The rugby year has not pegged out just yet but, even before the first of the thunderous 1872 Cup clashes between Glasgow and Edinburgh, the sport seems to have lapsed into reflective mode.
So, too, your correspondent, croaking towards 2014’s finishing line in a clapped-out but generally contented frame of mind. So when the stockings have been hung, I shall allow myself a few moments of rheumy-eyed and entirely random reflection on what made this twelve-month memorable .
Head coach Vern Cotter yesterday added two players to Scotland’s viagogo Autumn Test training squad in Newcastle.
Peter Horne, the five-times capped Glasgow Warriors centre, and uncapped Edinburgh scrum-half, Sam Hidalgo Clyne, have been brought in as precautionary injury cover for Alex Dunbar and Chris Cusiter respectively.
Dunbar reported ankle discomfort during the Warriors’ European Rugby Champions Cup win over Montpellier in France on Saturday, while Cusiter missed Sale Sharks’ corresponding Cup clash with a calf strain.
The pair will require further assessment from the medical team over the coming days to determine their time of return.
Glasgow Warriors maintained their 100% winning start to the season with a 33-13 win over Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Saturday afternoon.
Four tries from Alex Dunbar, Josh Strauss, Tommy Seymour and Tim Swinson mean the Warriors return to Scotstoun with the bonus point.
Glasgow’s other points came from the boots of Duncan Weir and Stuart Hogg.
The Warriors had to play most of the second-half with fourteen players after Tyrone Holmes received a controversial red card for stamping.
Top-level sport is often decided by small margins. Take the events in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
Scotland trailed Italy 20-18 with the clock showing that 79 minutes had elapsed. Scotland had one chance to snatch a desperately-needed win.
Scotland have made four changes to their starting XV and a further positional switch in their team to open the 2014 RBS 6 Nations Championship away to Ireland on Sunday.
The announcement of the Scotland squad to face the Springboks in the Castle Lager Incoming Series at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday has been delayed due to a spate of injuries picked up by Scotland players in last Saturday’s bruising encounter against Samoa in Durban.
Scotland will field three new caps in their team for Saturday’s international against Samoa in Durban, the first of their three games in the Castle Lager Incoming Series. The debutants are 24-year-old Edinburgh Rugby full-back Greig Tonks and the Glasgow Warriors duo, centre Alex Dunbar, 23 and hooker Pat MacArthur, 26.
Ten uncapped players have been named in interim head coach Scott Johnson’s first Scotland squad. The 35-strong squad will convene in Glasgow next Sunday for a three-day training camp ahead of the RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Uncapped, Inverness-born stand-off Tom Heathcote has tonight joined the Scotland squad in Aberdeen in preparation for Saturday’s EMC Test against Tonga. Heathcote, 20, who has already featured in the Heineken Cup for Bath Rugby, has previously played age-grade for England but is “delighted” to accept the call-up from the land of his birth.
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said: “Tom has worked his way into the Bath first team squad from the academy and we’ve been monitoring his progress for the last couple of years.”
Head coach Andy Robinson has today named seven uncapped players in his 34-strong Scotland squad for training at St Andrews next week in preparation for the first EMC Test against New Zealand at Murrayfield next month.