Keith Mackenzie takes a look back at the work of Big Jim Hamilton, who announced his retirement last week.
With the news that Scott MacLeod is off to Japan to ply his trade, those of us turning thoughts to Rugby World Cup 2011 and who should go on the plane just found our lives a lot easier. Assuming that Robbo takes 4 locks (plus a back-rower or two with a bit of time in the second row perhaps) and that the front runners are most likely Gray, Kellock and Hines, the debate was always going to be over MacLeod or Hamilton for the extra cover berth. Now MacLeod’s move has forced him to recuse himself from World Cup duty, the door is wide open for big Jim. Not always the most mobile, his undoubted contribution has always been general grunt, lineout height and some extra power behind Euan Murray in the scrum. But this news, coupled with decent form for Gloucester should see him tie up the fourth lock slot. Unless Fraser McKenzie gets back to his early season form, then it could get interesting again…
Moves to Stade Francais were suggested at some point, but big Jim Hamilton has opted to join the big Scottish contingent at Kingsholm. Does this mean that Ross Ford’s lineout will go all to pot again, as it seems to have grown in usefulness since for club and country since Hamilton came back from injury this season…
Back down to earth with a bang for big Jim Hamilton who is dragooned straight into action, but the rest of the Scotland XV remain absent. With potential vacancies in the Scottish back division forced by injury, there could be a chance for some of these players to raise their hands, certainly for the 13 shirt assuming Sean Lamont is to be shuffled back out to the wing. Here’s the team:
Edinburgh: Ben Cairns; Mark Robertson, Nick De Luca, John Houston, Tim Visser, David Blair, Greig Laidlaw (captain); Kyle Traynor, Andrew Kelly, Geoff Cross, Jim Hamilton, Scott MacLeod, Alan MacDonald, Roddy Grant, David Callam. Replacements: Ryan Grant, Allan Jacobsen, Craig Hamilton, Fraser McKenzie, Mike Blair, Rory Hutton, Simon Webster.
Speaking of Mr Hutton (who has a place on the bench), I have a sneaking suspicion that A.D might have an exclusive piece for you later in the week…
This weekend Glasgow take on Cardiff at Firhill, Gregor will have some news for you on that I should think. Also in case you’d like an update on Thom Evans, here you are:
The injured Scotland players Thom Evans and Chris Paterson are continuing today to recover from the injuries they sustained in the RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Wales last weekend.
The pair remain in University Hospital Cardiff and both are described as being in “good spirits” by medical staff.
Scotland team doctor James Robson said: “Thom has been heartened by the many messages of support he has received from around the world.
“The surgeons are delighted with his progress. Thom and his mum met with the surgeons last night and Thom has opted to undergo a further procedure later this week, which will enhance the surgery that has already taken place and provide further stabilisation to his neck.
“This procedure is optional and Thom could have decided to have it done at a later point, or not at all. He’s decided to go ahead now and that should help with the whole recovery process.
“The same surgeons who performed the initial operation will undertake this procedure. Once he has settled from this procedure the expectation would be that he will be allowed to return home.”