RBS 6 Nations
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The Scotland Women squad for the 2015 RBS 6 Nations includes a mix of experience and relatively newer faces, with a number of players having worked their way through the age grades and progressed from Scotland Women Under 20.
Worcester prop Tracy Balmer captains the squad again, lining up in the front row alongside 71-times capped Heather Lockhart while back row Rachael Cook – who hails from Larbert Academy and was part of the Scotland Women under-20 side who defeated Finland two years ago – will be looking to add to her five caps won last season.
Hugh Blake has become the latest player to join the Kilted Kiwi brigade, joining his fellow countrymen Blair Cowan and Sean Maitland in the Scotland squad. It came as a big surprise to see Blake’s name on the team sheet as the Junior All Black and Highlander, now getting his first call up to a Scotland squad, only joined Edinburgh in December last year.
He played in an ‘A’ team fixture for Edinburgh against Glasgow Warriors on 22 December and had to leave the field injured, suffering from concussion following a knock to his head which knocked him out for a bit. Flanker Blake (1.87m and 102kg) has yet to appear for the senior Edinburgh team and what makes his inclusion even more baffling is that he was introduced as being recruited for a trial period on his arrival in Edinburgh.
England full-back Mike Brown has been named Six Nations Player of the Championship after securing over 34% of the 68,000 votes cast by fans.
Brown, 28, scored four tries, including two in a man of the match performance against Italy, and was also man of the match against Scotland and Ireland.
Adam Jones has spoken about reaching some personal landmarks, the motivation of having two young Wales tight-heads after the number three jersey, and looking forward to another tour to South Africa.
Stuart Hogg will face a disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday after being sent off during Scotland’s 51-3 Six Nations defeat against Wales.
Full-back Hogg was shown a red card for a late challenge on fly-half Dan Biggar in the 22nd minute on Saturday.
It has been a fantastic Six Nations and one that had a fairytale ending as Ireland handed Brian O’Driscoll the perfect retirement present by beating France to win the title.
The nail-biting victory in Paris meant Ireland took the championship ahead of England on points difference.
The two teams have been the form sides in the competition and although a few French and Welsh players showed well, it is the top two who naturally provide the bulk of my Team of the Tournament for 2014.
Brian O’Driscoll wants the emotion of his final Test to propel Ireland to the Six Nations title in Paris on Saturday.
Ireland’s points difference of 81 is likely to mean any win over France will seal their first title since 2009, but England and France could deny them.
The fourth round of the 2014 RBS 6 Nation Championship takes place this weekend with the first match kicking off in Dublin on Saturday where Ireland host Italy. Scotland are hosts to France shortly after this, while the final game of the weekend takes place on Sunday with England hosting Wales at Twickenham.
There has been a bit of a gap in Six Nations action with no games played last weekend and so the thinking has been that this may be a good time to share an article to remind us of the action from the previous round.
Scotland have made three changes to their pack, among which Kelly Brown is recalled as captain, for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against France at Murrayfield.
Edinburgh Rugby confirmed on Tuesday that scrum-half and captain Greig Laidlaw will leave the club to join English Premiership side Gloucester at the end of the season.
Scotland were boosted by the availability of stalwart tight head prop Euan Murray for this Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations encounter against France at Murrayfield.
Murray has yet to feature in the tournament this year due to an injured thumb.
Meanwhile, France hooker Dimitri Szarzewski has become the latest in a long list of French players who will be unable to play in the match. He misses out due to an ankle injury.
This means that France will fielding their third choice hooker on Saturday.
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.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has named an unchanged starting team for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations showdown with England at Twickenham (kick-off 4pm). Paul O’Connell will lead the side on the occasion of his 90th cap as Ireland seek their first win at Twickenham since 2010.
The Six Nations rugby tournament is worth about £52m a year to Scotland, economists have estimated.
Edinburgh’s bars, restaurants, hotels and shops benefit when rugby fans head for matches at Murrayfield stadium.
Edinburgh Rugby’s next home match against Ospreys on Friday 28 February (kick-off 7.35pm) will be played at Meggetland, the club confirmed on Wednesday
Concerns over the current Murrayfield Stadium playing surface – caused by a parasitic infection that damaged the roots – mean the club will relocate the RaboDirect PRO12 clash to ensure the international pitch is in robust health for Scotland’s home fixtures in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations, against England and France.
Scotland have made three changes to their starting XV and three more changes to their bench for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against England at Murrayfield.
There’s a new cap at openside flanker where Chris Fusaro, the 24-year-old Glasgow Warrior, a product of Bell Baxter High School and the Howe of Fife club, who has graduated from Scotland 7’s and Scotland A, replaces Kelly Brown. Fusaro will be Scotland’s 1052nd cap.
Mention of the fact France have won the Five or Six Nations every year after a British and Irish Lions tour in the professional era can elicit deep consideration, confusion or shrugs, depending on who you mention it to.
That’s the thing about history, it can be interpreted in different ways. Or ignored. Or forgotten. Or remembered and its significance disregarded.
Grant Gilchrist, the 22-year-old Edinburgh Rugby lock, will win his first cap for Scotland in Saturday’s final 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship match against France in Paris.
Gilchrist, the 6ft 8ins product of the Alloa and Stirling County clubs, replaces the injured Richie Gray. The only other change to the starting line-up sees the experienced Alasdair Strokosch preferred to Rob Harley at blindside flanker.
Wales have made three changes to the team that beat Italy with former captain Sam Warburton returning to the starting line up.
As well as Warburton returning to the starting line up Bath prop Paul James and Ospreys second rower Alun Wyn Jones are also named in the starting line up.
Duncan Weir, the 21-year-old Glasgow Warriors stand-off, will make his first start for Scotland in Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against Wales at Murrayfield.
Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni will lead Italy in the absence of banned number eight Sergio Parisse for Saturday’s Six Nations game with Wales. Stade Francais’ Parisse is out of the tournament after being suspended for 30 days for insulting a match referee.
South Africa-born flanker Antonie Claassen is on the bench for France who travel to Twickenham to tackle England in the Six Nations this Saturday. Francois Trinh-Duc returns at fly-half as another change for France who make seven personnel changes, plus one positional, to their side.
England have brought back Manu Tuilagi, Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley for Saturday’s crunch Six Nations clash with France at Twickenham.
Geoff Cross, the 30-year-old Edinburgh Rugby prop, returns to the Scotland starting line-up for Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship meeting with Ireland at Murrayfield.
This weekend sees a return to action in the 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship with the third round of games to be played, following a week’s break. Two matches will be played on Saturday, one in Rome and the other in London. The third and final match of the weekend takes place on Sunday in Edinburgh.
Billy Twelvetrees has kept his place in England’s starting XV for Sunday’s match against Ireland in Dublin, while James Haskell makes his first start in the Six Nations since 2011.
Wales have made three changes to their starting line-up for their RBS 6 Nations clash against France with Ryan Jones returning to lead the side.
Italy coach Jacques Brunel made only one change from the side that started in the 23-18 triumph over France last week for the Azzurri’s second Six Nations challenge against Scotland on Saturday.
Gonzalo Canale, who plays club rugby for La Rochelle in France, replaces Alberto Sgarbi at inside centre after the latter picked up an injury knock.
France on Thursday announced two changes as they prepare to take on Grand Slam champions Wales in Saturday’s Six Nations showdown in Paris.
Robert Harley, the 22-year-old Glasgow Warriors forward, will make his first start at Murrayfield and in the RBS 6 Nations Championship, in the Scotland team to play Italy on Saturday.
Thierry Dusautoir will make his long-awaited return to France’s starting line-up after being named in the side to face Italy on Sunday.
Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees will make his England debut in Saturday’s Six Nations match against Scotland at Twickenham. Twelvetrees, 24, replaces Manu Tuilagi and forms a midfield partnership with Brad Barritt of Saracens.
The only other change from the starting XV that beat New Zealand 38-21 in December is Joe Marler in for Alex Corbisiero at loose-head prop.