battled valiantly at the RDS last night – securing 4 tries but not the victory – but were unable to sneak into the play-offs, leaving Glasgow as the sole Scottish representation and confirming that their play-off opponents will be the star-studded Ospreys. The other play-off will feature an all Irish clash between Leinster and Munster.