Murray MCallum

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Murray MCallum

Postby JDCSR on Sun May 10, 2020 1:37 pm

In the interest of sparking some well interest I thought it would be interesting to discuss young Murray and his development.

So to my knowledge McCallum spent most of his age grade caps on the loosehead side of the scrum due to Fagerson being at tighthead.

However he seized his opportunity due to injuries and national team call ups to get a decent run for us at tighthead a little while ago and looked more than accomplished picking up a few Scotland caps to boot. So whilst a tighthead he looked very assured in the scrum and handy in the loose. In short a great prospect who at that time I thought would be soon pushing Berghan and Nel all the way for the starting slot.

Since then he's struggled for gametime and I've read some rumours about switching back to loosehead and losing weight, most recently he did of course appear off the bench at loosehead.

So what are people's thoughts? Is he destined to be stuck as third of fourth choice on both sides? Has his potential at tighthead been squandered?
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby dolf_lundgren on Sun May 10, 2020 1:53 pm

He is still a baby in prop terms. He also seems to be competent on both sides of the scrum. Losing a bit of weight I think is just part of him growing up and he looks to have hardened up and be a bit more dynamic.

I don’t know how far he can go to be honest, he has some very good players on both sides of the scrum. A year on loan would probably help him but he will be too important to the squad to do that now.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby doedin on Wed May 13, 2020 6:45 pm

He got shoved into the deep end very young in his career - remember the taxi up from Goldenacre to take place on bench in Euro game? He has great props to learn from on both sides of the scrum and has probably been tucked away to develop physically and technically. I suspect he will come good and go onto play for us and Scotland on regular basis. As well as rugby I hear via friends of kids that he is a really nice guy too and works really hard on his game. He'll do ok.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby BigD163 on Thu May 14, 2020 11:38 am

doedin wrote:He got shoved into the deep end very young in his career - remember the taxi up from Goldenacre to take place on bench in Euro game? He has great props to learn from on both sides of the scrum and has probably been tucked away to develop physically and technically. I suspect he will come good and go onto play for us and Scotland on regular basis. As well as rugby I hear via friends of kids that he is a really nice guy too and works really hard on his game. He'll do ok.


My only concern is we keep bringing in props without him ever seemingly moving up the depth chart.

Hopefully he will come through and challenge for a 1st choice 23 place but he is no longer a young pup even by prop terms these days. There were a number of younger or slightly older (Genge for example) props involved in the 6N this year.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby Tichtheid on Thu May 14, 2020 12:23 pm

WP has just turned 34, whilst Murray McCallum has just turned 24. Cockers doesn't seem to take chances and the further down the numbers on the jerseys go he seems to take fewer chances, McCallum will get his chance when Cockers deems him ready.

I've been a bit frustrated with the philosophy to be honest, I think players like Charlie Shiel and McCallum could have been further on than they are, but it's difficult to argue that it seems to be working in terms of our results and performances, and in fact winning whilst playing badly like against Cardiff and Scarlets in February is a sign of a resilience that we have lacked for a long time.

I want McCallum to come in and play with a bunch of hard-bitten DavePearson who never let the heads fall, same with Shiel, playing behind a pack of bad DavePearson, who can flip an offload when needed is what we want.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Thu May 14, 2020 1:22 pm

To be fair who expected Ceccerelli to be as good as he was essentially first choice at times?

If he isn't ahead of the Fijian journeyman that's cause for concern.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby BigD163 on Thu May 14, 2020 2:04 pm

Tichtheid wrote:WP has just turned 34, whilst Murray McCallum has just turned 24. Cockers doesn't seem to take chances and the further down the numbers on the jerseys go he seems to take fewer chances, McCallum will get his chance when Cockers deems him ready.

I've been a bit frustrated with the philosophy to be honest, I think players like Charlie Shiel and McCallum could have been further on than they are, but it's difficult to argue that it seems to be working in terms of our results and performances, and in fact winning whilst playing badly like against Cardiff and Scarlets in February is a sign of a resilience that we have lacked for a long time.

I want McCallum to come in and play with a bunch of hard-bitten DavePearson who never let the heads fall, same with Shiel, playing behind a pack of bad DavePearson, who can flip an offload when needed is what we want.


My concern is perhaps more one for him national team one rather than Edinburgh and it is that we have a talented young prop who is behind 2 internationals on one side of the scrum and behind Schoeman and Sutherland on the other. That is assuming he beats out Bhatti on the LH side to be 3rd choice and the Fijian signing to be 3rd choice on the THP.

We have seen in other countries (and down the M8) that giving young props a chance can see them flourish. 8-10 of the props involved in week 1 of the 6N were around his age (+a year) or younger. Are we missing giving him a chance to develop in games? Maybe he hasn't deserved it?

It is a tough one but this time next year when contracts are discussed some tough discussions may need to happen.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby JDCSR on Thu May 14, 2020 6:59 pm

Interesting to see Aungier moving to Connaught over the other side of the Irish sea. Someone like McCallum would really benefit from starting every week at a third pro team. Furlong, Porter, Bent and Abdaladze is some quartet to have to get past though so that route via another province is ideal.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby disco on Fri May 15, 2020 1:19 am

JDCSR wrote:Interesting to see Aungier moving to Connaught over the other side of the Irish sea. Someone like McCallum would really benefit from starting every week at a third pro team. Furlong, Porter, Bent and Abdaladze is some quartet to have to get past though so that route via another province is ideal.

Leinster dishing out another young tighthead to Munster as well. Read an article today suggesting Leinster should be split into two teams due to their overproduction of players!
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby The Incredible Shug on Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:03 pm

This is a huge season for Murray. Absolutely decisive in terms of his career.

I think he needs Nel's age to start showing. If Muzz can get onto the bench then that's a hell of a start.

JDCSR wrote:Interesting to see Aungier moving to Connaught over the other side of the Irish sea. Someone like McCallum would really benefit from starting every week at a third pro team. Furlong, Porter, Bent and Abdaladze is some quartet to have to get past though so that route via another province is ideal.


I know that this is one of those areas of Scottish rugby discourse that just roles around and goes nowhere, but the Thistle boys have been gassing this one up a lot recently. It's been discussed a lot on Twitter too – Jamie Bhatti is one player who retweeted a tweet demonstrating the need for a third pro team.

Dougie Fife, Cammy Fenton, Sam Thomson, Robbie Smith, Greig Laidlaw, Tom Brown, Darryl Marfo, Alex Dunbar, John Barclay, Ruaridh Dawson, Luke Hamilton, and Gordie Reid are all free agents. Matt Smith has retired (partially due to diminished opportunities). Callum Gibbins – Scotland-qualified – has also been released. Matt Scott and Callum Hunter-Hill are now in permanent contracts down south. Ruaridh Jackson's retired with another season left in him. Robbie Nairn, Paddy Kelly, Stafford McDowall, Charlie Capps, George Thornton and McCallum are all struggling for gametime – all three of McDowall, McCallum and Matt Smith have broken through into Scotland international squads and then fallen back. Nathan Fowles and Sean Kennedy have made international squads too, but Kennedy is at Stirling County and Fowles is at Ealing Trailfinders, alongside Alun Walker – a player who is too good to be playing in the Championship. Ally Miller put in some great performances for Edinburgh during the World Cup but has now disappeared to – I assume – Sevens. Adam Ashe nearly made it to a World Cup but is in serious danger of slipping under. Saracens are fairly keen, apparently, to offload Duncan Taylor.

I think Murray's one of many players who would benefit from a third pro team (that probably wouldn't be able to beat Zebre). It's just being able to play games.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby JDCSR on Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:37 pm

It's a shame, to be losing players of the quality of Matt Smith is tragic.

If there was any hope of a third pro team then I'm guessing COVID will have killed it.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby The Incredible Shug on Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:06 pm

JDCSR wrote:It's a shame, to be losing players of the quality of Matt Smith is tragic.

If there was any hope of a third pro team then I'm guessing COVID will have killed it.

Aye...absolutely stone dead.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby robdinsdale on Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:19 am

The Incredible Shug wrote:
I think Murray's one of many players who would benefit from a third pro team (that probably wouldn't be able to beat Zebre). It's just being able to play games.


I'm sure folk in Aberdeen or wherever would be delighted to turn out to watch a team get horsed by the likes of Zebre all season, every season.

The Scottish game is in a bit of a difficult position in that the SRU are clearly doing some things right and are actually developing more and better young players than they were, say, 10 years ago, but the playing base is still small and the international standard core of that group needs to be playing meaningful games.

It's a shame that the London Scottish thing hasn't worked out, because a Championship level club would be ideal for the late bloomers etc.

Hopefully the Super 6 will provide some sort of stepping stone for players because the gap between the old Premiership and pro rugby was massive.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby biffer on Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:14 am

robdinsdale wrote:
The Incredible Shug wrote:
I think Murray's one of many players who would benefit from a third pro team (that probably wouldn't be able to beat Zebre). It's just being able to play games.


I'm sure folk in Aberdeen or wherever would be delighted to turn out to watch a team get horsed by the likes of Zebre all season, every season.

The Scottish game is in a bit of a difficult position in that the SRU are clearly doing some things right and are actually developing more and better young players than they were, say, 10 years ago, but the playing base is still small and the international standard core of that group needs to be playing meaningful games.

It's a shame that the London Scottish thing hasn't worked out, because a Championship level club would be ideal for the late bloomers etc.

Hopefully the Super 6 will provide some sort of stepping stone for players because the gap between the old Premiership and pro rugby was massive.


This is part of the difficulty for me, and something that Cockers highlighted when he first arrived. In the past we've often conditioned young players to lose, so setting up another team to do that would be counterproductive.
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Re: Murray MCallum

Postby The Incredible Shug on Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:37 pm

biffer wrote:This is part of the difficulty for me, and something that Cockers highlighted when he first arrived. In the past we've often conditioned young players to lose, so setting up another team to do that would be counterproductive.


I think that's why it's so gladdening that Edinburgh are starting to play and win more often than not. It's great that the likes of Kinghorn, Shiel, Ritchie and Graham – the future spine of the national team – are playing in a team that win games fairly consistently. Hopefully we can maintain that record.
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