2018 Autumn Tests

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2018 Autumn Tests

Postby The Feral Goat on Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:28 am

Head Coach Gregor Townsend today named three uncapped players in a 40-man Scotland squad for the 2018 Autumn Tests.

The national team will face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday 3 November and contest the ‘Doddie Weir Cup’, as both teams honour the former Scotland and British & Irish Lions player diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

A host of commercial, community and corporate activity will take place around the Test to help raise awareness for the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation to the thousands in attendance and millions more watching the live broadcast.

Scotland will then return home to BT Murrayfield for three home Tests against Fiji, South Africa and Argentina on the consecutive Saturdays that follow (10, 17 and 24 November), all of which are on target for capacity crowds, with South Africa sold out and Fiji and Argentina close behind.

Scotland Head Coach, Gregor Townsend, said: “We now begin the last 12 months of our preparations for Rugby World Cup 2019 with four Test matches in four weeks, a similar challenge to the one we’ll face in Japan.

“We’ve named a 40-man group for this campaign, which highlights the quality of player that is now available to us and the competition for places.

“It also enables us to welcome more players into our training environment and hopefully give a few more players a taste of Test match rugby.

“It’s going to be an exciting year for the squad but our primary focus is fixed on performing well against Wales – familiar opponents who have already recorded a win against us this year.”

Uncapped trio

Scotland’s uncapped trio are Scarlets back-row Blade Thomson, Exeter Chiefs lock Sam Skinner and Glasgow Warriors centre Sam Johnson.

Thomson and Skinner are eligible for the national team through family connections, Thomson through his paternal grandfather, Robert, from Wishaw, while Skinner’s father, Peter, is from Ayr.

Skinner (23) was first involved in the then Scottish Exiles (now Scottish Qualified) programme as a teenager, while at Taunton Titans, before he joined the Chiefs in the 2014/15 season.

He was then selected for England U20 - and faced many of his Scotland contemporaries in the age-grade Six Nations - before becoming an increasingly prominent part of the Exeter squad that won the English Premiership title for the first time in 2017 and finished as runners-up in last year’s final.

Thomson (27) arrived in west Wales from Super Rugby side Hurricanes, having represented New Zealand U20 and the Maori All Blacks, and has been a stand-out performer for the Llanelli side in his debut Guinness PRO14 season.

Johnson (25) [pictured right] is eligible for Scotland on residency grounds, having joined Glasgow Warriors in the summer of 2015.

The Australian-born centre has been a popular figure at the Scotstoun club, making 40 appearances since his arrival and voted last year’s Players’ Player of the Season by his peers.

The squad also welcomes the return of several seasoned campaigners who missed the summer tour either through injury or a summer of scheduled rest, which sees the likes of Alex Dunbar, Jonny Gray, Huw Jones, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Maitland, Willem Nel, Gordon Reid, Finn Russell, Tommy Seymour, Ryan Wilson and Hamish Watson all back in the squad.

The selection also marks the return of centre Matt Scott and scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, who last featured in a Scotland shirt in the side’s 2017 wins over Australia in Sydney in June and Edinburgh last November, respectively.

Townsend added: “We had a productive summer tour in which a number of players made their first outing for their country.

“A lot of those players have continued to perform well for their clubs and have merited re-selection in a strong group.

“We also welcome Blade and both Sams into the squad. We are looking forward to working with them and getting our squad back together for the first time since the summer.

“It will be a very challenging series, with the Wales Test providing a very tough contest before three huge matches at BT Murrayfield later that month.”

Townsend has also invited Edinburgh back-row Luke Crosbie and wing Darcy Graham to train with the squad.

When accessing tickets to the Wales v Scotland match, supporters will be given the opportunity to automatically donate to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust, although there is no obligation to do so with £0, £1, £2, £5 options available. Donations to the charity can also be made directly online viawww.myname5doddie.co.uk/donate.



40-MAN SCOTLAND SQUAD FOR 2018 AUTUMN TESTS

FORWARDS (22)
Alex Allan (Glasgow Warriors) – 4 caps
Simon Berghan (Edinburgh) – 10 caps
Magnus Bradbury (Edinburgh) – 4 caps
Fraser Brown (Glasgow Warriors) – 34 caps
Allan Dell (Edinburgh) – 13 caps
David Denton (Leicester Tigers) – 42 caps
Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) – 1 cap
Ross Ford (Edinburgh) – 110 caps
Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh) – 25 caps
Jonny Gray (Glasgow Warriors) – 43 caps
Rob Harley (Glasgow Warriors) – 20 caps
Murray McCallum (Edinburgh) – 3 caps
Stuart McInally (Edinburgh) – 18 caps
Willem Nel (Edinburgh) – 22 caps
Gordon Reid (London Irish) – 32 caps
Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh) – 2 caps
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs) – uncapped
Blade Thomson (Scarlets) – uncapped
Ben Toolis (Edinburgh) – 12 caps
George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) – 5 caps
Hamish Watson (Edinburgh) – 20 caps
Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors) – 37 caps

BACKS (18)

Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors) – 28 caps
Dougie Fife (Edinburgh) – 8 caps
Chris Harris (Newcastle Falcons) – 4 caps
Adam Hastings (Glasgow Warriors) – 3 caps
George Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 2 caps
Pete Horne (Glasgow Warriors) – 35 caps
Sam Johnson (Glasgow Warriors) – uncapped
Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 16 caps
Lee Jones (Glasgow Warriors) – 9 caps
Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) – 5 caps
Greig Laidlaw (Clermont Auvergne) – 63 caps
Sean Maitland (Saracens) – 34 caps
Byron McGuigan (Sale Sharks) – 5 caps
Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) – 17 caps
Henry Pyrgos (Edinburgh) – 27 caps
Finn Russell (Racing 92) – 37 caps
Matt Scott (Edinburgh) – 39 caps
Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors) – 43 caps

Not considered through injury: John Barclay, Mark Bennett, Lewis Carmichael (all Edinburgh), Cornell du Preez (Worcester Warriors), Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors), Richie Gray (Toulouse), Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Duncan Taylor (Saracens).
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby The Feral Goat on Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:32 am

Bhatti and Sutherland not picked, probably not suprising as both have had limited game time.

Good to see Matt Scott back.

Bit of a worry to see Carmichael still on the injury list

Luke Crosbie and Darcy Graham invited to train with the squad
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby The Feral Goat on Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:43 am

4 Hookers and 4 Scrum halfs

Hooker 4: Fraser Brown, Stuart McInally, Ross Ford, George Turner

Loosehead 3: Alex Allan, Allan Dell, Gordon Reid

Tighthead 3: Simon Berghan, Murray McCallum, WP Nel

Lock 5: Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Sam Skinner, Ben Toolis

Back row 7: Magnus Bradbury, David Denton, Matt Fagerson, James Ritchie, Blade Thomson, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson

Scrum-half 4: George Horne, Greig Laidlaw, Ali Price, Henry Pyrgos

Stand off 2: Adam Hastings, Finn Russell

Centre 6: Alex Dunbar, Chris Harris, Pete Horne, Sam Johnson, Huw Jones, Matt Scott

Back 3, 6: Dougie Fife, Lee Jones, Blair Kinghorn, Sean Maitland, Byron McGuigan, Tommy Seymour
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby Tichtheid on Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:44 am

The Feral Goat wrote:Bhatti and Sutherland not picked, probably not suprising as both have had limited game time.

Good to see Matt Scott back.

Bit of a worry to see Carmichael still on the injury list

Luke Crosbie and Darcy Graham invited to train with the squad



I thought I’d read somewhere that Carmichael had resumed training, but it would be far too early for him to be named in the squad.

I hope he is fit, Edinburgh could do with him in the next few weeks - we’ve got Zebre away, Scarlets home, Dragons away on a Sunday and then a trip to Thomond on the Friday, I’m not sure how many players we’ll get back from Toonie for that lot
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:18 am

Gordon Reid is playing championship rugby, I don't think he should be in there over Sutherland who is at least playing a good standard. I'd rather a just back Sutherland who held his own Vs Montpelier than a fit Reid who's dominated Paul the semi pro plumber at Cornish Pirates.

Good squad, like the look of it. Hugh opportunity for Kinghorn to cement himself as a starter, just hope he's not slipping off tackles because Maitland and McGuigan won't be.
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby The Feral Goat on Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:56 am

Friday Knight Lights wrote:Gordon Reid is playing championship rugby, I don't think he should be in there over Sutherland who is at least playing a good standard. I'd rather a just back Sutherland who held his own Vs Montpelier than a fit Reid who's dominated Paul the semi pro plumber at Cornish Pirates.

Good squad, like the look of it. Hugh opportunity for Kinghorn to cement himself as a starter, just hope he's not slipping off tackles because Maitland and McGuigan won't be.


Problem with LH at present is both GW and ER first choice are NSQ in Kebble and Schoeman. Dell I would guess in pole position but, while I agree re standard Reid is currently playing, he is at least actually playing where Sutherland and Bhatti have had limited game time, Sutherland needs to put his hand up and challenge for more ER game time.
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby liveinhope on Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:10 pm

Looking at this purely from a (selfish) Edinburgh perspective at least this frees up Hamilton,Sutherland and (presumably) Graham for the Pro 14. Given our back row resources in particular are going to be sorely tested good that Hamilton is available.
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:14 pm

The Feral Goat wrote:
Friday Knight Lights wrote:Gordon Reid is playing championship rugby, I don't think he should be in there over Sutherland who is at least playing a good standard. I'd rather a just back Sutherland who held his own Vs Montpelier than a fit Reid who's dominated Paul the semi pro plumber at Cornish Pirates.

Good squad, like the look of it. Hugh opportunity for Kinghorn to cement himself as a starter, just hope he's not slipping off tackles because Maitland and McGuigan won't be.


Problem with LH at present is both GW and ER first choice are NSQ in Kebble and Schoeman. Dell I would guess in pole position but, while I agree re standard Reid is currently playing, he is at least actually playing where Sutherland and Bhatti have had limited game time, Sutherland needs to put his hand up and challenge for more ER game time.


I'm a huge fan of Schoeman, he's a beast. And you can never have too many good players. But his signing didn't make sense to me when neither Scottish pro teams have a regular starting SQ loosehead.

The Irish model of one NIQ per position makes sense to me, and they have four pro clubs!

What can Sutherland do if he's just not as good as a very good loosehead in Schoeman? Alex Allan and Jamie Bhatti won't reach Kebble's level anytime soon either. Just means we have undercooked props for internationals.

I also think the SRU should advise players to have contracts when exiled with a relegation release clause so we don't have a key position playing championship rugby.
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby biffer on Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:43 pm

Friday Knight Lights wrote:
The Feral Goat wrote:
Friday Knight Lights wrote:Gordon Reid is playing championship rugby, I don't think he should be in there over Sutherland who is at least playing a good standard. I'd rather a just back Sutherland who held his own Vs Montpelier than a fit Reid who's dominated Paul the semi pro plumber at Cornish Pirates.

Good squad, like the look of it. Hugh opportunity for Kinghorn to cement himself as a starter, just hope he's not slipping off tackles because Maitland and McGuigan won't be.


Problem with LH at present is both GW and ER first choice are NSQ in Kebble and Schoeman. Dell I would guess in pole position but, while I agree re standard Reid is currently playing, he is at least actually playing where Sutherland and Bhatti have had limited game time, Sutherland needs to put his hand up and challenge for more ER game time.


I'm a huge fan of Schoeman, he's a beast. And you can never have too many good players. But his signing didn't make sense to me when neither Scottish pro teams have a regular starting SQ loosehead.

The Irish model of one NIQ per position makes sense to me, and they have four pro clubs!

What can Sutherland do if he's just not as good as a very good loosehead in Schoeman? Alex Allan and Jamie Bhatti won't reach Kebble's level anytime soon either. Just means we have undercooked props for internationals.

I also think the SRU should advise players to have contracts when exiled with a relegation release clause so we don't have a key position playing championship rugby.


First thing Sutherland can do is step during the AIs and play at a level that puts him into the conversation with Dell and Schoeman, and put pressure on Cockerill to pick him.
Don't mention Rory Hutton. I did once but I think I got away with it.
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby Tichtheid on Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:51 pm

You’re exactly right, biffer, same goes for Marfo and the other lads right through the team
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:04 pm

I have no doubts Sutherland will be great for us during the Autumn. I just don't think he's as good as Schoeman who is a beast.
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby joe soap on Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:35 pm

Friday Knight Lights wrote:[
I'm a huge fan of Schoeman, he's a beast. And you can never have too many good players. But his signing didn't make sense to me when neither Scottish pro teams have a regular starting SQ loosehead.


this in spades.But I guess if this was a Cockerill decision, fair does, he knows what he wants and what level he thinks the others are capable of. HIs job and priority is sorting Edinburgh, his decision and he has to live with it. However it would need I guess SRU agreement (?), and that seems odd given my understanding that both teams were looking for budget for other signings in other more obviously needed positions
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby joe soap on Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:42 pm

Friday Knight Lights wrote:Gordon Reid is playing championship rugby, I don't think he should be in there over Sutherland who is at least playing a good standard. I'd rather a just back Sutherland who held his own Vs Montpelier than a fit Reid who's dominated Paul the semi pro plumber at Cornish Pirates.
.


how did you feel when Stroker was capped from the French 2nd division? :lol:

Anyway being blunt about it Sutherland has not showed the form we saw a couple of seasons back, nowhere close. Reid is playing in league often said to be the toughest to scrummage it in professional rugby.
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby Friday Knight Lights on Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:14 pm

joe soap wrote:
Friday Knight Lights wrote:Gordon Reid is playing championship rugby, I don't think he should be in there over Sutherland who is at least playing a good standard. I'd rather a just back Sutherland who held his own Vs Montpelier than a fit Reid who's dominated Paul the semi pro plumber at Cornish Pirates.
.


how did you feel when Stroker was capped from the French 2nd division? :lol:

Anyway being blunt about it Sutherland has not showed the form we saw a couple of seasons back, nowhere close. Reid is playing in league often said to be the toughest to scrummage it in professional rugby.


I felt the same, didn't understand why he was in the RWC squad at all.

Not sure about that, he's scrummaging against your Elliot Millar-Mills and Matt Sheilds on a weekly basis! Sutherland might not be as good as he was but the opposition he's playing against are!
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Re: 2018 Autumn Tests

Postby disco on Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:21 pm

Some analysis of the ins and outs since the summer plus key stats and an attempt to get inside the mind of Toony with a squad Depth Chart:

https://wp.me/p68WtH-86K

My personal favourite stats both involve the returning Ross Ford who get his first cap since June 2017:

- In Toony's 14 Test so far Scotland's hookers have scored as many tries as their wingers (13).
- When Fordy made his Test debut Matt Fagerson was just 6 years old.
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