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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Scotland Men's National Rugby Team News

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September 23, 2015 - Greig Laidlaw kicks 4 penalties & 4 conversions in win over Japan
"Scotland kicked on in the final half hour to secure a comprehensive 45-10 win over Japan at Kingsholm in Gloucester on Wednesday.... Scotland had no such worries when it came to fatigue and were ruthless in putting points on the board early on through the boot of man of the match Greig Laidlaw, but they never looked truly at ease until Bennett's first try midway through the second half. Laidlaw, kicking on familiar turf at Kingsholm having joined Gloucester last year, converted an early penalty won through Scotland's maul after Kotaro Matsushima was harried into touch deep in his own 22." - Planet Rugby

February 26, 2015 - Peter Horne to fill-in at fly-half
"Glasgow's Peter Horne has been drafted in to replace suspended fly-half Finn Russell for Scotland's Six Nations clash with Italy on Saturday, head coach Vern Cotter announced on Thursday. Russell lost an appeal earlier this week against a two-match ban for a dangerous tackle on Wales's Dan Biggar and Horne has been given the nod to replace him over Edinburgh's Greig Tonks. Horne will win his seventh cap at Murrayfield." - AFP

February 18, 2015 - Finn Russell gets two week suspension
"Fly-half Finn Russell has been given a two-week suspension for a dangerous tackle on Wales's Dan Biggar. Russell was shown a yellow card for the incident during his side's defeat to Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday before later being cited. Following an independent Six Nations disciplinary committee hearing at Heathrow, the 22-year-old has been banned from playing until midnight on March 1." - Sports Mole

February 5, 2015 - Finn Russell is no. 10, again
For a decade and more, possibly as long ago as 1999 when Craig Chalmers’ knees finally cried ‘enough’, Scotland’s fly-halves have rarely enjoyed a run in the job. So when the same man is picked four times on the trot, as Finn Russell was on Thursday, heads start to turn. While it is true that Russell may be benefitting from injuries to Duncan Weir and Ruaridh Jackson, the Glasgow No10 is looking suspiciously permanent in Scotland ranks. Saturday in Paris, where they have never won in the Six Nations, may be only the fifth time the 22-year-old has started a Test but their new coach, the New Zealander Vern Cotter, seems to have settled on his man, ending the chopping and changing which characterised the 15 seasons since Chalmers himself hung up his boots. If Jackson and Weir, along with Tom Heathcote, are the current challengers for the job, then it is not long since Greig Laidlaw, Saturday’s captain, played 10 consecutive games at fly-half for Scotland before the then coach Scott Johnson told him he was a No9 who could play 10, rather than a 10. And before Laidlaw it was Dan Parks, Phil Godman and even Chris Paterson, who flirted with the position without convincing a succession of coaches that they were natural 10s." - The Guardian

January 20, 2015 - Sam Hidalgo-Clyne named to Six Nations squad
"Scotland's initial Six Nations squad features four Edinburgh players called up to the international set-up for the first time by head coach Vern Cotter. Scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 21 [is] in the 32-man squad.... Hidalgo-Clyne has played in every match for his club in the Pro12 and Europe this season and brings a goal-kicking threat to the team." - BBC

January 8, 2015 - Duncan Weir to miss three months
"Duncan Weir, the Glasgow Warriors fly-half whose last-minute dropped goal against Italy brought Scotland their solitary victory in last year's Six Nations, is to miss the whole of this season's tournament following confirmation that he has to undergo surgery on an arm injury.
Weir took a blow to the arm near the end of Glasgow's 16-6 1872 Cup victory over Edinburgh at Scotstoun two weeks ago. At first, the problem seemed innocuous, but further investigations revealed that the 18-times-capped 23-year-old had suffered serious damage to his bicep and an operation would be required. Gregor Townsend, the Glasgow coach, admitted the prognosis was uncertain but indicated that the player would not be fit to be involved with Scotland over the next three months.... Weir's injury will leave Scotland exposed in what is generally accepted to be the most influential position on the pitch. Ruaridh Jackson, who moved from Glasgow to Wasps last year, is currently sidelined by a knee problem, so the cover for Finn Russell, the first-choice fly-half during the autumn Test series, is thin. Peter Horne of Glasgow or Greig Tonks of Edinburgh could come into the frame as back-up for Russell." - The Herald

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