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June 4, 2013

Scotland name three debutants for Samoa match

Posted by Martin Williamson on 06/04/2013

Interim head coach Scott Johnson has named three new caps for Scotland's opening tour match against Samoa in Durban on Saturday. Edinburgh's Greig Tonks and Glasgow pair Alex Dunbar and Pat MacArthur will all make their debuts while Tom Heathcote and Grant Gilchrist will win second caps.

Johnson said the quadrangular tournament in South Africa, which also features the hosts and Italy, was a good chance to test out new players.

"We want to broaden the base and it gives us the perfect opportunity to see how these guys stand up," he said. "We have 25 Test matches available to us prior to the World Cup. I've said regularly that we're not going to give Test jerseys away, but we cannot be exposed to injury issues come the World Cup and the best way to prevent that is to give players opportunities."

Scotland: Greig Tonks (Edinburgh), Sean Lamont (Glasgow), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow), Matt Scott (Edinburgh), Tim Visser (Edinburgh), Tom Heathcote (Bath), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh), Ryan Grant (Glasgow), Pat MacArthur (Glasgow), Euan Murray (Worcester), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Kelly Brown (Saracens, capt), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier)

Replacements: Stevie Lawrie (Edinburgh), Alasdair Dickinson (Sale), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow), Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow), Peter Horne (Glasgow), Duncan Taylor (Saracens)

May 20, 2013

Graeme Morrison forced to retire

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 05/20/2013

Glasgow Warriors centre Graeme Morrison has announced his immediate retirement due to a knee injury.

The 30-year-old former Scotland international, who won the last of his 35 Test caps in last year's Six Nations, said: "I’m sad to be leaving the Warriors but I’ve made the decision after receiving medical advice. My knee has been causing me problems for some time now and after serious consideration following the play-off (defeat to Leinster), I’ve decided it’s the right time for me to stop playing professional rugby as I am not able to continue playing at that level."

"I'm very proud and privileged to have represented my country. Ever since I can remember I always dreamed of playing for Scotland. There have been many amazing experiences over the years and some great memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life, such as gaining my first cap and also the series win over in Argentina. Whilst I am sad to have stopped playing, I am very fortunate to have had these experiences."

Glasgow Warriors head coach, Gregor Townsend said: “Graeme has been a fantastic servant for the club and has been extremely loyal by staying here for his whole professional career. He is a true professional and will be missed by everyone at the club. We wish him all the best with whatever career path he chooses and he will always be welcome at Scotstoun.”

May 5, 2013

Scotland "conclude search" for new head coach

Posted by Jonny McLeod on 05/05/2013

Scotland will announce their new head coach in the “coming week” after concluding their search.

The Scottish Rugby Union announced on Friday that interim head coach Scott Johnson, led the side in this year's Six Nations Championship after the departure of Andy Robinson in November, would take on a director of rugby role. Johnson will take charge of the team's summer tour of South Africa.

“We have concluded our search for a head coach and will announce that in coming weeks," said SRU chief executive Mark Dodson.

April 26, 2013

Edinburgh create award in honour of Jacobsen

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/26/2013

Edinburgh have announced they have created a unique award in honour of Allan 'Chunk' Jacobsen who will retire at the end of the season.

The trophy will be moulded in the shape of Jacobsen's ear and will recognise the player who has been voted the 'most dedicated' over a campaign. The veteran prop will receive the inaugural trophy at the end of the season and he was honoured by the new piece of silverware.

Jacobsen told the BBC: "It's nice to think that the players down the line that have shown the most commitment to the jersey will get recognition from the fans - even if it is a mould of my ear!"

Scotland's Rory Lamont forced to retire

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/26/2013

Glasgow Warriors have confirmed Rory Lamont has retired from the game with immediate effect due to a leg injury.

Lamont broke his leg against France in 2012 and has not managed to regain full fitness. The news sees Lamont bring down the curtain on a career that saw him win 29 caps for Scotland and also play for Toulon and Sale. Lamont said: “I’m sad to be retiring from professional rugby but I’ve been struggling with injury for some time now and it’s clear I won’t be able to get back to the level I was playing at before. Despite a tough time personally it’s been a privilege to see the boys do so well and make such good progress this season.

Warriors boss Gregor Townsend added: “Rory has had a frustrating time with injury and everyone at the club feels for him not being able to get back to fitness. We were all hoping he'd make a full recovery and show what he could do in a Warriors jersey. I’d like to thank him for his contribution to the club over his two spells here and he goes with our very best wishes for the future.”

April 24, 2013

Scotland confirm autumn Test line-up

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/24/2013

Scotland have announced a three-Test line-up for November with games against Japan, South Africa and Australia all confirmed.

The venue for the match against Japan is yet to be announced, with the game taking place on November 9, but both South Africa and Australia will play their matches against Scotland at Murrayfield. Scotland will face the Springboks on November 17 and then the Wallabies on November 23.

"We're delighted to be able to confirm our Test matches for this November and are finalising some special season-long ticket packages for our supporters at present," a Scotland spokesman said. "This season our cumulative attendance for Murrayfield Test matches was more than 300,000. That speaks volumes both for the depth of support for an improving Scotland team and also for our determination to structure our ticket prices so that we give every family in Scotland the opportunity to watch international rugby in the flesh."

April 23, 2013

Allan 'Chunk' Jacobsen announces retirement

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/23/2013

Edinburgh's record appearance holder Allan Jacobsen has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

Jacobsen has won 65 caps for Scotland and will hang up his boots at the end of the season bringing an end to his Edinburgh career which has seen him make 285 club appearances to date. The prop said: "It’s sad when you think about it, but I've got so many great memories from playing for Edinburgh and Scotland. I've done most of the things I wanted to do on the rugby field and I feel very lucky."

Interim Edinburgh coach Stevie Scott paid tribute to Jacobsen saying: “To stay at the top of the game for sixteen years is an incredible achievement. He’s had a remarkable career; taking over from someone like Tom Smith as the most capped Scotland prop, and signing off as by far and away the longest-serving Edinburgh Rugby player – a record I think he’ll hold on to for quite some time. He’s been a tremendous servant to the club, to Scotland, and to Scottish Rugby as whole, and on behalf of Edinburgh Rugby I’d like to wish him every success in the future.”

April 22, 2013

Scarlets announce John Barclay signing

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/22/2013

The Scarlets have confirmed the signing of Glasgow Warriors back-rower John Barclay on a three-year deal.

Barclay has won 41 caps for Scotland and he will link up with his new club at the end of the season. Barclay, who joined the Warriors when he was 17, said: "It's going to be an exciting opportunity for me to experience a new environment in West Wales in the first move of my club career. They have an impressive and ambitious coaching group and it will be good to be part of a team that has so much talent, potential and energy with a mix of key world-class players along with world class playing and training facilities."

Scarlets boss Simon Easterby added: "John is a dynamic player who will offer another added dimension to the existing talent we have in our back row. He has shown that he is really at the top of his game since coming back from injury. At just 26, he brings world-class experience yet still has his best rugby years ahead of him."

April 21, 2013

Duncan Weir suffers serious injury

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/21/2013

Glasgow Warriors and Scotland have received a blow with the news fly-half Duncan Weir is out for the rest of the season.

Weir sustained a serious leg injury during Glasgow's 35-17 win over the Ospreys and he will definitely miss Scotland's trip to South Africa this summer. Warriors coach Gregor Townsend told the BBC: "We don't know the full extent. He'll miss the rest of the season and probably be out for the start of next season. It's a real shame for him.

"To miss out on the last couple of games will be disappointing but there will be other players there to take their opportunity and play for Duncan."

April 10, 2013

Women's Six Nations format will not change

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 04/10/2013

The Six Nations Council have announced that the format of the Women's Six Nations will continue in its current format next year.

Reports suggested officials were considering introducing a two-tier competition with England, France and Ireland in the top division and Scotland, Wales and Italy in the lower division due to concerns about financial costs and the ability of some sides to compete. The competition adopted the same format as the men's Six Nations in 2007 with Ireland breaking England and France's stranglehold on the title earlier this year with a first ever Grand Slam.

In related news, Roger Lewis, the chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union and Six Nations Council member, has been elected as the new chair of the Six Nations Women’s Game Sub-Committee. Lewis said: "I am delighted to accept this position. We will now positively harness the energy that has been generated by the recent debate and together take Women’s Six Nations rugby forward."

April 8, 2013

Mike Blair agrees to Falcons switch

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 04/08/2013

Former Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair has signed a two-year deal with the Newcastle Falcons.

The No.9 is currently turning out for Brive in the PROD2 and has 85 Scotland caps to his name. The veteran scrum-half also toured South Africa with the British & Irish Lions in 2009 and he is looking forward to linking up with the Falcons, who are favourites for promotion to the Aviva Premiership ahead of the 2013-14 campaign.

Blair said: "Newcastle has ambitions to challenge in the Aviva Premiership, and although there are still the play-offs to be played, they are in a good position to be promoted and to achieve this goal. I am really enjoying my time in France but I feel that playing with Newcastle Falcons will provide me with a rugby challenge that I have been looking for."

Falcons coach Dean Richards added: "Mike is a fantastic acquisition for the club and he will add considerable experience from his time in the Scotland set-up. I look forward to welcoming him to Kingston Park."

March 27, 2013

Nikki Walker wings in for Edinburgh

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 03/27/2013

RaboDirect PRO12 side Edinburgh have signed Scotland international winger Nikki Walker from Premiership rivals Worcester Warriors.

Walker joined the Warriors from PRO12 side Ospreys at the start of the current season and has made 13 appearances and scored four tries during his time at Sixways. However, the 31-year-old, who won the last of his 24 Test caps in 2011, will now be released early from his contract to make the move north of the border.

Nikki Walker said: "I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time playing outside of Scotland but I’ve always had a burning desire to return north, so when the opportunity came to sign for Edinburgh Rugby I grabbed it with both hands."

Edinburgh Rugby managing director Craig Docherty, said: "Nikki [Walker] has an established try-scoring pedigree and brings a wealth of experience, having consistently delivered top class performances throughout his club and international career. It was fantastic to see him back in action for Scotland A recently and I believe that we’ll see the best of him at Murrayfield next season."

Warriors head coach Richard Hill said: "Nikki retains strong international aspirations and has been a part of the Scotland set-up during the current Six Nations campaign. His move to Edinburgh should help his ambitions to play for his country once again and he will leave us at the end of the season with our best wishes."

March 24, 2013

Murrayfield to get artificial pitch?

Posted by James Bass on 03/24/2013

The Scottish Rugby Union is considering installing a semi-artificial pitch at Murrayfield in the future similar to that used at Twickenham.

Murrayfield could potentially follow the trend of using “plastic” pitches, such as the one recently put in at Saracens’ ground Allianz Park, in order to save on maintenance costs and increase the number of matches played at the ground.

The home of England Rugby currently uses a hybrid pitch which combines grass interwoven with plastic and a spokesman from the SRU says they will be looking into the option.

“Scottish Rugby is always keen to explore innovation and new technology and we have an internal team looking into the subject of artificial pitches at present. Their work is under way and they will seek to evaluate the success of other grounds/developments and the costs of such projects."

March 22, 2013

Chris Cusiter ruled out for remainder of season

Posted by Jonny McLeod on 03/22/2013

Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Chris Cusiter will miss the rest of the season and Scotland’s tour to South Africa this summer with a shoulder injury.

The 30-year-old dislocated his shoulder early in the RaboDirect Pro12 season. He was originally expected to be out for three months but that prognosis was extended to six months and now he is set to miss the rest of the season. Cusiter suffered a setback after stepping up to full training and is now expected to have surgery on the troublesome shoulder.

Warriors coach Gregor Townsend told the Scotsman: “Chris has done everything in training, and full contact, and was complaining about a little bit of pain in the back of the shoulder. The more he’s stepped up and done in contact at training – that’s what has brought on the pain.

“It is a major blow. With the amount of rehab he’s done, being out for six months, and coming back at this great time of the season would have been fantastic for us, but Chris is very confident, having spoken with the specialist, that this [operation] will fix the issues and he’ll be flying for us next season.”

March 15, 2013

Dean Ryan to quit Scotland post

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 03/15/2013

Scotland forwards coach Dean Ryan has confirmed he will step down from his post following his side's final Six Nations fixture against France on Saturday.

The former England international has served as an assistant to caretaker coach Scott Johnson since January but will return to his media commitments with Sky Sports next week. "I've always been here only for the Six Nations. I'm contracted to Sky and I'll be working there next week. That has never changed and never was going to," he told PA Sport.

"But I have loved my time here. It's a great group. I'm humbled they have allowed me to come in and prepare them for Test matches. It's been fantastic. We have got some wins, which always makes life easier. It's been fun."

March 7, 2013

Glasgow confirm John Barclay exit

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 03/07/2013

Glasgow Warriors have announced that Scotland back-row John Barclay will leave the club at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old, who has made 146 appearances for the Warriors and has amassed 41 caps for Scotland to date, has been linked with a move to English Premiership side Leicester Tigers.

Warriors head coach, Gregor Townsend said: "He will be with us until the end of the season and is now back to full match fitness following his recent hamstring injury. It is great to be able to call on a player of his ability and experience for what could be some of the most important games in the club’s history."

March 4, 2013

Scotland draft in Euan Murray and Strokosch

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/04/2013

Scotland have added Euan Murray and Alasdair Strokosch to their squad ahead of the weekend's match with Wales.

Strokosch has been out of action since round one due to injury while Murray missed their win over Ireland due to his Christian faith. David Denton misses out for Scotland due to a knee injury while Ryan Wilson is called up.

Scotland team:

Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby), Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall (both Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Rob Harley, Alastair Kellock, Moray Low, Pat MacArthur (all Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors), Tom Ryder (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Jon Welsh and Ryan Wilson (both Glasgow Warriors)

Backs: Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Max Evans (Castres), Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne, Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Kennedy (all Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby), Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Peter Murchie, Henry Pyrgos (all Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott, Tim Visser (both Edinburgh Rugby), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors) and Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors)

March 1, 2013

Greening leaves Scotland Sevens post

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/01/2013

The Scottish Rugby Union has confirmed that Phil Greening has stepped down as Scotland Sevens head coach.

Stephen Gemmell will replace Greening and he will lead the national side into the 2014 Commonwealth Games. "I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the international sevens team again, it’s a massive honour," Gemmell said. "The last two tournaments have shown the potential that we have within this squad, but we need to have greater consistency in our performances going forward, to keep improving.

"With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to coach this team, on home turf, at the world’s third biggest sporting event."

February 26, 2013

Edinburgh stalwart Roddy Grant re-signs

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 02/26/2013

Edinburgh back-row Roddy Grant has signed a new two-year deal with the RaboDirect PRO12 club.

"Edinburgh is my club and I do everything I can, on and off the pitch, to help drive things on, and am excited about what we can achieve in the next two seasons," Grant said. "There are some great young players coming through the ranks and bursting on to the international scene. There’s huge potential.

"I’m still looking to improve my own game and feel that Edinburgh is a great place to do that alongside some great players in a good environment, and in the shop window for Scotland selection, which is obviously a huge goal of mine. But first, as a team and a club, we need to rectify an unacceptable season. It’s a real challenge and great source of motivation, it’s something I care a lot about and am delighted to be part of it for another two years."

Richie Vernon returns to Glasgow Warriors

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 02/26/2013

The Glasgow Warriors have announced that Sale Sharks flanker Richie Vernon will return to the club at the end of the season after signing a contract until 2016.

He has played at Sale for the past two seasons and Warriors boss Gregor Townsend is delighted with the capture of the 20-cap Scottish international. Townsend said: “Richie is a great signing for the club and has a game that will fit very well with the style of rugby we’re developing here at the Warriors. He has the ability to play in all three back-row positions and is highly motivated to become a better player.

“He will provide another option amongst some very talented back-row players, each of whom know they have to keep working hard to earn their place in the side. He has a lot of international experience and has played at a high standard over the last couple of years in the Premiership, so we’re very pleased he will be joining up with us in the summer.”

February 25, 2013

Ford fitness boost for Scotland

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 02/25/2013

Scotland hooker Ross Ford is expected to be fit for his side's next Six Nations clash with Wales at Murrayfield on March 9.

Ford picked up a facial injury during his side's 12-8 victory over Ireland on Sunday but team doctor James Robson has offered a promising prognosis. "Ross was treated at Murrayfield, then one of our match-day doctors, Gerry Haggerty, took him to St John’s Hospital in Livingston, where he was cared for by one of their plastic surgery specialists," he said in a statement.

"He received multiple stitches to the wound and was able to return to the team hotel last night. Our expectation is that with ongoing good care and attention to the wound, Ross should be available for consideration for the Scotland v Wales game."

February 23, 2013

Wales and Scotland U-20s claim wins

Posted by Jeremy Inson on 02/23/2013

Wales maintained their unbeaten run in this year's Under-20 Six Nations with a 25-10 victory over Italy in Viterbo on Saturday.

Daniel Thomas and Rhodri Williams notched tries for the visitors who also claimed a penalty try. Italy hit back after half-time through Maxime Mata-Mbanga' but Sam Davies’ kicking kept the them at arm’s-length.

At Netherdale, Scotland claimed their second win of the championship with a 21-20 victory over Ireland. Wing Damien Hoyland scored his second try of the match five minutes from time that fly-half Tommy Allan converted for the win.

February 18, 2013

Scotland bolster squad for Ireland

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 02/18/2013

Scotland boss Scott Johnson has added 13 players to his squad ahead of this weekend's Six Nations match versus Ireland.

Due to the match being played on a Sunday, Euan Murray misses out due to his Christian faith, but Johnson has retained the other 22 who played against Italy.

Additional players:

Forwards: Jon Welsh, Dougie Hall, Tom Ryder, John Barclay (all Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Dickinson and Richie Vernon (Sale Sharks), Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby)

Backs: Sean Kennedy, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, Peter Murchie (all Glasgow Warriors), Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors).

The Scotland team to play Ireland is due to be announced on Wednesday.

Lions tickets sell out in minutes

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 02/18/2013

Tickets for the British & Irish Lions' eagerly-awaited Test series with Australia later this year sold out within 15 minutes of going on sale to the public on Monday.

An Australian Rugby Union spokesman said all of the undisclosed public allocation - with prices ranging from ranging from A$95-A$295 (£63-£196) - were snapped up for the Melbourne (June 29) and Sydney (July 6) with tickets for the Melbourne showdown (June 22) selling out in similar time when they went on sale an hour later.

February 14, 2013

Scotland duo to feature for Edinburgh

Posted by Jonny McLeod on 02/14/2013

Edinburgh have named two members of Scotland's Six Nations squad for their clash with Cardiff Blues on Saturday.

Back-row David Denton and prop Geoff Cross both featured as as second-half replacements during the national side's 34-10 win over Italy and now return to club duty for the RaboDirect Pro12 encounter at Murrayfield.

Scotland's interim head coach Scott Johnson has also been boosted with the news Nick de Luca - who was expected to miss the entire Championship with an eye-socket injury - has returned earlier than expected and will start at centre for the capital club.

Edinburgh have already enjoyed an away win over their Welsh opponents, courtesy of a last minute drop-goal from captain Greig Laidlaw, making tomorrow's match the first chance for a home and away double this season.

February 13, 2013

Player of Six Nations to be chosen via social media

Posted by Jonny McLeod on 02/13/2013

This year’s Six Nations Player of the Championship will be chosen with the aid of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Fans’ comments will be recorded via "social listening technology", scored and added to players’ technical statistics to compile a shortlist for the award which will then be circulated to supporters who will then be able to vote for their Player of the Championship.

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate was last year's award following a poll on the official Six Nations website.

February 12, 2013

Bradley to leave Edinburgh

Posted by Jonny McLeod on 02/12/2013

Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley will leave the Scottish side at the end of the season after he was not offered a new contract.

Edinburgh reached the Heineken Cup semi-finals last season but they have endured a disappointing season so far and are fourth bottom of RaboDirect PRO12 table after losing all six of their Heineken Cup pool matches.

Defence coach Billy McGinty has left the club with immediate effect and Bradley will share the defence duties with forwards coach Neil Back until the end of the season.

Bradley told the club's website: "I am very disappointed by the run of results this season and will put everything into the remainder of the season to help the club build for a brighter future."

February 8, 2013

Late try sees Ireland U20s beat England rivals

Posted by Jeremy Inson on 02/08/2013

Wing Rory Scholes scored a try five minutes from time to earn the Ireland U20s a 16-15 win over their England U20s in Athlone on Friday night.

England appeared set for victory after five penalties from fly-half Henry Slade but Tom Daly scored his third penalty in the 63rd minute to bring Ireland into touching distance and the centre’s conversion of Scholes’ try gave Ireland the win.

Elsewhere, Scotland U20s defeated Italy U20s 30-17 in Galashields .

Former All Black MacDonald forced to retire

Posted by Jeremy Inson on 02/08/2013

Glasgow Warriors and former All Blacks flanker Angus MacDonald has been forced to retire due to a neck injury and will now return to New Zealand.

The 32-year-old only joined the Warriors ahead of the current season and he played four matches in total for the Scottish side. He previously won two All Blacks’ caps in 2005, against Scotland and Wales.

“It would have been nice to have played for a few more years but it’s come to the point where the injury is affecting me day to day with my mobility and everyday life so I’ve taken the decision that will give me the best chance of a full recovery,” Macdonald said.

“I’m gutted that I’ve not been able to pull on the jersey more often for the Warriors but I’d like to thank for the club and Scottish Rugby for the opportunity to play here.”

January 31, 2013

Referees to clamp down in Six Nations

Posted by James Bass on 01/31/2013

Referees in this year's Six Nations have been instructed to crack down on infringements at the scrum and to promote more attacking play.

A "highly-positive" meeting of coaching and refereeing representatives in London produced no new areas of emphasis for referees from those previously given priority status by the International Rugby Board - the tackle, offside at the breakdown, offside from kicks, the scrum and the maul.

However, it was agreed that referees would focus on ensuring quick ball "was not prevented illegally by defences, with tacklers, assistant tacklers and arriving players all obliged to show compliance". In addition, coaches were told that "front rows must be more compliant" at scrum time "as referees have been instructed to be less tolerant of infringements in this area".

Referee Nigel Owens, who will take charge of two matches during the Six Nations, said: "From a referee’s perspective a meeting like this makes a big difference for everyone to be on the same wavelength in terms of what is expected from us and by us. There is a clear direction for the tournament in terms of giving teams a chance to play attacking rugby while penalising foul play. So it’s certainly of benefit to get together as a group in order to improve the product that is the 6 Nations and get that extra per cent out of everyone on the park."

January 30, 2013

Ryan Wilson captains Scotland A against Saxons

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/30/2013

Glasgow Warriors' Ryan Wilson has been named Scotland A captain ahead of Friday night's match in Newcastle against the England Saxons.

The XV features seven Test-capped players including Bath's Tom Heathcote. And there is also a place in the side for Saracens' Duncan Taylor who starts on the wing.

Scotland A: Greig Tonks (Edinburgh), Duncan Taylor (Saracens), Alex Grove (Worcester Warriors), Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors), Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), Sean Kennedy (Glasgow Warriors); Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Steven Lawrie (Edinburgh), Jon Welsh (Glasgow Warriors), Tom Ryder (Glasgow Warriors), Tim Swinson (Glasgow Warriors), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), Stuart McInally (Edinburgh Rugby), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors)

Replacements: Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), Grant Shiells (Newcastle Falcons), Gordon Reid (Glasgow Warriors), Robert McAlpine (Edinburgh Rugby), James Eddie (Glasgow Warriors), Jamie Stevenson (London Scottish), Ben Cairns (Edinburgh Rugby), Dougie Fife (Edinburgh Rugby)

Not considered due to injury: Ross Rennie (Edinburgh Rugby), Peter Horne, Chris Cusiter, Chris Fusaro, Tommy Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), Scott Lawson (London Irish).

Scotland's Euan Murray re-signs with Worcester

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/30/2013

Worcester Warriors' prop Euan Murray, who arrived at the club in October, has put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with the Aviva Premiership side.

"Euan has made a very good impression in the short space of time he has had here," Warriors coach Richard Hill said. "It is not easy for someone coming in mid-season, but he has settled in remarkably well and is working well with the other front row forwards. He gives us that strength in depth in the front row which is something that clubs like Northampton and Leicester have always had. You have got to have a very powerful scrum to be successful in this league; you can't get away from that.

"Euan is good in very defence and carries strongly in the loose; he is a genuine all-round player. We are very pleased he has committed to the club because he is of true international class and up there with the very best of them in his position."

January 24, 2013

Scotland secures monster kit deal

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/24/2013

The Scottish Rugby Union has ended its association with Canterbury and has signed a deal with Italian kit manufacturers Macron. The Bologna-based company will supply Scotland's home and away kits, from the 2013 autumn internationals, as well as club sides Edinburgh and Glasgow's strips.

"Macron are a hugely ambitious company and very strong in football. But the thing that clinched it for us it that they want to make Scotland their flagship brand in the rugby market," SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said. "They share our values and want to globalise the brand. This is a multi-million pound deal - the largest in the SRU's history - over four years, so we are delighted."

January 22, 2013

Scotland monitor Beattie and Denton's fitness

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/22/2013

The Scotland medical staff are keeping a close eye on back-row duo David Denton and Johnnie Beattie's fitness after the pair reported for international duty injured.

Denton hurt his knee playing for Edinburgh at the weekend while Beattie has a wrist injury. Their team doctor James Robson is confident both will be in the frame for selection ahead of their match with England on February 2.

A number of other Scotland players were also carrying knocks, although Grant Gilchrist (ankle sprain), Tim Visser (foot), Ruaridh Jackson (rib), Sean Lamont (rib), Pat MacArthur (ankle sprain) and Chris Fusaro (groin) were all expected to play some part in training at Scotstoun Stadium on Tuesday.

January 4, 2013

Scotland bring in Ryan and Scott

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/04/2013

Scotland have drafted in Dean Ryan and Steve Scott on interim contracts for the forthcoming Six Nations.

Ryan and Scott will work alongside temporary boss Scott Johnson throughout the tournament and will link-up with fellow coaches Matt Taylor, Duncan Hodge and Massimo Cuttitta in Scotland's backroom staff. Ex-Gloucester boss Ryan, who was recently appointed as a consultant for RaboDirect PRO12 side Dragons, will take charge of the forwards while Scott, who was sacked by Sale earlier this season, will take on the skills coach position.