POPULAR opinion in the immediate aftermath of Budge Pountney’s retirement from internationals has veered between a back row with Jason White on the blind, Simon Taylor at No8 and Martin Leslie in his Edinburgh berth on the open, and one in which Pountney is replaced by Andrew Mower, first capped in 2001.
EARLY on Monday evening a call came through to my office telling me of Budge Pountney’s disappearing act from Murrayfield. The flanker had left his fellow Scotland players, I was told, in no doubt that he would not be coming back.
WE’VE all got our favourite story about rugby alickadoos and after Budge Pountney’s public hand-wringing about the "unprofessional" Scottish Rugby Union I can happily contribute a couple of my own.
THERE was an air of déjà vu about Budge Pountney’s departure from the Scottish squad this week. Not in the dramatic manner of the flanker’s leave-taking, more in the fact that, for the second time in nine months, a Northampton player had decided to call a halt to his involvement with Murrayfield.
THERE was something different about the man at the centre of this week’s storm in the sporting world, the former Scotland rugby captain Budge Pountney. He may have appeared to some as another spoilt, overpaid sportsman, as he stormed out of Scotland’s preparations for the Six Nations Championships and announced his international career to be over, but Pountney is far removed from the archetypal, pampered sporting star.
THERE will be a hope around Murrayfield that yesterday’s press conference, which strived to dampen the Budge Pountney revelations, will now put an end to concerns within the Scottish camp.
VERY few of Budge Pountney’s colleagues in the Scotland squad were willing to put their heads above the parapet yesterday and give their verdict on the former national captain’s grievances.
THE Scottish Rugby Union has admitted that mistakes have been made over the treatment of players, following the bitter attack made by Budge Pountney, the former Scotland captain, on the game’s governing body.
THE three most important figures at the head of the Scottish Rugby Union lined up at a press conference yesterday to answer allegations of "unprofessionalism" directed at the governing body, by hinting that its accuser, former skipper Budge Pountney, was emotional after recovering from a recent injury.
THE SRU today paid tribute to openside flanker Budge Pountney, who has announced his retirement from international rugby with immediate effect.
SCOTLAND’S Six Nations Championship and World Cup plans were dealt a major blow today as former skipper Budge Pountney announced his retirement from the Test scene.