Head coach Vern Cotter today (Monday) added 5 capped internationalists to Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations squad, 5 days out from the Round 3 Test against Italy this Saturday at BT Murrayfield (28 February, kick-off 14:30 GMT, 16:30 SA Time).
Scrum-half Chris Cusiter and prop Moray Low have been called up from English Premiership clubs Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs, along with Glasgow Warriors duo Adam Ashe (No 8) and Alex Allan (prop), and Edinburgh No 8 David Denton.
Cusiter (knee) and Ashe (neck) were absent from Cotter’s initial squad selection due to injury, but have recovered to earn the recall, while Denton has recovered from the calf tear sustained in the national team’s pre-Championship camp in Glasgow last month.
Finn Russell, the Scotland outside half, appeared today before an independent Six Nations Disciplinary Committee at Heathrow, having been cited under Law 10.4 (e) and (i) for an alleged dangerous tackle of an opponent in the air in the 31st minute of the RBS 6 Nations match between Scotland and Wales on Sunday 15 February 2015.
The Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Mike Hamlin (England) along with Jean-Philippe Lachaume (France) and Pat Barriscale (Ireland), having heard from the player and his representative and viewed various TV angles of the incident, determined that Finn Russell had committed an act of foul play which merited a Red Card rather than the on-field Yellow Card given by the Match Officials.
Scotland (10) 23 / 26 (16) Wales
Where do we begin in analysing a game full of movement, liberally spiced with controversy, which ended with Wales the victors at BT Murrayfield, thus extending their unbeaten record against Scotland to 8 games?
Scotland, who contributed so much to the contest, remain pointless in the RBS 6 Nations Championship as Wales bounced back from their opening round defeat by England.
Scotland will now welcome Italy to BT Murrayfield at the end of this month, which captain Greig Laidlaw cites as a “massive” game.
“We’re getting better as a team, becoming stronger but we need to get a result,” he said.
“Small margins,” has been the mantra in international rugby for many a year but we saw it so painfully from a Scottish perspective this afternoon.
Head Coach Vern Cotter has made 2 enforced changes to the starting Scotland side to face Wales at BT Murrayfield Stadium this Sunday (kick-off 15:00 BST & GMT, 17:00 SA Time).
Glasgow Warriors wing Sean Lamont – the most capped player in Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations squad with 91 appearances – has made a timely return from the calf injury that ruled him out of the nation’s opening championship match against France, as a direct replacement for club-mate Tommy Seymour, who has not yet recovered fully from the hip injury sustained in Paris.
The 2nd change sees London Irish tight-head prop Geoff Cross promoted from the bench in place of Euan Murray, who is unavailable on the Sabbath due to his religious beliefs, with Jon Welsh taking the substitute spot vacated by Cross.
After an improved performance, though unable to turn possession into points, Scotland Women look ahead to their first home game at the new base of Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld. The team announced to take on Wales (Saturday 14 February, kick-off 17: BST & GMT) sees 4 changes to the line-up that started against France at La-Roche-sur-Yon last Saturday.
All the changes come in the backs, scrumhalf Mhairi Grieve – who will be securing her 3rd cap – moves up from the bench while Hannah Sloan comes in at wing. Injury to Gillian Inglis during the game against France sees Chloe Rollie move from centre to fullback and Hannah Smith – winning her 2nd cap – takes the No 13 jersey.
Worcester prop Tracy Balmer captains the squad again, lining up in the front-row alongside the most experienced member of the team, 72-times capped Heather Lockhart.
Wales have made 1 change to their side to face Scotland on Sunday, with Liam Williams coming into the starting 15.
Scarlets back Williams will win his 20th cap at Murrayfield and replaces George North.
North is currently symptom free and whilst nearing the conclusion of the graduated return to play protocol the decision has been taken to allow him an elongated recovery period in light of his recent concussive episode in the autumn period.
The 1 change results in the same starting backline that beat South Africa, in the final autumn international, taking to the field this weekend.
Glasgow Warriors forward Ryan Wilson has been suspended by the Scottish Rugby Union after being fined at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday for assaulting two men, including Ally Maclay of Glasgow Hawks, in a takeaway shop in the west end of the city in October 2013.
His co-accused Warriors team-mates, Ryan Grant and Rory Hughes, were cleared.
Kelly Brown is determined to work his way back into the Scotland squad after being overlooked for the Six Nations.
The 32-year-old former captain failed to make Vern Cotter’s 32-man pool but is convinced he can still add to his 64 caps.
“It’s clearly disappointing, but selection is a funny thing,” Brown said.
“I want to play for Scotland and I certainly feel I can play for Scotland. I don’t feel over the hill yet.”
Saracens flanker Brown began last season’s Six Nations campaign as captain, although he was dropped later in the tournament. Since then Cotter has replaced Scott Johnson as head coach and Brown believes he has plenty still to offer, with the World Cup later in the year.
Brown has played once under Cotter, in a 19-17 win over Canada in June, but was not selected for the Autumn internationals.
Scotland international Sean Maitland will join London Irish next season.
Maitland, who signed for the Warriors in October 2012, has made 38 appearances for the club and has scored 11 tries during his spell in Glasgow.
The 26-year-old winger has 15 caps and 2 tries for Scotland.
Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: “Sean has played a big role at the club over the last 3 years and we wish him all the best when he leaves at the end of the season.
“There is still a lot of rugby to be played between now and then and I’m sure he’ll want to leave the club on a high in the summer.”
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.
Duncan Weir has been ruled out of this year’s Six Nations tournament with the 23-year-old set to undergo surgery on his arm.
The Glasgow Warriors flyhalf, who gave Scotland a last-gasp victory over Italy in last year’s competition, took a knock on his arm during the 1872 Cup clash with Edinburgh at Scotstoun last month, with subsequent examination showing that he had severely damaged his bicep.
Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said that the injury suggested that Weir would be out of international action for the next three months.
Townsend added: “I would like to think it won’t be the end of his season, but I think it rules out the Six Nations.
“With a bicep injury you are talking months rather than weeks.”
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 .
With the festive season in full swing we bring you a tale about a rugby club – Leith RFC- who are standing up for what they believe is right and doing their bit for their community. Leith RFC are from a coastal village in the east of Scotland, just north of Edinburgh, who play in the BT East Regional League Division 2. In a statement released by the players on Friday they confirm they are going ahead and honouring a commitment they have made even if it will cost them from a rugby point of view, as they face a points deduction in their league.
Leith Rugby club are supporting Bethany Christian Trust’s Caring Christmas Tree Project, which raises money for Edinburgh’s Winter Care Shelter, giving homeless people in our community an opportunity to come in from the cold this Christmas. As well as promoting the project, we the playing squad volunteered to sell Christmas trees pre-ordered from the Caring Christmas tree website, at Ocean Terminal this Saturday 20th December, the last shopping Saturday before Christmas.
Unfortunately due to inclement weather, our fixture with Forrester RFC was postponed last weekend (13th), and rescheduled for this coming Saturday (20th), one of the standby dates in East League 2. It was, and is our error as a club that we did not initiate a dispensation request at the point of arranging to volunteer on the 20th, it being an published standby date for postponed fixtures. Our request for dispensation, made on Monday was rejected by the East Region Championship Committee, and we have been instructed to fulfil the fixture against possible sanction, normally a 2-point deduction, should we refuse.
Glasgow Warriors have received a major boost ahead of Sunday’s European Rugby Champions Cup match against Toulouse, with the news that Josh Strauss and Leone Nakarawa have signed new deals with the club.
Both players have signed two-year contracts, keeping them at Scotstoun until at least May 2017 and have committed their futures to the club just a week after Stuart Hogg and Lee Jones penned deals for the same length of time.
South African-born Strauss arrived in Glasgow in September 2012 and the 28-year-old has made 56 appearances for the Guinness PRO12 side. He has scored six tries and has captained the team.
The powerful No 8 has featured regularly for the Warriors and will become eligible to play for Scotland in September 2015.
Head coach Vern Cotter has made four injury-enforced changes to the starting Scotland team that will play Tonga in this Saturday’s historic viagogo Autumn Test match at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock (kick-off 14:30 BST & GMT, 16:30 SA Time).
The national team are continuing their trend of taking international rugby to pastures new in a globally ground-breaking fixture, as an international involving a Tier One country is held on an entirely artificial pitch for the first time.
The team’s alterations are split evenly between the forwards and backs, with tight-head prop Geoff Cross and number 8 Johnnie Beattie stepping into the pack for Euan Murray and Adam Ashe, who miss out through thigh and neck injuries respectively.
In the backs, 90-cap Glasgow Warrior Sean Lamont, who came on in the 13th minute against New Zealand as an injury replacement for club-mate Mark Bennett (hamstring), retains his place in midfield.
The final change sees Edinburgh Rugby’s free-scoring winger Tim Visser set to make his first appearance since the summer tour in place of injured Warrior Sean Maitland (hamstring).
The Warriors have confirmed that Mark Bennett will be out for in the region of 12 weeks with a hamstring injury.
The centre, who was injured during Scotland’s defeat to New Zealand on Saturday, was assessed at Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow.
He does not require surgery and will now undergo a period of rehabiitation.
Prior to the test match between Scotland and the New Zealand All Blacks we featured a piece which suggested that we would like to see wholesale changes to Scotland’s team to face Tonga this coming Saturday. In short the reasoning was that in picking a team with as many players who ply their trade outside Scotland as the two professional teams under Scottish Rugby Union’s control would be aided in their PRO12 efforts, with Glasgow Warriors being the main benefactor. Remember Glasgow Warriors play against Welsh team Llanelli Scarlets in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday night while Edinburgh host Cardiff Blues on Sunday.
There would also be the benefit of head coach Vern Cotter and his coaching team being able to work a bit more with exiles and assess their abilities in the heat of battle in the Test match, bearing in mind that the last Test match of Scotland’s summer tour (June Internationals) was played outside the international window, so he didn’t have the chance to play any of the non Scotland based players then.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had no regrets about risking defeat against Scotland by fielding an experimental young side at Murrayfield, insisting that the close call of a contest that ended in a 24-16 victory for the reigning world champions was “a perfect game”.
New Zealand have never lost to Scotland but the hosts were scenting an historic victory as they entered the final 10 minutes just 17-16 down against an All Black side featuring 13 changes in personnel from the team that started the 24-21 win against England at Twickenham seven days previously.
It took a 74th minute try from Hurricanes lock Jeremy Thrush and a conversion by Colin Slade, who started on the right wing but switched to the familiar realm of flyhalf after the 56th minute substitution of Dan Carter, to make victory secure against a spirited Scotland side.
All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter was unimpressed by his scratchy return in the number 10 shirt against Scotland but grateful just to get through the 24-16 win unscathed.
Starting at flyhalf for the first time in a year after a season blighted by a broken leg, Carter was well below his best at Murrayfield, struggling with handling errors particularly in the opening exchanges before being replaced shortly after halftime.
“That first 20 (minutes) was pretty scratchy and there were a lot of mistakes from me personally which, if I get another chance, I’ll have to improve,” Carter told reporters.
“My option-taking probably wasn’t the best at times. But I was pretty pleased to be back out there playing again and I felt as the game went on I grew in confidence.”
Scotland (10) 16 / 24 (14) All Blacks (Final Score)
Scotland and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours at
Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 BST & GMT, 06:30 Sunday NZ Time).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
Scotland’s team for Saturday’s test at BT Murrayfield has been announced and no doubt the players and coaching staff will be completely focussed on this match. After all, there is a team from a country called New Zealand who play in black who are in town. However, looking beyond this test would like to discuss the match day squad that would preferably be doing duty at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, against Tonga next weekend. Rugby Park is the home of Kilmarnock football team, yes that can be confusing but that is not the topic of the this piece.
Scotland’s head coach Vern Cotter has selected the same starting XV that beat Argentina to face the All Blacks , one wonders when last a Scotland coach picked the same XV for consecutive matches. For Tonga though I would suggest wholesale changes to the team for a variety of reasons, the main one being – Glasgow Warriors.
The Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), unlike the case in South Africa, have a direct stake in the two professional clubs here: Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors, and it is with this in mind that my suggestion for the Tonga test is made.
Head coach Vern Cotter has shown faith in his winning Scotland formula for this Saturday’s visit of world champions New Zealand to Murrayfield Stadium.
All 15 men that started the national team’s impressive 41-31 win over Argentina last weekend will once again kick off the second Test.
The reselection means that all five of the match-winning try-scorers – locks Jonny and Richie Gray and back-three trio Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour – all earn a return to the fold.
Man-of-the-match winning captain Greig Laidlaw will once again orchestrate the back division alongside flyhalf Finn Russell and a young midfield partnership of Alex Dunbar and Mark Bennett.
Packing down with the secondrow Gray brothers is the experienced front row trio of Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford and Euan Murray, and the promising loose forward combo of Rob Harly, Blair Cowan and Adam Ashe.
New Zealand All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has named his team to play Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday with Dan Carter starting and James Parsons making his international debut.
The matchday 23 for Saturday features 11 players from the 23 which played England last week and Daniel Carter makes his first Test start of the year at first five-eighth in his 102nd Test, with TJ Perenara at halfback.
Two of the locks who played against England, Brodie Retallick (shoulder) and Patrick Tuipulotu (shoulder), were not considered for selection, due to injury.
As a result, lock Dominic Bird, who, like Parsons, was called into the All Blacks as injury cover, will start, with Luke Romano coming off the bench. Loose forward Jerome Kaino (knee) was also not considered for selection.
Dominate the collisions and get some big hits in at the tackle. That is Scotland’s recipe for success against New Zealand at Murrayfield on Saturday.
There is an air of confidence in the Scottish camp, following their 41-31 demolition of Argentina last week – a scoreline skewed by two late tries from the Pumas.
New Zealander Vern Cotter’s arrival as coach in Edinburgh has contributed to the country once called Caledonia by the Romans and also referred to as Alba – while they, of course, referee to it as ‘the greatest country on Earth’.
Last week’s victory over the Pumas, who recently tasted success over the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship, has contributed to their growing confidence.
However, captain Greig Laidlaw admitted there are plenty of work ahead before Saturdays showdown with the All Blacks.
All Blacks centre Conrad Smith will skip Saturday’s Test against Scotland so he can return home to deal with a family matter, reports said Monday.
Coach Steve Hansen said “the 33-year-old Smith, who played his 84th test on Saturday and became a father for the first time in August, would miss the Test in Edinburgh.
However, he will again return in time for the Test against Wales on 22 November.
“It’s not overly serious but it’s serious enough for him to have to go home,” Hansen told reporters.
Scotland coach, New Zealander Vern Cotter, will be relishing the opportunity of guiding the Scots against New Zealand and has urged his players to embrace playing against the best team in the world.
Cotter has promised “a very positive approach” to the game after handing the national team their first success at home against the Pumas since 1990.
Cotter has made a promising start to his time in charge of the Scots, winning three of four Tests on the road earlier in the year, and beating Argentina 41-31 in Edinburgh on Saturday.
The former Bay of Plenty coach, Crusaders’ assistant coach and Clermont certainly isn’t getting too carried away, especially with what’s immediately in front of him.
Ahead of this match, head coach Vern Cotter asked his players to play with a smile on their collective face and the entire BT Murrayfield crowd was sporting one at the conclusion of the Kiwi coach’s home debut. His side saw off Argentina in a five-try romp and the manner in which they did so will create real belief in the Scotland camp and among their tartan-clad fans.
Scotland were cohesive, tough, inventive and played with pace throughout. The forwards produced quick ball and the Glasgow back line demonstrated that they could reproduce their club form at the next level. At times, the home side were inspirational. They rarely dropped below the efficient. All they lacked on occasion was the clinical finishing required or this match could have been over by half time.
Instead, it was six minutes into the second half before Scotland scored their fourth try, which finally killed off any hopes of an Argentine revival. The crowd was understandably wowed; what a pity the stadium wasn’t full.
The two Gray boys were a huge presence, grabbing a try each and, while it is insidious to separate them, Jonny was utterly outstanding, carrying the fight to the Pumas relentlessly and winning one important turnover.
Second-row brothers Richie and Jonny Gray will play their first international game of rugby together this Saturday, following their selection to start for Scotland against Argentina at BT Murrayfield Stadium (8 November, kick-off 17:30 BST & GMT, 19:30 SA Time).
Selection represents a second start for the younger Gray, 20, who will make his sixth appearance for his country alongside his 39-times capped, 25-year-old, British & Irish Lions sibling.
Gray is not the only promising young player to earn the right to start the nation’s opening viagogo Autumn Test, with 21-year-old Glasgow Warriors Mark Bennett and Adam Ashe set to make their first and second appearances at outside-centre and number 8 respectively.
An exciting package of pace and guile, Bennett – a product of St Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock, Cumnock RFC and Ayr RFC – has been in fine form for the Warriors and Scotland 7s this year, and will be Scotland’s 1062nd capped internationalist when he crosses the paint for his debut at BT Murrayfeld.
Experienced Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw will lead his country into this Saturday’s viagogo Autumn Test match against Argentina at BT Murrayfield (kick-off 5.30pm) it was announced today
The 31-times capped Borderer takes on the mantle from 24-year-old lock Grant Gilchrist, who was ruled out of the series after fracturing his forearm in Edinburgh Rugby’s European Challenge Cup win over Lyon, just four days after being accorded the honour.
Laidlaw, who skippered Edinburgh Rugby for the three seasons before departing for Gloucester in the summer, has led Scotland on seven occasions to date, two of which were in Vern Cotter’s first Tests as head coach in the recent summer tour – wins over USA and Canada.
Vern Cotter said: “Obviously we’re disappointed for Grant, who misses the opportunity to captain his country at home on this occasion, however congratulations must now go to Greig who takes on that responsibility for this Saturday’s game. Greig offers us a bit of continuity, having captained the side on the summer tour. He’s been playing well for Gloucester and I think he deserves this selection.”
Ryan Grant, the 18-times capped Glasgow Warriors prop, has been invited to train with Scotland for year-end Tests, as an injury replacement for Edinburgh’s Allan Dell.
Dell sustained a leg injury in last Friday’s Pro12 match against Leinster at the RDS in Dublin.
He was assessed at St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin and returned the next day to Edinburgh with the rest of the team.
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.
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has named a 33 man squad for the End Of Year Internationals with lock Grant Gilchrist being named as captain.
The honour represents a return for the 24-year-old product of Alloa and Stirling County rugby clubs, who led Scotland twice during the June Internationals, including a 21-19 victory over Argentina in Cordoba.
He will return to the role against the same opposition when the Tests get underway at Murrayfield next month, when Scotland face the Pumas on Saturday 8 November (kick-off 17:30 BST), before facing Rugby Championship winners New Zealand, at the same venue (15 November), followed by Tonga at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock (22 November).
Five Glasgow Warriors players will be plying their trade for their draft clubs this weekend, including Sean Maitland who will don the pink and black of Ayr.
The British & Irish Lion scored a try in the Warriors 30-5 victory over Edinburgh in the ‘A’ game last month and is looking for added game-time, having not featured for the Scotstoun club so far this season through injury.
He will play alongside Dougie Hall against Boroughmuir at Meggetland.
Scottish Rugby today unveiled the first of at least four BT Sport Academies that will be opened around the country to nurture the best young Scottish talent to become the stars of tomorrow.
Where Caledonia leads today, the Borders, East and West will follow with all being operational by the 2015-16 season.
“The Academies are the cornerstone of our determination to create a new era for Scottish Rugby,” declared chief executive Mark Dodson at the opening of the Caledonia Academy at the University of Aberdeen’s Hillhead campus.