In the second part of his analysis of what needs to be done to save Scottish international rugby former national coach Frank Hadden explains the need to make the most of its raw material, drawn from a tiny talent pool.
Having coached in Australian and English schools rugby in the ’80s, then had the longest involvement of any coach in the Scottish professional game before, more recently, travelling the globe as a coaching consultant, Hadden has campaigned for many years for changes to the Scottish youth system.
Frank Hadden has highlighted the urgent need for unique solutions to be found to Scotland’s problems if the national rugby team is to have any chance of regaining its status among the global elite
The former Scotland coach, who has worked at all levels across the world, has outlined how a “laughable” approach to strategic planning ultimately led to claims that the World Cup can be won next year.
Rather than apportioning blame, Hadden’s aim is to highlight constructively the fundamental changes that need to be made to the professional teams, the junior structure and in the provision of the right facilities to help Scottish teams to be competitive.
Scotland international Ruaridh Jackson is set to join Wasps next season after being told he is free to leave Glasgow Warriors.
The 23-times capped No 10 has been offered a lucrative deal to sign for the Aviva Premiership outfit, who are chasing a place in the European Cup next season.
We brought the news last week of two of Glasgow Warriors loose forwards, Tyrone Holmes and Rob Harley, extending their contracts with the Scottish club. Both players signed two year extension to their contracts which will see them featuring for the Scotstoun based team until at least May 2016.
It has since been confirmed that two more back rowers who were approaching the end of their contracts have signed on for further terms for Glasgow. These players are Ryan Wilson and James Eddie.
Holders Toulon look set to be able to call on influential flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson and hooker Craig Burden for the European Cup semifinal against Munster.
The pair, out injured for the past two weeks, have reported fit and both turned out for training on Monday.
Sale Sharks captain Dave Seymour insists the prospect of qualifying for the European Champions Cup drove them to a 55-12 victory over Exeter Chiefs, and not the opportunity to impress England coach Andy Farrell.
Gregor Townsend today branded Saturday’s 1872 Cup second leg Scotstoun clash with Edinburgh as the biggest game of Glasgow’s season.
A thrilling 27-9 Good Friday victory over Ulster has taken Warriors to within four points of second-placed Munster.
While with the Limerick side set to host third-placed Ulster in their final game of the campaign and the Scotstoun men nursing this weekend’s derby dust-up against Edinburgh in hand, Glasgow’s chances of landing a first-ever home play-off semi-final are growing by the week.
Peter Horne can’t wait to get back on the field for his first start for Glasgow in nearly a year.
The centre suffered knee ligament damage playing for Scotland last June, but is fit again and starts in the huge PRO12 clash with Ulster at Scotstoun this evening.
Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric is a doubt for Wales’ summer tour of South Africa, says coach Warren Gatland.
The British and Irish Lions flanker has a shoulder problem and there is a possibility he will miss the tour to have an operation.
Tom McCartney has decided to swap Super Rugby for the Pro12 by signing a three-year contract with Irish side Connacht.
McCartney has been a consistent performer for the Blues since he made his Super Rugby debut in 2008 against the Chiefs.
He has since accumulated 64 appearances in the competition.
New Zealand flyhalf Stephen Brett will join second division leaders Lyon on a two year deal from Bayonne next season.
The 28-year-old, who has been capped by the All Blacks at Under-21 level, signed with Bayonne one year ago and has made 20 Top 14 appearances, kicking 15 penalties and a conversion.
Tavis Knoyle has been suspended for four weeks and Sila Puafisi for one at a Rugby Football Union hearing after the match between Gloucester and Bath.
The contentious West Country derby between Gloucester and Bath, which resulted in two red cards and five yellows, has led to the RFU stepping in to deal with the offenders.
Alan Solomons does not believe his Edinburgh side’s season will have been a failure if they fall short in their bid to reach the European Cup.
A 29-22 home defeat by Cardiff Blues dented Edinburgh’s chances of securing the top-six finish needed to reach the new top-flight European competition.
Glasgow Warriors have received a timely boost ahead of this Friday’s clash with Ulster at Scotstoun Stadium with Rob Harley and Tyrone Holmes both signing new deals with the club.
The back-row pair have penned new two-year contracts, which will keep them at Scotstoun until at least May 2016.
Australia’s 2015 World Cup preparations will be well tested on their end-of-season European tour in November with coach Ewen McKenzie trying to replicate their potential campaign for the Webb Ellis trophy as much as possible.
McKenzie’s side will play five matches on five successive weekends, which includes clashes against World Cup Pool A opponents England and Wales.
The Eastern Province Kings are chasing the signature of Springbok prop Brian Mujati ahead of the start of the Currie Cup.
The Kings have already been bolstered by the recent signings of lock Izak van der Westhuizen (Edinburgh), hooker Michael van Vuuren (Stade Français), centre Tim Whitehead (Sharks), scrumhalf Kevin Luiters (Cheetahs) and wing Paul Perez (Samoa).
Premiership battlers Worcester Warriors have signed 22-year-old tighthead prop Nick Schonert from the Cheetahs.
Schonert, who was part of South Africa’s IRB Junior World Championships side in 2011, is known for his physical presence and technique at the set-piece.
Springbok and Toulon lock Bakkies Botha has tweeted an X-ray showing nine steel pins inserted into a plate in his broken arm.
The Springbok and Toulon lock successfully underwent an operation to have a plate inserted in his arm after he broke it in Toulon’s 23-10 Top 14 defeat against Brive.
Botha is expected be out for two-and-a-half months, and he has indicated that his rehabilitation is on track.
After brokering the deal for a new European Cup, starting next season, bosses of Aviva Premiership clubs are understood to be working on plans for a World Club competition.
It has been reported that the English clubs will test the resolve of the IRB by proposing plans to create a new worldwide club tournament for the summer of June 2018 which, as it stands, is currently a designated international rugby window.
England and Saracens flyhalf Owen Farrell is in doubt for the rest of season after he was forced to leave the field at half time in the Premiership leaders 28-24 win over second-placed Northampton on Sunday.
Farrell had to be relieved of kicking duties by Argentina’s Marcelo Bosch and didn’t take the field in the second half at Saracens’ home ground in Hendon, north-west London.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster will be hoping that Farrell is fit enough for their end of season tour of New Zealand.
James Coughlan, who captained Munster to their 5-22 defeat at the hands of Glasgow Warriors last Saturday, was left infuriated by the display.
Munster’s shock defeat is their first at home in the competition and comes after a quarterfinal victory in the European Cup against Toulouse.
Connacht captured a major overseas signing for the 2014 / 2015 season to further strengthen the midfield.
New Zealand-born centre Bundee Aki, 24, a member of the two-time defending Super Rugby champion Chiefs, has signed a three-year deal with the Irish province, Connacht, and the Irish Rugby Football Union.
Cardiff Blues revealed a major coup in the signing of New Zealand international forward Jarrad Hoeata, from Super Rugby outfit the Highlanders.
Hoeata, who can play second row or back row, will move to the Arms Park at the completion of the 2014 Super Rugby season.
The Tauranga-born ace has been a member of the All Blacks, Maori and All Blacks Sevens teams.
Former England and Leicester Tigers hooker George Chuter has announced that he will retire from playing professional rugby with immediate effect.
The first man to make 250 appearances in Premiership Rugby action and a Rugby World Cup Finalist with England in 2007, Chuter has played 292 first-team games in 13 seasons with Leicester Tigers.
South African star Bryan Habana scored a try on his return to action after a three-month absence because of a hamstring injury as Toulon beat Bordeaux-Begles 22-20 in a thrilling Top 14 encounter on Saturday.
The 30-year-old – a World Cup winner in 2007 – touched down in the 66th minute as Toulon came from 20-9 down to prevail, largely thanks to 14 points from Frederic Michalak.
The Warriors are sending a strong squad to this weekend’s Melrose Sevens.
James Eddie, Lee Jones, Mark Bennett, Finlay Gillies and Scott Wight will all be involved after representing Scotland 7s in Hong Kong last month.
European clubs have agreed to launch three new continental tournaments, after almost two years of conflict.
The six federations and representatives from English, French and Welsh teams made the announcement on Thursday.
In a joint-statement, the nine stakeholders also revealed that previous competition organisers European Rugby Cup (ERC) will be replaced by a new organisation – European Professional Club Rugby – based in Switzerland.
The 2014 edition of the oldest sevens rugby tournament – Melrose Sevens – takes place this weekend at The Greenyards, Melrose rugby club’s home ground.
The tournament has featured many clubs from various parts of the world in the past, including South Africa and New Zealand. In fact, it was while watching Melrose Sevens on television in the early 2000′s that I got my first glimpse of current Springbok captain Jean de Villiers. If memory serves one correct he was playing for the University of Stellenbosch at the 2002 Tournament and his abundance of talent was clear from the outset.
The Crusaders will play a midweek match against England when the Six Nations team tour New Zealand in June this year.
According to the Crusaders’ official website, the game will take place in Christchurch on Tuesday 17 June.
Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar is in a race against time to be fit for the June Tests after injuring his AC joint playing for his Irish team Ulster.