Cheetahs (14) 33 / 13 (0) Edinburgh (Final Score)
The Toyota Cheetahs and Edinburgh Rugby did battle in the Guinness PRO14 2017 at
the Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 UK Time & GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
Edinburgh prop Darryl Marfo will make his Scotland debut in Saturday’s autumn Test against Samoa at Murrayfield.
Hooker Stuart McInally makes only his fourth Test start in the absence of the injured Fraser Brown and Ross Ford.
Ben Toolis joins Jonny Gray in the second row, with fit-again Alex Dunbar and Huw Jones resuming at centre.
With Brown and Ford on a lengthy injury list, McInally makes his first appearance since the summer tour of Japan in 2016, with WP Nel getting the nod at tight-head over Zander Fagerson.
Three loose-head props – Alasdair Dickinson, Allan Dell and Gordon Reid – are are all missing, while new head coach Gregor Townsend must also do without Greig Laidlaw, Richie Gray, Sean Maitland, Duncan Taylor, Matt Scott and Adam Ashe for his first Test on home soil.
Being in a Scotland international camp is always a pleasure and a privilege and, in the case of this autumn, a mighty relief.
I should go back a few months to explain what’s been going on with me this past while, to the 25th minute of a Scarlets game against Edinburgh on 23 September.
That’s when I went low in a tackle on Magnus Bradbury and caught his hip on my head. It was an innocuous collision. Looking at it, you wouldn’t have said there was any great force in it. You wouldn’t have called it a big hit.
I’ve been knocked unconscious before playing rugby, but this was different. When I was 20 and playing for the Scotland Under-21s against Wales I was out cold for about five minutes and then spent an hour in an ambulance not knowing where I was, before doing a night in hospital while my head cleared.
This time, I was out for about 10 or 15 seconds. I woke up to the sound of my own snoring. The minute I came around, I knew what had happened. The medics were tending to my neck, doing all the things they needed to do to make sure I was OK, but my neck was fine. I told them, ‘You can let go of my neck, boys, there’s nothing wrong with it’. But that’s procedure in these cases.
Cheetahs (17) 26 / 29 (10) Glasgow Warriors (Final Score)
The Toyota Cheetahs and Glasgow Warriors did battle in the Guinness PRO14 2017 at
Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa at 20:35 SA Time (19:35 UK Time, 18:35 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.
Scottish Rugby is developing a performance pathway with French club Stade Nicois to provide wider opportunities for Scottish players.
For the coming season five players will be based in Nice and will provide playing and coaching resources for the Federale 2 team.
Former Glasgow Warrior centurion Peter Murchie ended his association with the Scotstoun based club at the end of last season and will be developing his coaching with Stade Nicois.
Joining him is former Glasgow Warrior Tyrone Holmes who will be starting a new career path in strength and conditioning with the French club.
On the playing front Scotland U20 players Josh Henderson and Bruce Flockhart are currently in pre-season training with Stade Nicois with a view to playing there in the forthcoming season. Former London Scottish hooker David Cherry has also signed for the club.
Scotland Women 7s squad got off to a flying start under new Head Coach Scott Wight. Not only did they win the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Trophy, they also gained promotion to the Grand Prix competition next season.
They were unbeaten in both rounds in the Czech Republic and Hungary and cruised past the opposition to score 485 points in 12 games, while conceding just 12 points.
Wight said: “At the first tournament I started the same seven but after Hungary it showed where they are as a squad because I didn’t have the same starting seven once showing the depth of the squad.
“Before the Czech Republic I was probably more nervous than I was at the final at Twickenham. When you’re playing you’re in total control, you can make the calls, you know you’re fit whereas with coaching you’ve done all the work beforehand.”
Wight, who started working with the squad in April as Scotland 7s season came to and end, selected a mix of youth and experience for the first outing and kept the same 12 for the second round.
Stormers fly-half Brandon Thomson will return to Glasgow Warriors on a permanent contract ahead of the 2017/18 season, subject to medical.
The 22-year-old impressed during a short loan spell earlier this year and will return to Scotstoun on a two-year deal within the next couple of months.
Thomson played three times for Glasgow and scored a try on his debut against Ulster.
He can play at fly-half and full-back and has scored 26 points for the Stormers in seven Super Rugby appearances.
Thomson has also represented South Africa U20 at the Junior World Rugby Championship and has played for Western Province in the Provincial Cup and Currie Cup.
His current Stormers teammates Huw Jones and Oli Kebble will also join this summer and other additions to the squad include Adam Hastings from Bath, Callum Gibbins from the Hurricanes, Lelia Masaga from the Chiefs and Samuela Vunisa from Saracens.
Brandon Thomson said: “I’m very excited to be heading back to Scotstoun. I really enjoyed my short stint there earlier in the year and I’m looking forward to many more good times.
Scotland’s Autumn Test match against current World Champions, the All Blacks, has sold out in record time, Scottish Rugby has announced.
The match against New Zealand is part of new Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend’s first home series and the match at BT Murrayfield is only the second ever sell-out for an Autumn Test game, with the previous one also featuring the All Blacks back in 2012.
As they prepare to face the British & Irish Lions in the final decider this weekend, the All Blacks will return to Scotland on Saturday 18 November for the first time since 2014, when they narrowly beat their hosts 24-16.
BT Murrayfield, which has a capacity of 67,144, will also see Scotland play Samoa on 11 November and recent rivals Australia on 25 November in the three match series.
Following the success of the Scotland Season Pass and Autumn Test Packages, sales of which have broken all records over the last few weeks, the remaining individual seats for all three 2017 Autumn Tests went on sale yesterday – Monday 3 July – and the New Zealand game sold out before the close of business, making it the fastest selling game in recent history.
Italy (3) 13 / 34 (15) Scotland (Final Score)
The Italian Azzurri and Scotland did battle in The June Internationals 2017 at
Singapore National Stadium, Singapore at 14:00 SA Time (13:00 UK Time, 14:00 Italy Time, 12:00 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 on TV in SA.
Head Coach Gregor Townsend named three uncapped players in a 34-man Scotland squad for next month’s three-test summer tour, the first under his stewardship.
The national team will face their opponents on consecutive Saturdays, starting with an historic test match against Italy in Singapore (10 June), followed by Australia in Sydney (17 June) and Fiji in Suva (24 June).
Glasgow Warriors’ centre Nick Grigg, prop D’Arcy Rae and Edinburgh Rugby hooker George Turner are the uncapped men to tour and will look to add international honours to their senior club careers.
Grayson Hart is set to become the second player to join Ealing Trailfinders from Glasgow Warriors this year when the international scrum-half signs on in time for pre-season.
Hart has won three caps for Scotland and follows the route paved by fly-half Rory Clegg who arrived from Glasgow Warriors in February.
“It is such an exciting time to be joining the Ealing Trailfinders as they are playing some excellent rugby and I want to help the club continue to grow.
“I want to contribute to the club on and off the field as best as I possibly can and keep developing as a player and a person.”
The 28-year-old Hart hails from Kaitaia in New Zealand and helped their U20 side win the 2008 U20 World Championship with a 38-3 win over England in the final.
However, he qualified to play for Scotland through his maternal grandmother and won his first cap away to Canada on Scotland’s 2016 summer tour. He then won a further two against Argentina and South Africa.
Oli Kebble will join the Warriors next season and the South African-born prop says he has ambitions to play international rugby for Scotland.
Oli will join Glasgow Warriors from the Cape Town-based Stormers after his Super Rugby commitments and will qualify for Scotland honours after completing three years of residency under World Rugby’s eligibility criteria.
He could follow in the footsteps of fellow-prop WP Nel who qualified for Scotland during his time with Edinburgh.
Oli said: “That’s definitely a goal of mine. I’d love to play international rugby and to play for Scotland would be a great honour. I know there’s a three-year waiting period and we’ll see how far I come, but it would definitely be a great thing if I could represent Scotland one day.
“For any rugby player, the ultimate goal would be to play international rugby, so I definitely considered that when talking to the Scottish Rugby Union, and that’s why I chose Glasgow in the end.”
Edinburgh Rugby today announced the re-signing of Scotland international tighthead prop Willem ‘WP’ Nel on a three-year deal.
The highly sought-after front-row’s contract extension will keep him at the capital club until at least May 2020.
Nel joined Edinburgh Rugby in 2012 on a three-year deal, which was subsequently extended, and has made 102 appearances in the black and red since debuting against Munster the same year.
Renowned primarily for his world-class scrummaging, Nel has many strings to his bow and has crossed the whitewash on 15 occasions, scoring 75 points for the capital club.
Nel qualified to play for Scotland through residency in 2015 and went on to make his international debut later that year against Italy in Turin.
He has since been awarded 15 Scotland caps – including appearances in all of the national side’s Rugby World Cup 2015 and 2016 RBS 6 Nations matches – scoring two tries in the process.
Richard Cockerill has been appointed Head Coach of Edinburgh Rugby with effect from the start of next season.
The three-time Premiership winning coach has signed a two-year deal and will relocate to Scotland for the new role after his recent spell with Toulon.
Edinburgh Acting Head Coach Duncan Hodge will remain in his current role until the end of the season and then return to his previous position as backs coach with the club.
Edinburgh Rugby’s assistant coaches Stevie Scott and Pete Wilkins remain in post.
After two spells playing for Leicester and two years at Montferrand Cockerill spent 12 years in coaching roles at Leicester Tigers, rising through the ranks to become Head Coach in 2009 and then Director of Rugby in 2010.
He led the team to Premiership semi-finals every season he was in charge and won back to back titles in 2009, 2010 and a subsequent title in 2013.
During his time with the club he also reached the Heineken Cup Final in Edinburgh in 2009 and won the LV Cup in 2012.
Head Coach Vern Cotter today named a 37-man Scotland squad for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Among the group is 37-times capped Gloucester centre Matt Scott who – after missing out on selection in the autumn – has earned a recall thanks to a number of impressive performances for the Kingsholm club, scoring 12 tries in 18 games this season.
Cotter has also named uncapped Edinburgh Rugby forwards Simon Berghan (prop) and Cornell Du Preez (back-row).
Du Preez (25) is a popular figure in the capital, scoring 14 tries in 71 appearances. He became eligible to represent Scotland last year after completing three years of residency in the country.
Berghan (26) joined Edinburgh Rugby in 2013 and is eligible to represent Scotland through his grandfather, Andrew Davidson, from Stirling. The 20st, 6’3” prop has made 24 appearances for the capital club.
Berghan and returning Newcastle Falcons’ tighthead Jon Welsh are among the seven props named in the squad, with the national team awaiting the results of a scan this evening (Wednesday) that will confirm the availability of Edinburgh Rugby’s Willem Nel, who injured his neck in the club’s European Challenge Cup win over Harlequins on Saturday (14 January).
Reigning 1872 Cup holders Edinburgh Rugby host Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield in their Guinness PRO12 league match which doubles up as the first leg of this season’s 1872 Cup.
Glasgow Warriors are currently in 6th place on the PRO12 log with 27 points, 10 points off leaders Munster after 10 rounds, while Edinburgh who parted ways with Alan Solomons earlier this season are down in lowly 10th place with a mere 17 points. Both teams are doing fairly well in Europe although Glasgow are playing in the top European Rugby Champions Cup while Edinburgh are playing in the Challenge Cup.
There will be a mouth watering battle of the back rows, especially at number 8 where players who both used to ply their trade in South Africa Josh Strauss and Cornell du Preez have been selected for Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively.
Five years ago on Tuesday Glasgow Warriors made a signing that might not have had the immediate impact in the fans’ consciousness of a Simone Favaro or a Taqele Naiyaravoro but who has surely had more influence over the club’s fortunes than any single player. Nathan Bombrys has successfully managed the Warriors’ budget and commercial and matchday operations during a period in which the club has grown almost beyond recognition.
He may have been born (and raised) in the USA but Nathan has been immersed in rugby for many years. He first discovered the game at Syracuse University (go Hammerheads!) and played for 17 years. He also qualified as a referee – a fact possibly best kept secret given the Scotstoun crowd’s sometimes fractious relationship with match officials! He wasn’t at SU simply for the rugby though, graduating with a BFA in Film Drama of all subjects. Is Nathan’s influence the real reason for all the dramatic slow-mo shots that are a regular feature of Warriors’ HQ?
The best thing to come out of Michigan since the Ford Mustang, Nathan has been the driving force behind the club’s off-field transformation.
There were some big news announcements yesterday from both of Scotland’s professional clubs. The one from Edinburgh Rugby was about a departure while the one from Glasgow Warriors was about an arrival. Sticking one’s neck out it would seem that both announcements were seen as positive news by the clubs’ fans.
Edinburgh Rugby announced that Head Coach Alan Solomons was leaving and would be replaced in the interim by Duncan Hodge while Glasgow Warriors announced the acquisition of powerhouse player Langilangi Haupeakui from US PRO Rugby outfit Sacramento Express.
Alan Solomons vacates his post before completing his contract which would have taken him to the end of the current season. His previous contract expired at the end of last season and he had signed to stay on for one more year in Edinburgh.
There has always seemed to a bit of mixed feelings between the Edinburgh fans with some rather more supportive of Solomons than others. He took over at a time were really struggling and for some he has brought stability to the club and a measure of success, taking Edinburgh to a European Cup final, albeit in the second tier of Europe, and claiming back the 1872 Cup from bitter rivals Glasgow Warriors.
His critics feel that he has not done anymore with Edinburgh than a local coach could given the same level of investment and felt that his game plan was far too prescriptive and conservative and stifled his team, now where have we heard that before? It would seem that he didn’t have the copyright on this as far as many South African coaches go in the eyes of the various sets of fans.
Head coach Alan Solomons says criticism of Edinburgh’s playing style is ‘manifestly unfair’.
Solomons watched his team register their first win of the Pro12 season against Scarlets at Murrayfield, but some have criticised the side’s lack of attacking ambition under his stewardship.
“Personally I think the criticism is unfair,” Solomons said. “This talk they are under instruction not to run the ball is nonsense.”
Solomons is adamant that Edinburgh’s attacking prowess has developed under his assistant Duncan Hodge.
“We have worked very hard on our attack, Hodgy is doing a good job and it is a question of playing the conditions correctly and getting the result. It is professional sport and it is about winning.
“No-one has given them any instruction on how to play. They have all the options available to take under our game management plan. That criticism is manifestly unfair.
“We are improving year on year. We are carrying a number of injuries [Al Dickinson, Anton Bresler, Nasi Manu, Jason Tovey, Will Helu and Damien Hoyland are all currently unavailable] and we are not a big budget squad.
“We are not Toulon. We don’t have a massive amount of money but I think we have a good group of players.”
Glasgow Warriors player Hugh Blake is returning to New Zealand to play for Bay of Plenty Steamers in the upcoming Mitre 10 Cup.
He’s joined the Steamers on loan until the end of October.
Hugh initially joined up with Glasgow on loan from Edinburgh during the 2014 / 2015 campaign but signed up permanently at Scotstoun last season.
He played a number of games for Warriors at the start of the 2015 / 2016 campaign but spent most of the season with the Scotland Sevens squad. He was part of the squad that won Scotland’s first World Sevens title in London.
Prior to his move to Scotland, Hugh represented New Zealand at the Under 20 level while he has also played for Otago.
Glasgow Warriors have signed second-row Tjiuee Uanivi from South African Super Rugby franchise, the Sharks, subject to a visa and medical.
Uanivi, who recently had a short loan spell at the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth, has penned a contract at Scotstoun until at least May 2017.
The 6ft 7in Namibia international, who has 14 caps for his country, joined the Sharks in January following a number of impressive displays at last year’s Rugby World Cup.
He scored his first try for his country against Romania in the World Rugby Nations Cup earlier this month.
Prior to joining the Sharks, the 25-year-old played 10 times for Brive in the Top 14 and European Rugby Challenge Cup.
The versatile Uanivi, who can also play across the back-row, is due to arrive in Glasgow next month.
He is the latest player to join the Warriors ahead of the 2016/17 season, with winger Leonardo Sarto, hooker Corey Flynn and scrum-half Nemia Kenatale, joining fly-half Rory Clegg and props Djustice Sears-Duru and Jarrod Firth at Scotstoun for the new campaign.
Head Coach Vern Cotter has made six personnel changes to the Scotland team to face Japan in this Saturday’s second summer Test match at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo (25 June, kick-off 11.20am BST, 7.20pm JST) – live on BBC.
The alterations are split evenly between the backs and forwards, with a positional switch made in each division to accommodate the new faces.
Scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, wing Sean Maitland and centre Peter Horne all come off the bench to start the match, with Pyrgos taking on the captaincy and kicking duties from Greig Laidlaw.
Maitland is promoted in place of Damien Hoyland, with Sean Lamont coming into the squad among the substitutes, while Horne comes into midfield in place of the injured Duncan Taylor (hamstring), prompting a move to outside-centre for Matt Scott to accommodate the Warriors playmaker.
In the pack, Rory Sutherland remains in possession of the loosehead berth he inherited in the third minute of last weekend’s Test win over Japan, when Alasdair Dickinson limped off with a hamstring injury, earning his first start for the national team.
On the other side of the front-row, Moray Low swaps places with try-scorer Willem Nel to start his first Test since the 2014 summer tour win over Canada in Toronto, while Josh Strauss comes in to the back-row for John Hardie, with John Barclay moving to openside to make room for Strauss on the blindside.
Other notable inclusions see prop Gordon Reid (who arrived in Tokyo on Monday) take up a spot among the replacements, with uncapped centre Huw Jones set for an international debut if called upon from the bench.
Scottish Rugby have released a sneak preview of the new Scotland home and away kit which will be available from the 8th of July. The clip features a few players including former Loeriesfontein strong man WP Nel. The burly tight-head prop, who scored a try early in the second half against Japan last weekend, can be seen grinning about midway through the clip below.
Glasgow Warriors flyhalf Finn Russell picked up a nasty injury very early on in the Warrior”s match against Connacht in Galway in the PRO12 semifinal on Saturday. He was involved in one of those ‘freak’ events when he and team mate Zander Ferguson ran into each other.
Current Scotland U20 tighthead prop Fagerson had to leave the field but was able to walk off although he didn’t return for the rest of the game.
For Finn Russell however the collision was more costly, as the medics rushed onto the field to treat the two it became clear that Finn had suffered a nasty injury to his face. Early on during the on-field assessment they had him standing up but then lay him on the ground. After what seemed like quite a while he was stretchered off to a sporting applause from concerned fans at the ground and taken to hospital.
Glasgow Warriors put out a short message on Sunday night confirming that Finn was still in hospital undergoing observation. Today the club put out a longer statement with the news that although he remained in hospital he didn’t require surgery and that he may be released later this week.
Head Coach Vern Cotter has named a 27-man Scotland squad for the national team’s 2-Test summer tour of Japan next month.
The Test matches will be played on consecutive Saturdays at J1 League football stadia; the 1st at the Toyota Stadium in Toyota City (18 June), the 2nd at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo (25 June), homes of Nagoya Grampus and FC Tokyo respectively.
Cotter also confirmed that Glasgow centre Mark Bennett has not been named to allow him to be considered for extended GB 7s selection ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The relationship between Rory Lamont and rugby has always been uneasy. When it was good, it was really good: 29 Scotland caps, two World Cups, and stints in Europe’s top leagues with Toulon, Sale and Glasgow.
When it was bad, it was really bad: whispering campaigns about his attitude, 16 operations, “double figure” concussions. By the time the game ran out of uses for him, the feeling was entirely mutual.
Three years ago this week, Lamont announced his retirement. The last of his many injuries, a lower leg fracture from the previous year, hadn’t properly healed and the end came as a relief.
“I was thinking, ‘finally it’s over’. I felt like an animal being put out of its misery. I’d had a miserable year, people questioning my integrity, and I couldn’t wait to crack on with my life and all the amazing things I was going to do.”
Never did he picture becoming a recluse, battling severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Nowhere in the retirement brochure did it say he’d lose 25kg in four months and be unable to stomach solids for a further five. The bit about being so low he hoped he’d be run over by a bus? Not what he’d signed up for either.
Glasgow Warriors have announced a group of players who will leave the club in the summer.
Prop Jerry Yanuyanutawa, looseforward Tyrone Holmes and hooker Kevin Bryce are among the departures.
Fijian international Yanuyanutawa joined the club from London Irish in 2013 and has gone on to make 46 appearances for the Scotstoun-based side.
South Africa-born Holmes joined the Warriors in 2013 and has made 34 appearances for the club over the last 3 seasons and was capped by Scotland against South Africa in 2014.
27-year-old Bryce has made 12 appearances for the Warriors since joining the club in 2013 and has gone on to represent Scotland on 2 occasions.
Loose forwards Will Bordill and Jason Hill, hookers Shalva Mamukashvili and Fergus Scott, flyhalf Gregor Hunter and prop Javan Sebastian will also be leaving the club.
In the last few days the news has broken of the imminent departure of 2 big players from Glasgow Warriors. Glasgow Warriors centurion James Eddie has announced he has retired from rugby with immediate effect and Fijian lock Leone Nakarawa will be released from his Glasgow Warriors contract at the end of the season to move to a club in France.
Glasgow Warriors scrumhalf Mike Blair has retired from playing with immediate effect and will take up a new coaching role at the club next season.
The 35-year-old will remain with Scottish Rugby as an assistant coach at the Warriors.
Blair joined Glasgow this season and has made 12 appearances for the club and was voted Player of the Month in October.
The 85-capped former Scotland international has had an illustrious career, representing Edinburgh Rugby, Brive, Newcastle Falcons and the Warriors.
Blair enjoyed 10 years with Edinburgh Rugby, playing his first professional game in 2001. Highlights included being runners up in the Magners League in 2009 and reaching the semifinals of the European Cup in 2012.
Scotland’s most capped scrumhalf captained his country on 14 occasions before retiring from international rugby at the start of 2013, aged 31.
He was named Scotland’s Player of the Year in 2008 and was nominated for the IRB World Player of the Year that same season. He toured South Africa with the British and Irish Lions in 2009.
A horror misunderstanding cost Currie a shot at their 3rd championship title as Heriots snatched a dramatic last-gasp victory in Saturday’s BT Premiership semifinal at Malleny Park.
A ding-dong battle in which the lead changed a total of 5 times appeared to have swung decisively in the home side’s favour when No 8 Ross Weston finished off a driving maul for his 2nd try of the afternoon to put Currie 22 / 21 up with minutes remaining.
Heriots pushed for a response but, when they knocked on to concede a scrum, it looked like their dreams of a double (or treble if you include the Charity Shield) were over.
Currie kept possession as the clock ticked down but scrumhalf Richard Snedden was premature with the boot out and the Goldenacre side were given a lifeline, which they took superbly by setting up replacement flyhalf Gregor McNeish for his 2nd drop goal with the last kick, to spark wild celebrations in the away camp.
It means Heriots, who 1st face Melrose in the BT Cup final a week on Saturday, will travel to Millbrae to face Ayr on 23 April and look to retain their Premiership crown.
Over the past year the flower of Scottish rugby is beginning to come back into bloom.
Last season Glasgow Warriors became the first Scottish side to win the Guinness PRO12, then Scotland were agonizingly close to a Rugby World Cup semifinal place with their last gasp defeat to Australia.
Last weekend in the penultimate Round of the RBS 6 Nations, the Scots broke a decade long hoodoo by beating France at BT Murrayfield.
Their compatriots at Under 20s level had made history of their own by beating “The Auld Enemy” England in the tournament’s opening Round for the 1st time since the inception of the Under 20s Six Nations Championship.
Leading the charge of this new generation of young Scots is Under 20s captain and lock Scott Cummings, who due to commitments with his club side Glasgow Warriors will not be playing against Ireland in the final Round of competition after guiding his side to 2 wins.
However, Cummings’ contribution to Scotland’s Under 20s and the experience he has gained playing in the Guinness PRO12 reflects the current renaissance in Scottish rugby.
3 Years without an RBS 6 Nations win at Murrayfield. 10 Years without a win against France. Some rather unwanted streaks consigned to the dustbin in 80 minutes of heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping, nerve-shredding action! But who were the main men for Scotland on Sunday?
He doesn’t know what possessed him to visit the old Lockhart Hotel that day, but it was an experience John Hardie is never likely to forget.
“The most scared I’ve ever been,” says Scotland’s openside flanker.
The setting is a building in Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island – a holiday resort about an hour and a half from Dipton, the farming country where Hardie was born and reared.
Legend has it that there was a fire in Lockhart’s place in the late 1800’s. Three generations of the family perished.
Only a girl called Mary survived – and she haunts the place to this day. Many Kiwis have gone there over the years and many talk of the sense of foreboding that exists behind that main door.
Hardie’s now one of them. Chilled to the bone, he says. “Never going back. Never ever.”
Head Coach Vern Cotter named uncapped props Zander Fagerson and Rory Sutherland in a 35-man Scotland squad for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations.
Glasgow Warriors’ tighthead prop Fagerson turned 20 yesterday (Tuesday 19 January) meaning he could become the 4th youngest prop in Scottish history, and the youngest to represent Scotland for more than half a century (since Bill Black debuted against France at Murrayfield 1948).
Fellow propping prospect Sutherland (23) plies his trade at the opposite end of the M8 and earns selection through his increasingly impressive showings for Edinburgh since signing from Gala last season.
The young pair are among 4 changes to Scotland’s front row options originally named for Rugby World Cup 2015, with 29-times capped Exeter Chiefs tighthead, Moray Low, and 6-times capped Glasgow Warriors hooker, Pat MacArthur, earning selection for the 1st time since the summer of 2014.
Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter, said: “We’ve selected a mixture of experience with some exciting young players coming through, some of whom have experienced the Rugby World Cup and are eager to move forward, take the RBS 6 Nations head on and show that we can develop our game and be competitive.”
Edinburgh hold a 12-point lead on aggregate going into the second leg of the 1872 Cup, after an excellent 23 / 11 home win over rival Glasgow Warriors, in front of a record crowd of 23 642 at BT Murrayfield.
The win not only gives Edinburgh the advantage going into next week’s second-leg encounter at Scotstoun, but also sees them leapfrog the Warriors in the Guinness PRO12 table.
2 Tries from centre Matt Scott and back-row John Hardie, were bolstered by the sterling boot of Sam Hidalgo-Clyne who notched up 16 points from the tee to contribute to Edinburgh’s 26-points tally.
Despite opening the scoring through a Mark Bennett try, Edinburgh snatched Glasgow’s lead in the 12th minute with Hidalgo-Clyne’s conversion to Scott’s try, and retained it for the remaining 68 minutes of the game.
There was one late change to the sides prior to proceedings as Glasgow captain and lock Jonny Gray pulled out through injury. Centre Peter Horne took on skippering duties, with Tim Swinson gaining promotion from the bench and USA Eagles internationalist Greg Peterson being named as a substitute.